Archive for the ‘Natural World’ Category


Attempt at regular posting #1

August 2, 2009

I had planned to try to post here more often this month. At least every couple of days. However, that has proved to be harder than I thought as somehow all the time in the day gets magically used up with other things. And now it’s really late and I should go to bed. But in order to reassure myself that I haven’t been completely unsuccessful I thought I’d just post a quick picture from my weekend.

moors valley 010small

I took this at a country park that I went to with a friend for her birthday.

There. Now I feel better for at least posting something. Maybe I can keep this up if I keep it short and simple! I hope you had a nice weekend!


Seafood festival

July 28, 2009

The seafood festival in Weymouth last weekend was a very wet affair, at least on the saturday when I was there.


Despite the weather there was a good turnout, and some crazy fools even swam across the harbour!


At our stand we were making basking shark pencil pots. Most of the kids seemed to enjoy it but the instructions were a bit complicated for some of the younger ones and that meant it took some of them a while and caused some frustration! A lot were really excited when they saw the pots and it was nice to see the creative streak coming through at such a young age. Almost everyone, including the parents, was surprised to learn we get basking sharks along the coast here, and it was great to see the look on some of the children’s faces when we told them that even with that huge mouth these sharks aren’t man-eaters and don’t even have teeth!


As well as the crafting for the children we had a lot of information about the ocean, and the problems of pollution in particular. One of the displays that seemed to have the most impact was photographs of balloons and plastic bags as a turtle would view them from underwater. These look uncannily like jellyfish, which are the favourite food of turtles and many other marine animals. The most common cause of death across all turtle species is starvation caused by eating plastic bags that have been mistaken for jellyfish so we are campaigning to reduce the plastic bag waste that is thrown away, ending up in the ocean. Charity balloon releases are another huge problem, because although people see it as raising money for a good cause, they often don’t realise that the vast majority of these balloons end up in the sea causing major hazards for marine life. So I guess the message is hold a raffle instead!

Another display that got a lot of comments was this “souvenir” stand (click to enlarge):


The packets are all filled with plastic rubbish collected from the local beach. There was so much it could even be put in packets of matching colour! I find it very sad that so many people still think it’s acceptable and normal to leave litter on beaches, or throw waste over the side of a fishing boat, especially when by their very nature beaches are mostly used by children and families.

Luckily there are plenty of people helping to make a difference through beach-cleans, campaigns and fundraising. If you’re feeling inspired why not join your nearest beach clean event? Or look at the Dorset Wildlife Trust and Marine Conservation Society  websites for other ways you can help.


May 12, 2009

Just checking in quickly, I can’t believe it’s been so long again! The move mostly went well, but we currently have no internet at home 😦 This is because although we were promised by the letting agency that there was a phone line set up, it has been disconnected and BT want to charge us lots and lots of money to flick the switch back to on. Or however they do it.

So for now I’m stuck using the internet in teeny breaks at work, which is a shame, but I guess it’s doing me good to break my dependency on the machine a bit!

So on a happier note here are a couple of photos I’ve taken at the reserve over the last couple of weeks. Early purple orchids and baby great tits. Enjoy!

early purple orchids

great tits



April 18, 2009

There has been a lot happening around here in the last couple of weeks. The Easter holidays are our busiest time for children’s activities at the reserve and Matt and I are moving into a new flat next weekend! It’s very exciting but I haven’t had as much time for blogging as I’d like! I will try to catch up with some of the things we’ve been up to over the next few weeks as I have some nice pictures I want to share.



Some things that have been making me happy today….

Hedgerows adorned in white as the blackthorn comes into blossom

The look of astonishment on a small boy’s face as we explained how tadpoles turn into frogs by growing legs either side of their tail

Matt cooking me Chinese chicken with egg-fried rice

Finally getting a copy of Softies

A visit from my favourite one-eyed dog


I hope you’re having a nice weekend too!


Apology. With flowers.

March 8, 2009

Sorry for the slightly longer than intended absence from blogging. It’s funny, after the first week or so, when I was just busy, I found that whenever I had the time to sit down and write I couldn’t think of anything to say. Then it became a bit of a demon, something that I should do, not something that I wanted to do, and the longer I left it the harder it was to think of something to write about! I didn’t start this blog for it to become a chore, so I’ve just left it for a bit.


But having spent some time in the last few days catching up with some of the wonderful blogs I follow (many of them listed in the sidebar) I’m feeling much more inspired and ready to get back to regular posting. Does this lack of mojo affect all bloggers at some point? Probably not after only a month of writing! It does seem that most of the blogs I read are updated regularly and don’t seem to suffer from long periods of “I don’t know what to write”. Maybe there is a trick I don’t know about.


Just to prove that spring is really on the way… Even though we were hit by another 4 inches of snow on Thursday!

key charms

These are some charms I’ve made recently for an upcoming charm swap hosted by Amber. They are made from little keys with beads wrapped around them. These old keys are another thing I tend to hoard, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to make use of them and let someone else enjoy them. I’ll try to be back soon to share some little pretties I found recently.



February 12, 2009

While it is still cold and wintery, especially this time of year when the “exciting” part of winter (i.e. Christmas) is over, I often feel like snuggling up with a blanket, a book and a cup of tea. This is equally comforting substituting hot chocolate, or an art journal, but the idea is the same; to cosy up and ignore the grey and miserable outside. While this nesting impulse is felt by many people at this time of year, it won’t be all that long before some more serious nesting is going on out in the avian world.


Next week is National Nest Box Week so this is the perfect time to clean out old nest boxes or put up new ones for our feathered friends. The trusty old box above has been used in our garden by blue tits for the last four years, when it replaced an even older one.

This is the remains of last years nest that we have taken out. One of their favourite nest lining materials seems to be hair so when I had quite a bit cut off last year I put some in a little net bag in the garden and they were constantly pulling bits out of it and flying with it back up to the box. (Just to explain the red stuff in the picture. Sorry if anyone thinks it’s gross.)


There is a lot of info on the BTO website, including this handy how-to for building your own box.

Of course, I don’t actually do the hard bit up the ladder. Thanks Dad!