This is the largest page, because like everyone else, we love
to take photographs of places we visit. Some are of Historic Buildings
and sites. Others are concerned with Natural History. But they are
all places of interest. Some pages are quite large and probably include
topics & images that should be in another section of the site.
We just haven’t got round to sorting them out. But hoping that,
if you browse around, you will find something of interest.
Just click on the thumbnail to go to the page.
Daphnis nerii: WILL THEY EMERGE IN SPRING?
28th December 2016. We received the splendid Christmas present of four pupae of the exotic and beautiful
Oleander Hawk Moth. Click the image to see preparation of their environment until next Spring.
SOME PERILS FACED BY ORCHIDS IN THE HOME.
October and December 2016. In October, a Phalenopsis orchid, growing a new flower spike, was threatened by a
predator. Also, another, smaller plant was languishing. Happily, by December all was well again.
ATTEMPTS AT PLANTING SEEDS, PIPS & STONES FROM FRUIT.
9th May 2016. Since planting date stones at Christmas 2015 (which actually produced plants), we have
been trying other things, like avocado, papaya, mango. Most have begun to grow!
17 POSTCARDS OF BIRMINGHAM, ca. 1890 – 1953.
15th January 2016. Mostly city centre, but a couple of trams as well.
SOME RANDOM MUSINGS ON MOTHS WE HAVE REARED.
26th November 2015. We have been interested, in a general way, in moths (and butterflies) for many years.
Here are some reminiscences of a few species we reared from eggs or small larvae.
EDGBASTON RESERVOIR, BIRMINGHAM, IN SEPTEMBER 2013 & FEBRUARY 2014.
8th September 2013. Includes shots of Tolkien’s ‘Two Towers’. The reservoir was low, but three supplementary images
taken 9th February 2014 show it filled, and the overflow in action.
ENTOMOLIGISING AGAIN, TARDILY.
Caterpillars, moths, butterflies & so forth, up to July 2013, following a long gap in this Diary!
MODERN, ANCIENT AND VERY ANCIENT HISTORY.
In December 2012, short visits to Letocetum, Bath and Stonhenge.
BLACK PANTHERS NEAR DONCASTER.
October 25th 2012. About 11:30 am, as a passenger in a car leaving the M18 to join the northbound A1(M),
I saw two black panthers. Honest!
MOSELEY OLD HALL AND OTHER PLACES – INTO AUTUMN.
October and November 2012. Staying relatively near home at the moment, and revisiting some local open spaces.
OUT & ABOUT IN WORCESTERSHIRE, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, AND AGAIN WALES.
August & September 2012. A Peacock Butterfly; two Saxon Churches; Brecon Cathedral and Tretower Manor House!
IN ENGLAND AND WALES...
An underground passage in Derbyshire; the Earlswood Lakes, a vintage motor bus and Aberystwyth,
not to mention the Vale of Rheidol Railway.
TWO DAYS IN JULY 2012, QUITE FAR APART GEOGRAPHICALLY.
A canal aqueduct in Warwickshire, an old bridge & a much older Priory Church on the Scottish border;
plus a little bit of Hadrian’s Wall.
TITFORD POOLS & CANAL BRANCH.
August 2012 – a short walk along a branch canal in the Black Country.
TWO BIRMINGHAM LOCALITIES, JUNE 2012.
A quick call to Kings Norton Local Nature Reserve, and a surprise on our re-visit to Sarehole Mill,
‘Ted Sandyman’s Mill’ of Tolkien fame!
MORE MEANDERINGS IN THE WEST MIDLANDS.
April, May & June 2012 were variable as regards weather, but a few visits to places of interest were made.
A SMALL MISCELLANY FROM SEVERAL PLACES.
Spring 2012 was very variable in weather – a heat wave in March, followed by dull & damp conditions.
But we still got out a few times!
THE STOURBRIDGE RAILCAR & CANAL.
