Friday, 31 October 2014

Pestilence and Plague - Judas Priest

With overnight temperatures 'STILL' remaining unseasonably high, Moths STILL continue to be caught! The average nightly catch over the past week has been 68 Insects of 18 species from 4 traps, with the following showing some of the success rate.
 New to the 2014 List
 SATELLITE
and
 the diminutive migrant
 SMALL MOTTLED WILLOW
A regular and fairly common visitor to our shores,
but have any 'numbers' arrived so far this year?
While we thought it best to put 'Firsts' (of the year) things First,
we have caught a Moth, in the last couple of days, which outshines them all.

While these two 'colour varients' of
VESTAL
clearly indicate how different shades can be in this particular species, the
'Show Stealer'
surely has to be this one.
I am told that this 'tiny' migrant Moth can originate from as far south
as the North Africa and, as distance increased and by definition
temperature rises, so does the darkness of colouration.
To quote Skinner
Variation. Wild-caught specimens usually resemble one of the two forms figured;
however, in captivity temperature experiments with the Pupae will 
produce a wider range of dark brown and bright crimson colour forms.
On the strength of that it is assumed that our specimen either comes
from the Sahara Desert or Chiefies Laboratory next door?

FEATHERED THORN
 SPRUCE CARPET
and still a
SNOUT
about.
 ROBBERFLY Sp
was all from the traps, while
From the 'plague', which were mainly
 HARLEQUIN LADYBIRDS
 just an example of numbers that took less than 5 minutes to collect
from the front of Slight Return II.
 HARLEQUIN
and far smaller numbers of
 7-SPOT LADYBIRD
 During our daily visits to the Pond it has been found that the
Bird Table
 hasn't exactly been overwhelmed with veracious feeders.
However, just yesterday we had 2 new species not seen there before.
 Our 'fifth' species was an unexpected
 REED BUNTING
 followed a few minutes later by a long overdue
 CHAFFINCH
 MEADOW PIPIT
still remain but, like 'everything' else numbers are becoming much reduced.
LONG-TAILED TIT
meanwhile have not plucked up the courage to climb onboard,
 but more encouraging were the
GOLDFINCH
feeding on Redshank and 'taking' water from, and bathing in,
the boggy patch recently cleared of branches and bows.
 COMMON FROG
this one alive and kicking
 was caught and placed for the photo call.
BLACK NIGHTSHADE
now starting to 'blanket' the grassy areas around the Pond.
Regular readers may remember this
PUFFBALL
Lycoperdon lividum
featured a few days ago, well its progress has been monitored over
that period and this morning was found to be what might be described as
PUFFED-OUT
RUSSULA AUREA
video
TREMBLING ASPENS
simply thought this esthetically pleasing if nothing else.
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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Since I've Been Loving You - Led Zeppelin

 I've been working from seven, to eleven every night,
It really makes life a drag, I don't think that's right.
By and large the weekend was uneventful inside of Slight Return II, from where I hardly strayed except to tend the Moth Traps and pay my daily visit to the Irrigation Pond. Despite what has so far been a 'wet' October, overnight temperature continue to seek double figures keeping the Insects coming. Best on offer has been a lone
 BULRUSH WAINSCOT

which the 'book' tells me is just about at the end of its flight period
mid-July to mid-October.
the odd
SEPTEMBER THORN
has shown up along with what might be a 'third brood'?
 PALE MOTTLED WILLOW

The Migrant Micro
RUSTY-DOT PEARL
is still showing on a daily basis, while all else has included
this species of
CLICK BEETLE
one of 69 that exist in the UK plus
the 'tiniest' Beetle we have ever seen from the traps
a species of
LEAF BEETLE
thought to be
Chrysolina rufa
We send our thanks to John Gifford for identifying the Beetles.
After that I have been returning to the Memoirs which are cutting on apace but keeping me out of the bunk until gone midnight. Of the 250,000 words already committed to a jumbled mass, 30,000 of them are now in Ship's Book Number Order as part of the definitive document. Completing my deployment to HMS Keppel, on the final of 4 voyages inside the Arctic Circle during a 6 months period, the best was most certainly left until Last. During that trip I, along with 2 shipmates, set foot on Surtsey a volcanic Island that simply emerged from the sea (becoming part of Iceland's Vestmannaeyjar ("Westman Islands") and where since, no more than a handful of human being have been allowed to tread.With the practise of manning ship's boats being on a strict rotational basis, allowing each of us to gain practical experience, it was just my luck that I was 'bowman' in the Gemini Inflatable that day!
If this is not readable or expandable, you should be able
to left click and hold and drag the 'cutting' to desktop.
As the article goes on to say, we also assisted the Hull based Trawler Kingston Peridot (named partly from her home port, officially Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire and the semi-precious yellow-green Gemstone) and were 'in company' for about 2 days. During that time a few of us were lucky enough to visit the trawler, getting to know the 8 man crew and viewing some of the 'monsters from the deep'. The Captain and his crew showed their appreciation in 'Fish' mainly Cod but also the biggest Halibut we had ever seen. What the article doesn't say, and could have had no way of knowing this was to happen.

