Sunday, 29 March 2009

Wild boar skull

Remember a while ago we saw a dead wild boar near our wood? Well, it's been eaten and/or decomposed, leaving just a skull and spine now. We've checked with the people who own the wood and they don't want it, so we're going to take it away and boil the skull to get it clean, then give it to someone we know who lectures on wildlife, so they can show it to their students.

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Saturday, 28 March 2009

Wood Anemone

We went to the wood in an evening this week, with our new neighbour Andrew, and were surprised to see how much Wood Anemone is showing now:
It looks great along the banks of the rides:
The Hazel is coming into leaf as well now:
Andrew liked the wood - it was his first visit there. We'll have to get him there in brighter conditions, as he's a keen photographer - here he is getting up close and personal with a Hornbeam!

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Monday, 23 March 2009

While Mike was trying to take photos of the sunset, this is what was happening behind! Emily, Charlotte and I were having a go at sand dune surfing in cardboard boxes... not very successful, but loads of fun!

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Sunday, 22 March 2009

Sunsets on the beach

Just a few pictures from this evening, all taken just over the dune from our house. I've put these at a even higher resolution than I've been using recently, so make your web browser full screen!


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The beach and the wood

I had my friend Jon visiting over this weekend. We went up to the wood, of course, but also cycled to Dungeness to enjoy the scenery and a pint at The Britannia. There was also time for a bit of kite flying down on the beach near our house:
Up in the woods there were lots of butterflies around (sorry, no pictures), including the Brimstone patrolling the cant we cut a year ago. The Wood Anemone are now flowering in large numbers, the bluebells won't be far behind...
Other than just sitting around cooking lunch, making coffee and shooting at a tin can with the air rifle, we did actually have a little job to do. Tracy and one of our neighbours want to build a raised bed for growing veg in our communal garden, so we measured up some logs and made some stakes to bring back. As it was just me and Jon, rather than a big group, I took some spare protective gear and Jon did some of the work.
We ended up with 12 logs and 8 stakes - the idea is to stack the logs between the stakes to make walls, perhaps using an existing fence on two sides, though I'm concerned it will rot the wood, so we might do log walls on all four sides.

I heard a pheasant rustling through the leaves, and is usual it pretended it hadn't seen me, leaving me time to change the lens on the camera and follow it for a while.Anyway, that's all for now, though I might post some sunset pictures from the beach later if I have time...


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Monday, 16 March 2009

Visitors, signs of spring, and badgers!

On Saturday we took a break from moving house to cook lunch in the wood, as our friends Dave and Anna were visiting. (Some of the photos below are from them, mixed in with our own)
As usual we had a play with the rifle, shooting at a tin can.
There's still the odd small tree we need to fell to finish off the corridors we've been creating, saved up for days like this...
From the look of the last picture, I wonder if I over-emphasised the "retreat once the tree starts to fall" bit of the safety talk! ;-)

Rather than subject them to using the bowsaw to clean off the stump I did that with the chainsaw.OK, on to signs of spring. Wood Anemones are now coming out in force in Sweep Wood, though not in Chestnut Coppice yet.The hornbeam we saved a year ago during coppicing has buds just starting to open now:
The floor of the wood is getting much greener, with moss and various other stuff, including bluebells:
The insect life is waking up too:
And now for the badger poo. I noticed some fresh digging, surprisingly close to a track we often use:and on close inspection found a badger's toilet, which had been used twice:
We'll have to keep an eye on this, there may be a chance to watch them there if we're careful. The puzzling thing is that there's only one entrance at the moment - you'd expect several normally.

And finally, some arty shots from Dave and Anna, taken in the wood and at a beah near our house:Mike

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First morning at the new house

Sunday was the first morning we woke up at our new house. Seeing as it was sunny, we thought it would be rude not to take a walk on the beach before church.
A few others were doing the same thing, giving their horses a chance to enjoy the beach while it was still empty:

I think I'm going to get some good pictures of seabirds here, these are a few I got just while we were walking along. The gulls were riding the updraft due to the wind hitting the dunes.
I'm sure in that last one the second gull is hoping to swallow the first one!

We also went up to the wood on Saturday with some friends. Pictures to follow this evening, as there's work to be done first...


p.s. leave a comment to tell me what you think of the larger photo format. Too big? Or just right?

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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Road closed at Rye Harbour again! This time a chemical spill!

The road is once again closed to Rye Harbour - this time it is a large chemical spill! No one allowed in at all.... loads of emergency vehicles have gone done there, including firemen in their own cars! Later in the morning the fire trucks were filling up from the river.

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