Friday, April 15, 2011

Two walks and a prize (maybe) question....

Up nice and early this morning, it wasn’t the intention to have two walks today but hey, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. To be honest I’m still getting bouts of melancholy and then the Grumpster threatens to raise his ugly head (not that I’m an oil painting myself!).

So to try and dispel the feeling that the black clouds were about to gather I bundled the Warthog into the car and hot footed (hot wheeled?) it to Nercwys woods for a little sornter. The woods were eerily quiet and to be honest I was a tad disappointed at the lack of opportunity for one of my rare (OK basically non existent) wild animal shots. Although ‘YLB’ did her best to oblige, she’s turning into a real companion upon the trials with a bond of trust building up between us.


One thing of note is that there looks as if there’s going to be a decent crop of Bilberries this year, judging by the flowers on display.


Oh at this point a shall offer this weeks mystery object for you to identify;-



Just saying drain pipe will not get you any prizes as that’s too bleedin’ obvious my friends. What I require from you is the actual purpose of these pipes tied about five feet high on the trunks of the pine trees. Prize will differ depending upon what you ask for and if I can be bothered ;o) although sensible requests will be heeded (as long as the answer is correct – no chance me thinks ha ha).

So arrived home, just checking out the blogs and face book when I received a request, well more like a bloody command, to write a post because….  Well never mind the reason but it was a good one. Looking at what I had to offer you fine, upstanding folk I doubted that it would hold to much interest for you so taking the easy way out I thought ‘bugger that’ I'm off out again! (Really should have got on with me chores you know!).

This time I headed for the deserted quarry that has recently been ‘landscaped’ (very much with nature in mind) just the other side of Hedre (first mentioned here). The first thing of note just yards from where I’d abandoned the fun cruiser was signs of death. 



I first took it as being the feathers of a luckless Wood Pigeon, common enough here, but closer inspection revealed a surprise. The remains were that of a Jay, an unusual find as a victim, this made me think that the predator responsible would likely be a sparrow hawk, certainly a raptor as the quills were pulled clean out and not chewed off.


The difference in this walk to the early morning stroll was palatable, with much more flowers and plants straining for the attention of the bees that were plentiful (a most welcome sight). I could tell that there were at least three different species of bee, but you know by now that inept John here failed to take one decent photograph of any of them (YLB helped not at all be sticking her nose in every time I lined one up, you little bugger..).









Leaving the wooded trail we shortly came across the old quarry site. It is truly a breath of fresh air to see wildlife orientated landscaping such as this, with a truly diverse mix of wild planting. At this time of year there were plenty of signs of the area waking up and its potential for wildlife habitat looks to be terrific.
Moel Famau in the far distance








See wildlife..way hay...

We headed back to the fun cruiser with an idea forming in my tiny brian, and that is to next week, betwixt the grind shifts, head here before first light leaving YLB behind in the hope of getting some actual half decent wildlife pictures to share with you – well it’s got to happen sometime, hasn’t it?



In the mean time I haven’t just been walking to clear my head, oh no indeedy. My brother in law Wayne (him with Celt) espied my walking staff the other week and has since brought two for me to repair, the thumb stick (replacing the ‘oh I’m a country type but bloody useless shotgun cartridge feral' for a stainless one) for him and the shorter hazel stick for a mate of his, brass feral to be machined and fitted. Seizing the chance for a barter I've taken them on, the thumb stick is finished and in use whilst I've got some more work on the hazel – but the barter? only several bottles of ‘Old Rosie’ cider coming my way, result me thinks.








Whilst I’m in such a benevolent mood if any requests for staffs and sticks are forth coming I’m open to negotiation, and I’m sure that we can come to some arrangement ;o). Well that just about wraps up this post my friends, till next time, cheers for dropping by and take good care of yourself and yours.



Your friend,

John



22 comments:

Kath said...

That's funny because I was sorting through a pile of stuff (you know when you move house and run out of patience and just tip the drawer contents into a moving box). I came across some beautiful feathers that I must have picked up on a walk before we came here. Now I know they are jay feathers.

Rachelradiostar said...

HUUUUUUUUUGE Post! I have an achey scrolley downey finger now!

Hope you didn't pick those dandelions, my nanna said you wet the bed if you pick dandelions! I never ever picked one in my childhood, but I did let someone else pick one and dab the stem on a wart on my finger - it cured it. I think the sap is pure salycic acid???

As always, with the photos I feel like I've been walking with you! My legs are knackered now! Time for a brew :)

Murphyfish said...

HI Kath,
Glad to be of help :o)

Hey Rach,
Bed wetting? don't need the dandelions for that me dear...

gpc said...

