Clematis ''Multi Blue''
The daily grind.
Dusk at Birling Gap.
The dew on a spiders web defracting the sunlight as it vibrates in the wind.
Tree Nymph, Idea leuconoe.
Bald Eagle ''Haliaeetus leucocephalus''
Going for the ball.
Black Swan. (Cygnus Atratus)
The Cookmere Valley and South Downes.
Spider Orchids, taken in the tropical house at RHS Wisley.
Gardens and glasshouse RHS Wisley.
Mysterious lost shoes.
Hover fly (Epistrophe Grossulariae) on a yellow cone flower.
Don't mess with me pal.
End of the day.
A very old Yew tree (Taxus Baccata)
Portrait of Anne Bolyn, Queen to HenreyVIII.
Zelkova serrata, family Ulmaceae. Autumn/Fall Colours
British Officers Sword 1802>1812.
St Marys church, built in 1883 and desighned by William Burges in the gothic style. The choristers house is behind the church.
Magnolia stellata ( Star Magnolia)
Mother in laws pillow.
Geranium soboliferum with hover fly larva.
Black headed gull.
White Tailed Eagle.
Taken at Eagle Heights Raptor Centre.
The eastern elevation of the church.
Lonely as a cloud. oh no not another Daffodil.
Mamimillaria microthele superfine, family Cactaceae.
Buff tail bumble bee finds rich pickings on a cardoon.
The western range, the ground floor consisted of the celerium used for storage, above were the dormataries for the lay brothers. the door faceing with the three windows above was the lay brothers infermary. The corner of the building far right is the eastern guest house. The church entrance is far right hidden by the sweet chestnut tree
Black Tupelo foliage Autmn/Fall colors. Nyassa sylvatica is native to the U.S.A. it is also known as Black gum or Sour gum, when in flower it is very popular with bee's and its fruit is popular with many birds.
Echinopsis tarijensis, family Cactaceae
European beewolf wasp, Philanthus triangulum.
Single Eucomis flower.
Pennisetum villosum, family Poaceae.
Kniphofia, 'Lord Roberts'
Following in the footsteps of John Sargent in the TV series Britains first photo album I set out to replicate some images from the Francis Frith collection this image is ref 70176 in the collection, taken in the town of Cranbrook in the county of Kent S/E England. The Frith image was taken in 1921 and can be viewd on their website and found by entering the ref, number above. This image was taken with a 10mm wideangle lens
Early 1900s window in the arts and crafts style by Paul Woodroffe, the panels from the left are King David, The Virgin Mary, St Cecillia and the Archangel Michael. The four small lights at the top centre represents the four seasons from the left Sping, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The window was donated by Col, Alexander in memory of his Wife and three of his children, the Col, was a keen explorer and ornatholagist he was later killed in a dispute with local tribesmen in North Africa on the 2nd of April 1910.
Common Wood Pigeon, Columba palumbus.
Male common orb web spider with Queen ant.
Globe Thistle in flower, Echinops, family Asteraceae
Marmalade fly (Episyrphus balteatus)
Hibiscus rosa sinensis cooperi.
White Stork (Ciconia Ciconia)
Batemans near Burwash in East Sussex is the former home of the author,poet, and winner of the nobel prize for litrature Rudyard Kipling. The house was completed in 1634 by John Brittan a local ironmaster, Kipling purcased the house in 1902 on his return from the USA and lived here untill his death in 1936, his wife passed away two years later having left the house and most of it's contents to the National Trust. The house and gardens are open to the public and is a wonderful insight into Kiplings life with many artifacts on display, his studey is kept just as he left it, many of his great works were written here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bateman's
A buisy Bee.
French Marigold Tagetes patula 'Harlequin'
The inner courtyard of Hever castle.