Subsequent to this, in 1968 while still in the Royal Navy and serving as a Submariner/Diver, news was received of the loss of 3 Hull Trawlers at, or near to, the very spot we had assisted the above. During our spell on Fishery Protection Duties we had come in touch with all of those vessels lost with the reports reading like this........

St. Romanus sailed from Hull on 10 January 1968 and the last firm contact with the vessel was a radio telephone call the same evening. However, despite a company policy that ships should report their position and catch details daily, the alarm was not raised until 26 January, after a number of failed attempts by the owners to contact the ship by radio. It was then discovered that a liferaft found on 13 January by another vessel had come from the St Romanus. A search began, but by 30 January the families were told that there was little hope for the vessel and her crew of 20. Later, at the official enquiry, it was stated that a mayday call from the ship had been heard on 11 January by another ship, but had not been passed on.
Kingston Peridot had also sailed from Hull on 10 January 1968 with a crew of 20, and by 26 January she was fishing off north-east Iceland in foul weather. She told another trawler by radio that she was having difficulties with ice build-up on the ship, and arranged to move east to join them, but no further contact was established and on 29 January one of her liferafts was washed ashore. This, with debris found subsequently, indicated that the vessel had sunk. News of her loss was received in Hull on 30 January, just as hope was fading for the crew of St. Romanus.
Ross Cleveland sailed on 20 January 1968, before the loss of the first two trawlers became known. She was bound for the north coast of Iceland with a full crew, but one man was put ashore for medical treatment, leaving 19 on board. Conditions were very poor and on 3 February, following a weather warning, she made for Isafjordur, a narrow and relatively sheltered inlet on Iceland's north-west coast. A number of other ships were there to wait out what became a long and exceptionally severe storm, with hurricane-force winds and blizzards, causing dangerous amounts of ice to form on the vessels' superstructure and radar. The Ross Cleveland's captain attempted to move her from a dangerous position to a safer one during the evening of 4 February, but the ship was overwhelmed by the wind and sea, capsized and sank. The last radio message received by the other ships was from the captain, and ran:- I am going over. We are laying over. Help me. I am going over. Give my love and the crew's love to the wives and families.
—Phil Gay, skipper of the Ross Cleveland.
 Although my Memoir, in the main, will only go to my 4 Grand Children, it is felt that at some time in the near future the tale of the rest of this memorable voyage will be shared with our Loyal Followers.
To Be Continued!
A 'sad demise', would seem likely that this is our resident
BANK VOLE
which has been living under Slight II for the past few months, and
showing itself from time to time when breaking cover to steal a Moth or two!
NOW, before we go any further it should be made quite clear that I have not started a
Birds Seen Perched on the Solar Panels at Parley Court Farm List!
but it is becoming quiet obvious that a diverse selection of species
are favouring them as simply perching posts or is there more to it??
Maybe the heat that they must gather has something to do with it?
 
 COMMON BUZZARD
 WOOD PIGEON
 STARLING (centre) with MISTLE THRUSH
 ditto - joined by a couple of
CHAFFINCH
 SPARROWHAWK
In addition Pied Wagtail, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest,
Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Collared Dove and Goldfinch
have also been seen perched there.
See, I am NOT keeping a List!
ROE DEER
at the 'Flight Pond'.
and
One for Roy/Janet
Looks every bit like a Hercules to me but strange livery?
and, it should be said, not much of a photograph.
and finally
video
One For The GALLS!
Breaking News!
At time of going to press, as well as listening to Led Zeppelin I,
we are also enduring a huge Ladybird Invasion.
There's got to be a Movie there surely?
You shook me baby!
Dazed and Confused!  
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