Saturday, 30 July 2011

Are You Going to Gooseberry Fair, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

A mammoth milestone was reached today as far as this blog is concerned as the 150th country joined our readership. I am further 'tickled pick' to announce that the country is Cuba a destination Andy Lindsay and I visited back in the late 90's a visit we still discuss to this day. A huge welcome is extended to our new readers and hope you will extend an invitation to you friends to become readers too! Thank You & Welcome.

Believing the readership was let down by the 'poor' images of Scaly Cricket yesterday, we aim to redress that by publishing this superb shot taken by my friend and fellow Wildlife lover Bob Ford.

After a couple of overnight showers of rain, it was thought that any overflying birds may have been forced to land but on an early walk to the Portland Bird Observatory there was nothing to photograph at all. However, despite the continuing overcast sky and the novelty of a south easterly wind, rarely experienced here, the day was about to take a dramatic change for the better.

With the Warden on holiday the helm has been handed to Professor Peter Morgan while tenure of the Moth Traps is being ably overseen by fellow member John Lucas. If that were not enough of a 'boost' to the day some dear friends had also arrived on their southerly and annual migration who it is always a bonus to spend time with.

Front left is Dave the Fungal Punk (, with daughter Katie and wife Gill behind, John Lucas (studying Moths) right and Simon and Deborah Earwicker in the background.

One of today's prized finds was this Dor Beetle and this is where The Punk comes into play. Apart from his love of that music genre, he also has a wide ranging knowledge of most things wild especially Fungi, Insects and Flora.

After identifying this magnificent creature, he went on to turn it over and show us the parasitic small Spiders that live on its underbelly.

With such a gathering, now joined by new friend Patsie Keen (right), a guided 'nature walk' was inevitable, and with the opportunity of visiting the Gooseberry Fair in the village of Weston later on. Even I could identify the first Butterfly to show up,

Red Admiral, but that was about my lot as Dave started to point out

White-lipped Banded Snail

Strawberry Clover (the dying flower heads taking the form of that fruit),


Pineapple Weed (named from its scent),

Hop Trefoil,

and Ivy Broomrape.

There was also on of the Arion Species of Slug, with Dave pointing out the small dark patch on the neck which is a ;breathing pore' while later on Barleycrates Lane we uncovered

this Ants Nest. Under the same boulder was an insect he called a Devil's Coach Horse, which he described as 'vicious' (Sid I wouldn't be surprised knowing Dave) which was all too quick for me to photograph.

This Swollen-thigh Beetle Odemara nobilus was seen on Hedge Bindweed

While what he described as a Marmalade Hoverfly - Episyrphus balteatus was a brand new species to all of us.

Finally, reaching the end of the lane, he pointed out Pellitory of the Wall a strangely named but common plant, before we joined the revellers

at the Gooseberry Fare.

The whether stayed dry and not too sunny

as the 'Award Winning' Juno Bellydancers took center stage

much to the delight of an attentive audience,

putting on a fine display of their art under the direction of Michelle Moss (front left).

Next on were The Second Edition Majorettes Troupe from Portland,

who's ages ranged from 7 to 14

and delighted the crowd with a few of their polished routines. There were also many other attractions, with the visitors winning all the prizes on the Tombola etc, consequently none of them have been invited back. Saying our goodbyes to the 'Punks', Simon, Debbie and I enjoyed a pint of cider together before I too departed to the mainland. There is a chance that I'll see these people again before they leave, but if not here's wishing them Bon Voyage and Be back Soon!

and finally having been 'pipped to the post' with the £75,000 bottle of Chateaux 'dYquem, I have some great news for one lucky reader who buys Stephen Williams' next exclusive offer. Yours for the bargain price of £600,000, I am available for 'tasting' at the drop of a hat.

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Château d'Yquem Vertical – 1890 to 2007

Château d'Yquem stands alone at the summit of the wine world. As the only wine to be classified as Premier Cru Supérieur (Great First Growth), it is ranked above all other Bordeaux wines, including all of the most legendary reds. Known for its exceptional purity and longevity, d'Yquem is a wine of unmatched luxury.
In the words of Managing Director Pierre Lurton, who we recently interviewed at the château, d'Yquem is defined by how fresh and lively it tastes, decades or even centuries after bottling. It is, as M. Lurton noted, 'pure cashmere.' This unusual vertical collection was acquired from the pristine cellars of one of our top private clients. It includes:
  • Single bottles of every Château d'Yquem vintage produced between 1890 and 2007.
  • A total of 107 consecutive vintages (excluding 1894 and 1897), all of which are in excellent condition.
  • The perfect, 100 point rated 1967 and 2001 vintages, as well as 25 vintages rated over 90 points.
This is the only vertical collection of this type currently available on the global market. Contact our wine experts to make it your own.

View the complete collection »