Veronicastrum virginicum 'Fascination' family Scrophulariaceae the fly is Eristalix pertenax
This is one of the earliest representations of a carved wood Green Man it dates from the 13th century and is one of four carvings removed from the old chancel ceiling at St Dunstans church in Cranbrook Kent, they are mounted on a wall at the Western end of the Knave. The Green Man can be found in many old churches, Canterbury cathedral has 80 such representations, they are quite obviously Pagan in origin and believed to represent a woodland spirit depicting regeneration and the comeing of sping. The production of food would have been the most important factor governing these peoples lives, I guess they felt this guy was a governing factor in how productive their crops were. In its endevors to attract more people to the Christian fath the church must have decided to embrace this spirit rather than fight against it.
The bell ringers gallery is on the 1st floor of the tower overlooking the nave, 8 people are reqiured to ring all the 8 bells in this church the bell ropes can be seen in this image. The best way to think of it is as a single instrument with each note played by a seperate person and to sound harmonious no two bells should ring or clash at the same time. There are two basic styles of ringing the easiest is called a round where the bells are rung in a set sequence repeatedly either up or down the scale or in any order predecided by the ringers. The second is far more complicated and is called change ringing where the sequence is continuously changed this calls for a far greater element of skill from the ringers a seperate conductor or a member of the ringing team usually calls the changes. A full peal of bells is when every combination of the bells has been rung with 8 bells this can take over 3 hours to complete.
Adult Herring gull.
A Tulip called Banja Luka.
Peruvian Lilly. 'Yellow Friendship'. Alstroemeria.
Harts tongue fern and lady fern.
Longhorn moth. Adela reumurella. swarming round an oak in flower.
I loved the clean lines of this Tulip as I seem to have attracted a lot of attention from Eastern Europe this bloom I thought was appropriate it is called Perestroika
St Dunstans church and the town it serves are inextricably linked.
Cranbrook is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. Yet a village of sorts probably existed by then. The land around Cranbrook in the 11th century belonged to the Manor of Godmersham, owned by the monks of Canterbury. They were probably the founders of the first church here. It would have been wooden, and some records suggest it was built in the early 1030s and named after St Dunstan - England's most popular saint.
The earliest record of a parish priest, Gaufridius Forti, is from 1171. By his time we are fairly sure that a stone building was either built or under construction. This first stone building would have been much smaller than the present one.
During the 14th century the town changed dramatically and the church with it. In 1331 an Act of Parliament encouraged Flemish weavers to settle in England. Cranbrook was one of the places that benefited from their arrival also the local iron industry was going through very lucrative times . Soon a new stone church was under construction.
In the following years even this was improved and enlarged into the building we see today, the tower was completed in 1445. This image is of the Northern elevation.
Stone carved roof boss of the pagan diety the green man it is in the vaulted roof of the entrance porch to St Dunstans Church Cranbrook. There are many festivals held to this day in his honour with a member of the community dressing in natural greenery, folk music and morris dancing are usually included in the procedings.
This priceless window dates from the 15th century and depicts a narrative of Sir Robert Guilford a local Knight making his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I have not been able to find out if the window scene is relevent to this time or depicts an earlier event. At the time of installation this would have been a Catholic church.
The rather austere interior of St Dunstans church Cranebrook looking down the nave towards the choir, chancel and the beautiful East window.
I shot this pampas grass strait into the sun, I liked the way the backlight filterd through the various density and the contrast with the blue sky, well it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Cerus peruvianus monstrous.
Juvinile Herring gulls Larus argentatus,
Last week on treetuesday I shared the stump of an old sweet chestnut that had been destroyed by the great storm in 1987. Here is one that survived in the same park although it bears the scars of the wounds the storm inflickted on it with some sympathetic surgery it looks good for another few hundred years.
This is the Upper lighthouse in the town of Fleetwood in the county of Lancashire UK. Strangely it is not situated on a rocky outcrop but in the centre of a residential street. It is 93 feet tall 107 steps and a 10ft ladder have to be climbed to reach the light. This together with a smaller light house situated on the shore they are used to guide ships up the narrow channel between the dangerous sandbanks on the entrance to the port. Visible for 13 miles out to sea the ships helmsman would navigate to line up the two lights to ensure a safe passage into port.