I don't suppose the tube is intended as a nesting place for frogs? Aliens would be my second guess, of course. I have a new appreciation for feathers since I took my fly tying class!

Murphyfish said...

GPC,
Nice try but no banana - no tree frogs in dear ol' blighty I'm afraid. Fly tying? good job I brought those feathers home then...

Meanqueen said...

I have lots of yellow flowers like that, in my garden. Don't know what the tube is for :o(

Rachelradiostar said...

My entry into the 'what is the post in the tree' competition is I think I saw something on Countryfile/ spring/Autumnwatch where this man was counting stoats/martins/weasels - and they had a tube up a tree with sticky stuff on and bait and when the creature went through - hairs stuck to the sticky tape thereby identifying that such a creaturte was in those parts.

Murphyfish said...

Meanqueen,
It'll be round to yours then for dandelion tea.....

Bloody hell Rach,
Now I thought this would have had folk stumped :O(, but oh no, ol' Miss smarty pants has to blow it after only a few comments. Yep the pipes are for taking hair off..... squirrels in Nercwys woods in an attempt to identify numbers .. sulking now.

Bob Mc said...

Well someone went and blew my chance at the prize by posting the correct answer. I was going to say some kind of an insect trap. We see them around here, mostly around old abandon apple orchards. They are intended to catch fruit flies, an invasive species, if they are prevalent in the area.

Badger Watching Man said...

Beat me to it!

I was going to say it's a squirrel hair trap.

Have you got Red Squirrels in your neck of the woods then John? That's a wildlife shot worth going for! In the meantime, those Jay feathers must be good for something. I don't know what. Maybe trout flies or maybe just putting in your hat.

All the best

BWM

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

Oh, no fair. I TOTALLY knew that answer! (Liar, liar, pants on fire - I had no clue, but wanted to pretend I did) I LIKE winning prizes! :)
Beautiful photos - love the feathers and the dandelion the best. My first dandelion of the season! Thanks for that. Keep the grumpies at bay - or wallow if it will help. Or, just drink more cider!

Murphyfish said...

Hi Bob,
A short lived competition to be sure - I must try harder next time (sounds just like my school report)

Hello BWM,
Now that's a challenge - how long have I got? We have them but numbers are uncertain although low..

Murphyfish said...

Cheers Laurie,
Ok due to public demand competition time will become a regular feature on Musings (oh god my heads gonna get some scratching)
Glad you like the photos me dear.

Casey said...

That is NOT a squirrel trap - somebody is not completely satisfied with the wind through the pines and is attempting to make a flute that is played by the wind itself! (see the reed?)

I'm here all week...

Nice shots of the forest floor - I'm noticing ours greening up over here and it sure is calling. The wildflowers are inspiring!

Thank you John! Take care my man -

Casey

Murphyfish said...

Well Casey,
if there were to a prize for the most imaginative and apt answer...
Cheers my man, going to mail you later in the week, take care my friend.

Le Loup said...

I can only think of two things that it could be from personal experience. 1) if it is high up the tree out of reach, then it is probably a nesting box. 2) if it is not out of reach it is a mail box.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/

Shoreman said...

Hi John. Good thing Rachel guessed right because I had no clue. I thought some type of bird house, but that was the best I could come up with.

Mark

Gorges Smythe said...

The forestry folks on this side of the pond use triangular cardboard tubes to trap gypsie moths and such to get counts. Perhaps they're using more substantial tubes in your area.

moschops said...

Its a goblin tracking device, to track goblins. The goblin snaffles through the pipe and the tracking device gets caught on it and can therefore be tracked by Brian Froud so he can add it to his goblin identifying book.

Sorry to all those people who think its for the wildlife. Thats what THEY want you to think...

xx

Murphyfish said...

Moschops,
I'm becoming a tad concerned following your comment, are you feeling ok? :o)And who the devil is Brain Froud?

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Lovely spring flowers to an eye who has seen exactly 1 flower this spring in Montana. I've not seen a pipe wired to a tree before, but I'd take a guess or two. A shelter for the squirrels? A container to encourage nesting by a particular bird? It looks like there is a piece of wood inside, could it be a Bat box?

Damn The Broccoli said...

Murphy my good man, Brian Froud is the genius behind the conceptual art of the Labyrinth. One of the finest films every made in my humble opinion. He also wrote Lady Cottingley's Book of Squashed Fairies.

I personally think it is where the papers and post get left for the squirrels.

Excellent post, I have many of the yellow flower also but they get put to use in our house, blog idea coming up methinks.