Monthly Archives: June 2017

Morning Cloudscapes and Bird Feeding….

The weather was looking quite promising this morning, like it wanted to make sure that 30 days wild ended with sunshine!

During the morning, it clouded over a bit more, but that didn’t deter the flock of crows that has been flying over on a regular basis. You wouldn’t believe how loud they can be – I’m still amazed that birds choose to call loudly in flight, as you’d think that would draw attention to them.

I’m guessing someone nearby had put some food out, as the crows landed on nearby rooftops, taking it in turns to swoop down to the ground and grab something to eat.

In amongst those adult crows, there were also some youngsters, eagerly waiting for the adults to bring food to them.


Floral displays

We’re used to seeing the council’s hanging basket floral displays in the city centre, but in recent years there’s been a lot less of them. This year however, they’ve decided to use “eco-friendly” planters (these apparently retain the water, rather than letting it just drip through), which included a run of planters along the railings.

It definitely brightens up the street, and hopefully the bees will be happy with all that pollen too.

The only disadvantage of where they’ve positioned these planters, is that the local shops pile their rubbish for collection just next to those railings…. it was impossible to get a photo that didn’t have rubbish bags at the base!



Morning Cloudscapes – one every hour

I thought I would try something a little different for today – one cloudscape every hour from 8am – 11am, to see how the clouds changed across the morning.

Starting off with 8am, and lots of cloud cover with the sunlight just starting to peek through.

By 9am most of the cloud had vanished, leaving large patches of blue sky.

Slightly more cloud at 10am, although there’s definitely enough blue sky to make a pair of men’s trousers!

11am was looking almost the same as 10am….

….so I decided to “cheat” and take another couple of photos at 11:25am as well.

I’m not too sure what type of cloud this last one is, but there’s a really defined top edge to it.



Evening Cloudscape

I spent an hour or so on the allotment today, but unfortunately I didn’t take my camera with me! I did spot some ladybirds and a large spider that was making its home in my strawberry patch…. but today’s random act of wildness photo was taken this evening, when the cloud had rolled back in. There was a slight glow below the darker cloud which I’m guessing was the sunset reflecting off the clouds – it couldn’t have been the true sunset, as the glow was to the east!


Saturday Special – wildflowers

On my allotment plot, I’m allowed to have some non-edible flowering plants, to attract the pollinating insects. I chose to plant a Penstemon, lavender, and a packet of wild flower seeds. The advantage of the seeds is that once some of the wild flowers have grown and flowered, they drop seeds so there’s a chance I’ll get some of them back again the following year!

Most packets of wild flower seed are made with butterflies and bees in mind, and the advantage of wanting flowers instead of lush leaf growth is that you don’t need exceptionally rich soil.

Simply pick a packet of wild flower seeds (I got mine from the supermarket), and scatter the seeds over a patch of bare soil. Sprinkle some soil over the top of the seeds just to cover them over, otherwise the neighbourhood birds might eat them all before the seeds have a chance to germinate!

Of course the disadvantage of mixed seeds is that it’s not easy to tell a wild flower from a weed – I left anything that was growing, until it flowered, as that made it a little easier to identify!


One particular wild flower that grew last year, and self-seeded is the Teasel – I left the seed heads on the plant, as Goldfinches like to eat them and I thought it could be a tasty snack for them.

I didn’t pay any attention to the spacing of the seeds – I literally just scattered them across the soil. It should help to keep the pollinating insects happy, and later in the season give those birds something to eat that isn’t the fruit I’m growing for myself!


Can you guess what this plant is?

Ok, I’ll give you a hint – I watered my houseplants today, which is when I took this photo.

Hmm, I reckon that half of you know instantly what this houseplant is, and the other half are just staring at the photo wondering which way up it should be.

Maybe this photo makes it a bit clearer – it’s an orchid, or to give its full name, it’s a Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis). The RHS gives them a “moderately easy” rating for difficulty of growing, but so far I’ve never achieved keeping an orchid alive after it’s flowered. Maybe I’ll have better luck with this one?


Moth identification

My random act of wildness was made easy today when this moth decided to sit on the outside of the window and pose for a photo!

While butterflies have the colour to make them stand out, moths are surprisingly pretty in their own way – I hadn’t expected this moth to have such delicate fringes on the edges of its wings!

The lighting wasn’t ideal for the photo, but I think it’s a Mother of Pearl moth. According to UK Moths, in certain light the wings seem to have a pearl-like shine.


Buzzing Bees in the Bin….?

The “solar powered big belly bins” in the city centre are causing a buzz…. literally! A few days after a couple of local beekeepers collected a swarm from the bin, more bees were gathering.

Because the beekeepers were able to collect the swarm, the first ones must have been honeybees…. but I wasn’t willing to get close enough to get a clear photo on my phone to be able to identify these ones!

I’m not sure what the attraction is for the bees, unless it’s rubbish that has a sweet sugary content which drew them in. But whatever it is that made them pick that particular bin, they certainly seem to be making themselves at home!