Juvanile herring Gull.
Rose Black Magic ''Tankelcig''
St Dunstans church Cranbrook, the American connection. Robert Henrey Eddy was bourn in Boston in 1812 and died in 1887 he was a very sucessful civil engineer and was responsible for many great works in the Boston area, one being the dry dock at Charlestown navey dockyard. He was also into family history and was a founder of the American family history society, he traced his family history back to this church and donated this marble tablet along with three staind glass windows by Kempe. The tablet is frinely carved from the finest italian marble bearing the family crest,the lettering is in the old english alphabet and highlighted in gold guilt and the inscription reads as follows:-
"This Tablet and these three windows were dedicated by Robert Henry Eddy of Boston in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, U. S. A., to the memory of his ancestor, the Reverend William Eddye, M.A.,Vicar of this church from 1591 to 1616. Whose sons John and Samuel and whose daughter Abigail were among the Pilgrim settlers of New England and there implanted for the benefit of a numerous posterity the religious principles here taught them."
Hybred tea Rose ''Polly Frenshaw''
Two honey bee's on an Helinium.
I found this whispy dry grass growing on a rockey outcrop on a visit to Scotland last November most of the seed has dispursed and the light of the late afternoon sun was giving it a golden glow.
My Town sits at the foot of the South Downs National Park from the top of which this photo was taken. On the horizon is the Hastings Ridge some 16 miles away.
The bridge is in the Chinese garden at Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire for almost a century these gardens were negleted but the National Trust has undertaken the mammoth task of restoring them. This part of the garden was set out to replicate the storey of the Chinese willow pattern desighn which was popular on china from Victorian times. James Bateman who owned the property eventually had to sell up as he ran out of moneyas a result of building this garden and collecting plant species from around the world.
Comma butterfly on a Verbina.
The font at St Dunstans Cranbrook UK is in the earley Victorian Gothic style and was carved from a block of Caen stone in the 1850s. Caen stone is quarried in the Caen area of france formed some 170million years ago it is a very fine limestone ideal for carving. The font is used in the ceremoney of babtisam, an introduction into the church by way of annointing them with the holey water.
Attracted by the growing wealth in the community many people settled in the parish bringing with them non-conformist ideologies and setting up their own places of worship. At this time the congregation at St Dunstans was on a downward slide to combat this in 17101 the Rev John Johnson in a bid to win back support built a full submersion font, it met with little success the records show it was used only once, it's comparison to being an upright coffin probably didn't help.
The fine marbe on the wall behind is by Hamo Thorneycroft, it is a memorial to a local artist of the Royal Academy Thomas Webster 1800-1886.
The river Cuckmere meanders through it's peacefull valley towards the sea. There is strong evidence of human occupation from as early the Neolithic (late stoneage) period about 12.000 years ago. As part of the river is tidal to prevent flooding in periods of heavey rainfall wide embankements or levees have been built to stop the land being contaminated by salt water. So as not to exacerbate the problem a seperate drainage system has been put in to drain the land of excess rain water.
Here he is!! I went for spot metering to make sure of capturing as much detail as I could.
In my opinion this is one of our most pretty wild flowers it is considerd an invasive species in some areas and is common throughout Europe and North America. In the UK it is commonly known as blueweed or more technicaly Vipers Bugloss, the latin name is Echium vulgare, the flower spike can reach up to 30 inches high in the right conditions. Prefering an alkaline well drained soil it does well on the chalk hills of the South Downes.
I had been at this lake all afternoon without much doing then as the sun began to set this pair of Canada geese came into roost loudley sounding off, with only a small gap through the trees to make the shot I ended up with this panned image, not perfect but with no time to change settings a 60th of a second had to do.
With a storm front comeing in over the Irish sea I was about to cut and run when this gull landed right in front of me, as we were still in bright sun he really stood out against the dark clouds.
The last of the windows by Kempe in the grand old church St Dunstans in Cranbrook UK, the main panels from left to right are Jerimiah, David and Isaiah.
