Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Fleeting Observations

                                            A arty intervention 

At the end of February I decided for March I would make a  journal, concentrating on

Fleeting Observations 

 and recording what I see, as I am into stitching at the moment especially embroidery and "Slow stitching" (LINK) this was going to be an extra challenge to learn a new skill at the same time.

The weather is still crap  bad, wet and windy... what with the world in lock down it meant I would have something to  keep me occupied  rather than worry.

Image result for free drawing of a worried lady

I first practised stitching on the cover of the book. 

I had been out looking for Lichens and  Mosses so I chose this photo (below) as my first inspiration, the universe was listening   as the very next day while looking round the secondhand shops I came across two old embroidery books, by a lady called Jan Messent (she will be popping up quite a bit over the month) which just so happened to have a photo of embroidered Lichen on the front cover !
The day after at work I spotted a new magazine called "Love Embroidery " it was all meant to be ..

I found this box full of floss in the secondhand shop too, not completely full some of them are mine .

March 1 2020

March 2 2020

Today nothing much happened in my world so I took to reading some of  Jan Messent's book on
gathering supplies .

March 3 2020

This was when I discovered the magazine in the shop, there are many things I would like to try but this was my first attempt as I had seen rabbits that day. We are not sure if it is a Rabbit though ! son thinks it could be a sheep with long ears or a white donkey with a fluffy tail.

On reading up on rabbits I learned....

Litters up to seven young can be produced every four weeks and the young can start breeding at the age of three or four months .

On the other hand when the population density is high the birth rate is controlled  by the mother's body

March 4 2020

Today I stood for quite some time and listened to a Song Thrush singing, later I checked on the internet and they have put the song down in notes , this is what I tried to stitch. I have lost the link !? all you need to know is the bird song is  beautiful.

Song Thrush

5 March 2020

Was World book day.. and  yes you guess it I did a page on Jan's book .

I also got these two books from the secondhand shop, which the Sea Shore one prompted me to go look in the beck at the park ( my mind works in mysterious ways) I found some Water Louse and some kind of Nymph , an area I would love to learn more about.

Water Louse and some kind of Nymph 
6 March 2020

Today was sunny for a while, there was a lovely display from 3 Buzzards and one Crow over the house, not a bird I get very often but to get three was a treat. Then Later on we had two Red Kites fly round.

This is what I put in my journal.

I do hope you are all safe and well, take time to have a Fleeting moment with nature.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

February was a tad wet !

First of all my thoughts go out to all the people who have suffered with flooding over the past 3 weeks and it look like the weather has not finished yet.
Apart from all the rain we have had many cold windy days with a bit of snow thrown in. As well as the people the animals must be suffering too.

Having said that there has been some nice moments in February where I managed to get out with my camera.

Valentines day was nice so I had my first visit to Stainburn forest.   

Discovering many Lichens and mosses, they might be small to photograph but don't blow about in 40 mile winds !

Lichens have been used in making dyes, perfumes, and in traditional medicines. A few lichen species are eaten by insects or larger animals, such as reindeer. Lichens are widely used as environmental indicators or bio-indicators. (link)

I was very lucky to see a Green Woodpecker here today.

15 February
 we had a visit from a rather soggy Sparrow hawk

19 February
 saw me starting to look more closely  at Mosses ( Bryophytes)

Common striated feather-moss  (Eurhynchium striatum)

I think this might be a Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) caterpillar .

One from my garden.

25 February

Local Swan, which returns every year to breed on the pond.

Redwings are still at the park, can't get close to these birds to get a good photo.

Blue sky 
Bracket fungi

26 February

 I saw my first Curlews of the year.

27 February

We had blue skies today, I went to Chevin country Park.
Looking for mosses.
Two woods locally known as Danefield and The Chevin above Otley in West Yorkshire.

From the bottom of Chevin woods  looking over Otley

Lets say I found lots of Mosses and a few Liverworts

Crescent-cup Liverwort - Lunularia cruciata

I hope the weather is kind to you wherever you are.......

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Enjoying nature


After a few days in, a day connecting with nature was in order, no better place to get up close to the birds is Golden Acre Park near Leeds. A mix of environments , lake and a nature reserve, I have been many times before and blogged about my visits.

They do a great display of flowers through the summer months, many different species of trees. The nature reserve is called Adel Dam which is run by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (LINK). The trees were planted as a Victorian garden, and  they used to go sailing on the lake. A great escape from the city of Leeds.

Mosses and Lichen looked just as stunning as the Snowdrops and Hellebore

Bryophytes are small, non-vascular plants, such as mosses, liverworts and hornworts. They play a vital role in regulating ecosystems because they provide an important buffer system for other plants, which live alongside and benefit from the water and nutrients that bryophytes collect.

Witch Hazel


Blue tit

Viburnum Sp


The sight of a dead crow tends to attract a mob of a hundred or more live ones. During this ritual, the live crows almost never touch the dead one, which rules scavenging out as a motive. Why do they do this? Some studies suggest that the mass gathering is part of a survival strategy: The birds are learning about threats and seem hesitant to revisit any spot where they've encountered a dead crow, even if food is plentiful there. (LINK)


At the feeding station, there was Nuthatch, birds from the Tit family and a Woodpecker stopped briefly, and Stock Dove. This brought my 2020 bird list up to 47.


Grey Squirrel

Stock Dove 

Adel Dam Nature Reserve

Adel can be quite popular for people visiting to see and record the birds, there are two good bird hides. 
Perhaps the three gentlemen sat in one with their big cameras could have been a bit more accommodating! so I stood outside near the feeders and got to see much more, watched a little Field Vole, I think to quick for a photo.

Great spotted woodpecker

Fungi on a fallen log
Blue tit
Great tit

As well as looking for birds I get as much joy looking under logs and stones..

I think this might be a

 Black Clock Beetle (Pterostichus madidus)

A large (15-20 mm) shiny black ground beetle with either all black legs or wine-red legs (variety concinnus). ...
Lives under stones, loose bark and grass tussocks. ...
The species breeds in the autumn and the larvae overwinter.

Here we have the three of the Woodlouse family.

Common Shiny Woodlouse
(Oniscus asellus)

Common Rough Woodlouse
 ( (Porcellio scaber)

Common Striped Woodlouse
(Philoscia muscorum)

I did find some empty egg cases, not sure if they are spider or slug.


Hope you like my collection of photos from the park and you have had chance to get outside.

If you live where the storms have been this weekend I hope you are all safe and well.