For illustrated talks on natural history and history see

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click here for

Friday, 10 November 2017

2017 Veteran Car Rally in Cuckfield, West Sussex, UK 5th November 2017

 1902 Geoges Ricard
 1901 Darracq
 1901 Darracq 

 1899 Clement
 1900 Stephens

 1903 Renault

 1902 Oldsmobile

 1902 Autocar

 1903 Panhard

1901 Pick
1901 Pick

Monday, 30 October 2017

Red Admiral butterflies and a Queen Common wasp feasting on rotting apples this morning in a Sussex garden

Underneath this apple tree a strip of long grass was mown some days ago, slicing fallen apples in the process.
This morning six red admiral butterflies were gorging on the rotting apples.  They could fly alright, unlike a couple of hornets some days ago which definitely seemed to be too drunk to fly off easily.

This Queen Common wasp, Vespula vulgaris was tucking in too and I did not disturb her or the fly.
Click to enlarge the pictures.
Later in the afternoon there were three queens injesting reserves for hibernation.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Strange darkness and eerie red light over Cuckfield this afternoon at 15.00hr

 There was a strange darkness and eerie red light over Cuckfield this afternoon at 15.00hr.  Sunset is not due untill 18.07hr.  It is like night already now.  Click on any picture to enlarge it.

It was so dark that with a fast ISO3200 camera setting and F8.0, the shutter speed was a slow 1/25 second pointing directly at the sky.  The street lights came on but were off at 15.40hr.
Then at 16.12hr above, it was daylight again with a cloudy grey sky after a very strange experience.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Green woodpecker eating fallen apples in my Sussex garden

It is always a joy to see woodpeckers in the garden -- except Greater spotted ones breaking into nest boxes.  Mine are now lined with clay roof tiles to save great tit fledglings!
Perhaps there were ants in the apple.  I went to check and found none; only fruit flies.
The woodpecker returned within minutes of my disturbing it and continued to eat the apple.
There are a few yellow ant hills in the garden, left just for green woodpeckers but this fine bird preferred fermenting Egremont Russet apples this morning.  Some days ago hornets appeared to get drunk and incapable feasting on apples in the tree.
UPDATE: twenty minutes later.
Enough of apples... ants really are preferred it seems.  And there are plenty of those in my wild flower lawn.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

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