This is a armillary sphere sundial dateing from about 1710 it is an asronomical instrument used to measure the altitude of the sun the moon and the stars from which it is possible to calculate the time and lattitude. Behind is a topary chess set in the Tudor style which is 100 years old and planted with golden Yew.
Deciding I needed some photo therapy yesterday I took a short drive to this lake it is a very popular spot for migrating water fowl and I was hopeful of finding something unusual. I decided to get off the beaten track and explore the more remote areas the ground was very uneven and muddy as well as being very overgrown, but I was lucky spotting a pair of Great crested Grebe but after observing them for more than an hour no clear shot was possible due to the very wide reed beds and it was too late in the year to witness their spectacular mateing ritual. The sun was beginning to set as I made my way back, on route was a bench so I took the opportunity to sit and just enjoy the surroudings then this covoy of Canada Geese appeard as if from nowhere.
This electricity pylon is visible in the distance from a road I frequently use and the Cormorant's have been using it as a roost for a number of years. As I was in the area I thought I would check it out in the hope of getting in close with the lens I had with me, unfortunatly it was sited on an island in the middle of a lake and getting close enough was impossible so I have had to crop heavily. On talking to a nearby angler he said he had seen several birds go down in flames as they had accidentaly touched the structure while pearched on a live wire, much like the one doing an angel of the North impersination. The collective noun for Comorants is a flight I think a Stupidity of Cormorants would be more appropriate.
The European marsh or swamp Thistle ( Cirsium palustre) can grow up to a height of over 7ft it has since spread to parts of the US and because of it's copious seed production it can become very invasive.
This is the last of the windows from St, Dunstans church in Cranbrook UK and is one of the earliest, the six main panels show act's of generosity and compassion associated with the Christian faith. At the top of each of the three main windows is a bishops mitre and two white roses of the House of York. The two small outer windows show the red rose of the House of Lancaster, of the four central windows the two outer ones have at the top three Ostrich feathers mounted in a coronet which is the heraldic symbol of the heir apparant (next in line to the throne) which can be traced back to the Black Prince or Edward of Woodstock as he was known. Unfortunatly he died a year before his father so never became king, his son Richard was to become RichardII king of England. Edward of Woodstock (the Black Prince) was buried in Canterbury Cathedral in 1376 at the age of 45.
RichardII of York ruled untill 1399 when his cousin Henry of Lancaster deposd him of the throne causing much dissent amongst Richards supporters. This gave rise to sparodic armed clashes between the two houses which resulted in open warfare in 1455 in what is known as the war of the roses.
The two vey small windows contain a single feather and the one between them a crown adorned with ostrich feathers I am certain these small details tell a diferent storey to the main theme of the six main panels.
Mr and Mrs Red Soldier Beetle.
Geranium pretense 'Mrs Kendall Clark'
Speckled Bush Cricket.
Kempe window St Andrews Alfriston.
Gaura Lindheimeri, 'Whirling Butterflies'
Speckled Wood (Male)
Echniacea 'Alba' with Marmalade fly.
After the wedding ceremony all the guests were standing and talking, one of those occasions where old friends and family are re-acqainted. I noticed this young girl wondering aimlessly amongst the old grave stones when suddenly with a sense of purpose she quickly walked directly to this stone about 20 yards ahead, she stood looking at it for a while as though carefully reading the inscription. Raising my camera to capture this rather touching moment a voice next to me said thats my daughter, by now the girl had squatted down to read the lower part of the stone. Not wanting to miss the shot I asked if she minded me takeing the photo which I may make public pointing out that her face would not be seen, no objection was made so here is the result.
The big question is why was she drawn to that one particular grave out of the hundreds that exist in this ancient church yard with such enthusiasam. I asked her mother if she had been here before or was there any family connection both replys were negative, next I asked if her daughter could read ''hardly'' was the reply ''she is still at the cat and dog stage with her reading''
Every time I look at this image I have to ask myself the same question.