Archive | June, 2016

Small worlds .. again.

19 Jun

In last months blog I started to explore the part of life around us that we don’t really see as it’s so small.

A very short walk along the cliff with macro lens for my camera produced the images below. The black fly is a conopid fly of some sort (from someone who knows about the things) and is about 5mm long. For those looking at this in black and white the minute detail is quite remarkable and both insects have small counterweights sticking out from their sides to help in flight.
Following last months article suggesting that drawing something natural, such as a flower, to help appreciate the complexity of what seems simple, a couple of people contacted me who had tried it – and had a very good experience of really looking at something and drawing it. Even if your drawing skills aren’t great pop out into the garden, pick a flower and have a go!!
By the time this edition of the Cliffhanger has been published the latest WildSherston event will have taken place on the 23rd June so hopefully we will have had a good turn out. If anyone has a particular interest in any element of our local wildlife such as bats, wild flowers, beetles or even slugs!! I am sure I can arrange a speaker for a future meeting. If you have an interest and knowledge you would like to share please do let me know.
Finally – I had a thought provoking email a couple of weeks ago regarding cats and the nature of cats. On one hand the millions of cats in the UK provide enormous pleasure and company to millions of people and on the other they kill millions of small rodents, birds etc and they illustrate a microcosm of the balance and tensions in the way we live in this country. In Tasmania, for example, they have regular cat culls to try and protect the local marsupial and bird populations which won’t survive unless the introduced predators are removed.
Cat’s have a deep hunting instinct in spite of being domesticated for many generations and do bring all manner of dead and partially living residents home with them which is sad especially at this time of year when young birds are easy pickings. There is a simple answer which may help some prey items escape and that is for cats to have a small bell. We have a cat ourselves who will soon be wearing one!!

WildSherston event – 23rd June

12 Jun

The next in the irregular series of talks and activities will be on the 23rd June at Sherston Village Hall (near Malmesbury in Wiltshire, UK) starting at 7’30pm.

We will have three different talks. The first, by Butterfly Conservation, will discuss our local butterfly and moth species. This will be followed by an update on the local river improvement project by the Bristol Avon River Trust and finally Wiltshire Ornithological Society will discuss the 100 species of birds seen in the village.

It’s free and will be a fantastic antidote to the Brexit vote the same day!!