The return to Stourbridge, specifically to travel on the Railcar from Stourbridge Junction to
Stourbridge Town; plus a few shots of the canal basin.
BRINDLEY PLACE THEN & NOW; & THE NETHERTON TUNNEL.
Also in February, we dug out some shots of the Birmingham – Worcester canal in the centre of Brum
which we took 40 years ago, and try to match them up with their appearance today.
Plus a walk through the Netherton Tunnel (Dudley) in ~1972.
RAMBLINGS IN THE WEST MIDLANDS.
Late in February 2012 we manage to get out and pay brief visits to Kenilworth Castle,
and also travel by train to Earlswood & Stourbridge Junction. Can we stand the excitement?
RAMBLINGS UP NORTH & LOCALLY.
We’re still slaving over the PC on our major discographical project – which meant that a cold and dull day
in early February 2012 was not the ideal time to fare forth with our cardboard pinhole camera;
but the desperate need for fresh air & reality prevailed…
TWO LOCAL NATURE RESERVES.
Two days of slogging in front of the PC was preceded, then followed, by visits to two more
nature reserves of the BBCWT (Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust). One is an old one,
one is very new. Why not check them both out by clicking on the little picture?
GROVE PARK, HARBORNE, BIRMINGHAM.
After slogging in front of the PC all morning, a short 45 minute wander around a local park
seemed a good idea, especially is it was a fine day. Also, I had promised a friend who used to live near here
many years ago, some photos of it – so here they are, Chas!
TWO SHORT WALKS IN & AROUND BIRMINGHAM.
Almost no people appear in our ‘Diary’ shots. We’re not sure why that is.
I suppose the countryside needs to be peaceful or something like that. However, we intrude
into the above image in order to give scale to the river by which we are standing.
What river? Click the image for elucidation!
A MISCELLANY OF PHOTOS FOR 2011.
I think we are slowing down or something. The last pictorial item in this diary is No. 34, and is dated 3rd January 2011.
It is now November 2nd, and no more have been added. What does it mean? Click the picture above to find out.
FAMILY SHOP IN SNOW HILL, BIRMIMNGHAM.
My father (unlike me!) was a successful businessman. Here is a photo. of one of his shops, and some memories of it.
THE CLENT HILLS; BUT MAINLY CROOME PARK.
Popping out for a walk up one of the Clent Hills to work up an appetite for breakfast; but most of this page
is about a visit on 2nd January 2011 to Croome Park, near Pershore, Worcestershire; a major restoration project by the National Trust.
IRONBRIDGE, PLUS A FLYING VISIT TO WROXETER.
Several visits would be necessary to take in this World Heritage Site, famous for its industrial development.
This was our first one, but we couldn’t resist going a few miles further on to see the Roman remains at Wroxeter.
KINGSWOOD CANAL JUNCTION.
A few shots of Kingswood, near Lapworth, where the Stratford-on-Avon and Grand Union canals are linked.
CATCHING UP – A MISCELLANY.
A number of visits to places that might
be of interest. King’s Norton canal junction; Wightwick Manor
Chedworth Roman Villa; Kinver Edge, plus a couple of butterflies.
WHAT IS IT LIKE UNDER SPAGHETTI JUNCTION?
undergoing the appalling tedium of going north (or south) on the M6 through the
So have I, especially when trying to join (or leave) the M6 at this Junction 6. Click on the above thumbnail to see what it’s like underneath.
MONKWOOD BIRD & BUTTERFLY RESERVE – EARLYJULY 2010.
A much delayed follow-up to our two visits in February and May 2008 – see 17 above. It was excellent to see a butterfly reserve
going full tilt as it were; the weather was sunny and at least 7 species were on the wing, some in abundance.
DIARY RESUMPTION – CANAL, TARDEBIGGE.
