Monday, July 28, 2008

Hunting dragons

Reflecting waterlilies
Keeled Skimmer female
keeled Skimmer male
Golden Ringed

broad Bodied chaser

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Raffles is 10

Raffles is 10
Originally uploaded by Missy2004.

The Gardens of St Cross

The flowers in the garden of St Cross were at there best when we visited. The orange ones are sneezewort and the yellow are Inula.

Sometimes there is just not enough time to blog.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

St Cross Hospital Winchester

Set in open meadow land to the south of Winchester, the Hospital of St Cross was founded in the 1130´s by Bishop Henry of Blois for `thirteen poor men, feeble and so reduced in strength that they can scarcely or not at all support themselves without other aid´. The hospital was placed under the care of the Knights of St John, and the thirteen Brothers of this foundation still wear black gowns and a badge depicting the Jerusalem Cross.

The Hospital, which is England's oldest continuing almshouse, comprises a group of grade I listed medieval and Tudor buildings, including a medieval hall and tower, Tudor cloister, Norman church and gardens reflecting a seventeenth century connection with North America. The term "Hospital", in this context, has the same origin as "hospitality" and for over 850 years St Cross has provided food and shelter to people in need. It has been home to the Master and Brethren of St Cross since medieval times and today visitors can still receive the Wayfarer's Dole (a small beaker of beer and a morsel of bread).

The octagonal chimneys mark the Brethren´s lodgings, built about 1445 by Cardinal Beaufort. On the East side of the Chapel may be seen a graveyard wherein are interred the remains of various Masters and Brethren. Apart from providing for the Brethren, Almsgiving is still practised in the form of the `Wayfarers Dole´. A piece of white bread and a cup of good beer or Ale may be obtained by knocking at the door of the Porters Lodge, and requesting the Dole.

The Chapel was started in the 1160´s and retains much of its late Norman purity, despite being somewhat altered in the 14th and early 15th centuries. The number of Brethren was enlarged in the 15th century by Cardinal Beaufort, who provided for a second order of almsmen, the `Noble Order of Poverty´. Brethren of this order wear magenta gowns.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Hawk Conservancy Trust

On Monday we Visited the Hawk Conservancy Trust. It is a great day out with plenty to see. The day starts with the feeding of the Vultures. There are three different flying displays, that last about 40 minutes. They are so well organized and you are never sure which direction the birds are coming from.At times there are 8 birds in the air at the same time.Although it is difficult to get good photographs because they fly past so fast and so close to you it is wonderful to see these birds flying high. At one point they release two Eagles in the next Valley, over a mile away and you gradually see them flying towards you. The day ends when they feed the wild herons, sometimes getting as many as 30 in the meadow.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Poor Little Cygnet.

Yesterday we stopped by Hatchetts Pond on our way home from walking the dogs. The Swan family was way over the other side of the pond, but the sun had come out and it was drying our wet clothes , so we decided to have an Ice cream. We were just about to leave when we noticed a solitary cygnet at the back of the carpark.He looked very forlorn , but we persuaded him to go back down to the pond thinking he had just got separated from the family. The Cob who had been ignoring the people who were feeding the gulls (This was very unusual as he is very greedy) steamed across the pond , feathers puffed up intent on attacking the little cygnet. The little cygnet fled across the carpark and hid. Some holiday makers told us that they had been at the pond two days ago when they saw the cob trying to drown one of the cygnets. The cygnet did not seem sick or injured just very frightened. We tried ringing the Forestry Commission to speak to a keeper , but when they seemed disinterested and unable to give us the number of Swan Rescue we decided to get it ourselves. A quick phone call to Karens Husband and we had the number.They said they would send some one out.meanwhile the poor little cygnet was being worried by some dogs, someone picked the cygnet up and another person had a box so we were able to keep him safe. Eventually a Forestry Commission Keeper arrived , having been alerted by Swan rescue and took the cygnet away.
Today I rang Swan Rescue and was told that they had the cygnet, there appears to be nothing wrong with it and in the Autumn when it can fly they will release it at Christchurch. Until then it is being kept with several other rescued cygnets and will be looked after.
If you remember back in May I told you there was another Swan family at the other end of the lake with three cygnets and Swan rescue told me that the cygnets had been killed by this same cob and they had to relocate the Parents. Sadly this is normal behaviour for Swans when a pair invades anothers territory, however swans are normally good parents and they do not know why this cob should now attack its own cygnet. Yesterday there were only 5 cygnets with the parents so another one is missing, because there were 7. Swan rescue are keeping an eye on the situation anyway because they had to remove a fishing hook from the Pens foot about a week ago.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Just a few Photos taken over the last day or so.

A lapwing at Lower Test nature reserve
Silver studded Blue in the New Forest. These butterflies are so small and very rarely stay still for long.
I saw this on the road it is a squashed snake,an adder I believe Sad that it died but interesting.
The dogs on one of their walks
Its been a busy time hers and I have not had much time for blogging so just a few photos from our recent walks.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Down at Hatchetts Pond

There were plenty of ponies down at the pond trying to scounge food off the tourists. There is a penalty for feeding the ponies as it encourages them to congregate near cars and on the roads. Sadly many tourists ignore this and the ponies can become a nuisance in the popular spots. more seriously if they stay near the roads they are knocked down and killed.

The seven cygnets are doing well and have grown a lot since our last visit.