Published on Sunday, June 19 2011
Well, summer has never really arrived this year. Nevertheless, most of our guests have found bright intervals to enjoy the area. The last few days have been rain-free which has allowed guest Martin Kessel ( www.kessel.co.uk ) to exercise his photographic skills to great effect. We think he was slightly taken aback to find he didn’t actually need to leave the house to get great shots of the nesting Harriers, Buzzards, deer etc. He was really lucky to capture some of the “action” when a marauding Buzzard took too much interest in the tasty meal presented in the Harriers’ nest and was aggessively seen off by the parents. One photo in particular captured the action, with the Buzzard inverting to protect itself from attack from above ; see -
Martin now hopes to return to “capture” the young Harriers after they fledge in a couple of weeks, always assuming they stay close to the house, as they did last year.
The work we did to slightly re-design and re-plant the garden two years ago has paid off, with spaces filling in rather quickly. It seems to have been a blaze of colour for months now. This should continue for some time, with the Mock Orange and Poppies in particular about to join in. We took part in the Village Garden Open Weekend last week, to celebrate the village’s 200th Anniversary, and it seemed to have been a great success, raising over £2000 for Marie Curie. Particulary appreciated seemed to have be the giant Hostas, Iris and Heucheras, but the star attraction was Granny’s giant African Violet.
Talking of flowers, the 100 year old Lady’s Slipper Orchid appeared again (http://www.cumbria-wildlife.org.uk/ladys_slipper.html), having survived yet another attack after it flowered last year, and the new young plants in Gait Barrows from Kew seem to be prospering. The Birds-eye Primroses, close to the lake, don’t seem to have fared quite so well this year. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primula_farinosa)
Finding the cospicuous black and yellow caterpillars of the Mullein Moth on our, err, Mulleins for the first time this year brought home just how delicate the balance is between surviving and not in the world around us, and how much wild life depends on what we do. We would like to see more caterpillars on nettles in the area………….
That’s about it for the moment, except to say that Otter pug marks have been seen around the lake again – but no sight of the animals yet. Also no sightings of the Osprey this year, but we have heard rumours that Natural England are thinking of building a nesting platform by the lake, the timing of which may be apposite, in view of what we have heard about the probable killing of three males at Rutland Water.