After a long period without much in the way of travel, walking and enjoying the outdoors, we have begun again in June 2010.
few shots along the
THE HARLEQUIN LADYBIRD IS HERE TO STAY…
A couple of years ago, somebody drew my attention to the advent of the Harlequin Ladybird in this country. About 18 months ago
I thought I saw one in southern Oxfordshire, and a couple of weeks ago another in my house. Today I saw many of them!
BUTTERFLIES: TWO NEW SPECIES IN THE POOR YEAR 2008.
After our débâcle – or fiasco, whichever you prefer 8^) – in searching for the Wood White butterfly
(see 17 below), is there anything that can be salvaged from this deplorable year?
Well, we did manage to photograph two species new to our camera during 2008…
A SHORT WALK IN THE WOODGATE VALLEY COUNTRY PARK, DECEMBER 2008.
Here we go again, a year later! These few photos. were taken on Boxing Day (26th December), when we ventured
forth for some fresh air. The air was very fresh indeed – we had not taken our gloves, and wished we had!
A SHORT WALK ON THE LICKEY HILLS, DECEMBR 2007.
What better way is there for a Brummie, of ‘Blowing away the cobwebs’ after Christmas 2007, by going for a bracing walk
on the nearby Lickeys? Even if we do end up in a city centre pub. listening to Jazz!
TWO VIEWS OF SNOW HILL STATION, ca. 1973.
In early January 2009, we made speed to fill some gaps in this Diary, and have used things from the past.
And have waxed nostalgic, as you will see if you bother to read this stuff.
LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL, DECEMBER 2008.
A brief excursion to the historic City of Lichfield to visit the cathedral.
THE 2008 QUEST FOR Leptidea sinapis.
Why would anybody want to see & photograph this small & generally inconsequential butterfly, the ‘Wood White’?
Well, I do; although I can’t exactly tell you why. With any luck, this page will chart the success or failure of this Quest.
We’re beginning early in the season!
A NATURE RAMBLE IN NORTH CORNWALL, LATE AUGUST 2007.
The 29th August to be exact. We were playing at the Bude Jazz Festival, but just had one session in the evening of Wednesday 29th.
Some good friends suggested a walk along the cliff path southward from Bude. These pictures were the result.
THE PONTCYSYLLTE CANAL AQUEDUCT.
A couple of photos. of this superb canal aqueduct, finished in 1805 (I think), which conveys the Shropshire Union Canal
over the River Dee valley, a few miles east of Llangollen, Wales.
THE TIME OF THE HETEROCERA.
After all the butterflies (well, three anyway…), it seemed to be the turn of the moths to present themselves compliantly
for photographs. But alas, the shooting of moths is far more difficult! Still, 3 common species are show here.
STILL MORE WILDLIFE.
A further expedition took us to the Harborne (Birmingham) Nature Reserve, where another Gatekeeper
butterfly was shot, plus a Speckled Wood, and Hogweed, complete with its almost obligatory Soldier Beetle…
MORE WILDIFE PHOTOS.
Emboldened by 7 above, I launched out on an alternative career as a photographer of wildlife. Here are shots
of the Gatekeeper butterfly, plus the Ivy-leaved Toadflax, the Red Admiral butterfly, and the Woody Nightshade, or Bitter-sweet.
An attempt - rather successful for an amateur I thought - at photographing a wasp, which I thought at first was a very big
Vespula vulgaris indeed, but which turned out to be Vespula germanica; which are large in any case.
THE BRANDWOOD TUNNEL.
A very brief description of the southern portal of this canal tunnel.
THE PEN ROOM; & Tyria jacobaeae
A short paragraph on how a bicycle ride led me to discover a small but excellent Birmingham Museum,
the observation of Ragwort, and the Cinnabar moth.
Reminiscences of lizards many years ago; and more recently, one which lived in my car for about a month, unharmed.
And better still, good photographs of the Common Lizard and the Sand Lizard, the only British species,
by permission of the photographers. (All 3 thumbnails link to the same page).
Encounters with, and observations of, crows over the years; and some thoughts resulting from these.
Page modified 28th December 2016.