Sunday, March 09, 2008


I'm writing this a little later than I thought. We're just recovering from a day spent in the pub yesterday, watching Anna's team win (Wales) and mine too (Scotland). What a turn up for the books - Wales could win the Grand Slam this year if they beat France next week, and Scotland could still yet win the wooden spoon, if Italy beat us next week, even though we've beaten England! I am pretty sure that event (if it happens) is rare indeed...

On friday (gone) I took a train to a local lake, where I normally spend time watching the Peregrines and interesting Ducks - Hosehill lake (a nature reserve near Theale).
I think this was the first time I walked round this lake and hardly even looked at any birds - I was far more interested in photographing the flowers and views around the lake.

It was nice to see the Oak buds appearing. I have been worried for the past few days that we were in for an "Ash before Oak" season (you're in for a soak) rather than an "Oak before Ash" (you're in for a splash), as I'd seen the Ash buds out already.
The first large Oak I happened across though - and it had obviously been in bud for ar least as long as the Ash.
I've posted a picture of a "Marble Gall" on an Oak branch below. This was made last summer by a single female parasitic wasp, but it hs been deserted for months now, and turned quite woody.

I think we have something to the tune of 90 or so different types of Galls and Gall Wasps in the UK - and around half of those are found only on Oak trees.

I also think friday was the first day that all the midges hatched in huge numbers. I really could have done with some "Jungle Formula" walking around the lake - but I very much enjoyed watching some spiders "make hay" with these chironomid midges.
The Zebra spider I photographed above had just finished her meal of midge when I took her photograph.

It was also nice to try and learn a little more about our wild flowers which are now popping out of the ground all over the place - that book I bought t'other day is really coming in handy now! I fully admit my knowledge of flowers and plants is pretty abysmal - I've stepped on them for as long as I can remember, but am starting to really appreciate them now...

Finally - I thought I'd take some photographs of a grazing horse, which seemed very happy to follow me around. I like the photograph so much (above), that I'm thinking of printing it up nicely, and asking the horse's owner (who I don't know) if they'd like to buy it off me! What have I got to lose eh?!

Anyhoo - click on any of the photographs above to enlarge, as normal... AND click HERE to see more of my Hosehill lake photographs (and others) in the "New Warren" online photo album.

1 comment:

misti said...

The little spider photo is so cute!

I've never heard the oak/ash saying before! Very interesting.