Category Archives: wildlife

Paint Party Friday: Birds and other animals

I am extremely proud to present my sister Caroline’s paintings.

She sent me an entry for into our One-A-Week Photo Challenge, this week’s prompt is BIRD, and I knew she had been painting so asked her to send me some pics of her paintings too – Wow! So glad I did

I’m wondering if this magnificent chap will appear in a painting before too long. Caroline tells me she photographed him at Come to Good Farm in Cornwall.

I’m lucky enough to have two sisters, and now they have both appeared on my blog this week: Sue who I am going to Chelsea Flower Show with and Caroline. We are all quite creative, I think we get it from our Mum.

Caroline is on Instagram @clthistlethwaiteart, where you can keep up to date with her latest works, which include silver jewellery as well! She has only just started sharing her work in this way and I know it would give her a tremendous boost you to take a look and leave a message.

She also sells greetings cards and some prints.

I’m joining this post in with Paint Party Friday.



plain grey pelican

diving into the shallows

small fry for breakfast

A joy whilst on Nevis was to watch the pelicans diving near the shore on my early  morning shell hunts

Joining in with Ronovan’s weekly Haiku Challenge, prompts PLAIN and FAST


combining it with our One-a-Week Photo prompt for this week of BIRD.

Cathy and I compiled the list for the year, just for fun. Join in as and when you like using new or archive blog posts. We love to see your take on the subjects – always a fascinating variety. Leave a link in the comments to be included in the Round-up.


My entry for our One-a-Week Photo Challenge

Golden Rock, Nevis, Caribbean

We were told that this was the best place to eat on Nevis – what a place.

Gorgeous gardens

fabulous cocktails


sumptuous burger with obligatory Rum Punch for my friend L

and a Conch Chowder for me, (with pink and orange napkins) Yumsk!

Then masses of arty stuff, which was right up my street

side tables made of plastic rubbish set in a solid foam  – now … could I do this with some of my beach finds I wonder???? Hmmmm … must find out more.

I want that green chair!

I want to make that lampshadeHad to go for a sit down – I was getting over excited!

An Antillean Bullfinch came to see if we had any crumbs to spare.

So romantic …….


spying from my seat

beach activities below

wonderful delight


Our Photo Challenge Week 15 : LUNCH

Ronovan’s Haiku prompts (10th April): WONDER and SPY


Two weeks in the Caribbean! Lucky me!

I’m playing catch-up. Thank you so much Cathy for keeping the Photos purring along.

I can’t just leave out the two weeks of our One-a-Week Photo Challenge I missed – not after nearly three years of weekly postings, so I will be catching up with a couple of posts today.

A few more scenes from that balcony – not a bad place to sit and have lunch 😉

Looking towards St Kitts

Pelicans bobbing on the water in the early morning light

diving for fish

the boys going snorkelling



storm brewing

Click on any photo to see it larger.

I was staying at The Hamilton Beach Villas which were beautiful, but not quite what they promise on their website. No Spa. When we questioned this we were told that they “had got a bit over enthusiastic on their website” !

There seemed to be a lot of that going on in the Caribbean. Often when travelling I have found people tell you what they think you want to hear – anyone else had that experience?

October Birthday Blooms


It was my daughter’s birthday yesterday, so I picked what my garden had to offer. A rather strange mix of colours, but definitely autumnal.

They sit in a metal jug that has ‘Made in Yugoslavia’ printed on the base – a bit of European history as Yugoslavia no longer exists. What a complicated story that piece of the world has.

I have included leaves of Liquid Amber and the berries of this shrubdsc_0003


Can anyone tell me what it is? Cathy?

Joining Cathy’s garden party over on Rambling in the Garden which a such a wonderful celebration of flowers in bloom all over the world

I included Pheasant berriesdsc_0041



And self-sown astersdsc_0040

which are a-buzz with flies and bees at this time of year

I’m hoping someone can identify this bee


Murtagh’s Meadow will know, I’m sure.

I’ve learnt from her website that many bees are identified by their bums! – so here it is..


The butterflies love it toodsc_0009

And at night I see little pale moths flitting around it. My front garden is a mess by my neighbour’s standards but it really is a wildlife haven and I love it.

I had to include one of my favourites, Schizostylis – has this got a prettier common name?


It’s fairy’s skirt of a flower deserves a better name. I love the twist of the buddsc_0035

and the tint and pattern of the stalk carrying the waiting blooms.

Today she is dancing in to Cee’s Flower of the Day.




Vase OM and EoMV


Pan guards the entrance

flowers celebrate wildness

and happy buzzing bees


The little stone statue of Pan was found in a reclamation yard many years ago, and then found again yesterday whilst I was weeding, hidden under some rampant aquilegias. I thought he would be better placed guarding the fairy entrance to the underworld under the oak tree, but first he had a job to do – modelling as the prop for this week’s In a Vase on Monday, hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Pop across for a gorgeous floral feast and a tour of gardens across the world.


In the Vase: lavender, birdsfoot trefoil, cerinthe, lychnis, alchemilla mollis, and a purple thistle-flowered weed that I don’t know the name of, much loved by tiny bees.

My Flower of the Day is the BFT


with its tiny visitor


I’m staying in the garden to show you my EOMV hosted by Helen, The Patient Gardener

DSC_0006 (1)

Still lots to do but I’m getting there. I have moved a veg trug into the cage to get away from marauding sparrows. The wood was rotting so I have treated it and it awaits compost and plants.

Below is the view looking from East to West, complete with old bits of carpet keeping the strawberries clear of the soil.DSC_0003 (1)

The Autumn fruiting raspberries seem determined to take over the world – their lush growth is wonderful to see.

DSC_0005 (1)

On Cathy’s advice I did not cut back last year’s canes in February and I am getting a lovely early raspberry crop – Yum!!!! They are a bit smaller than last year and a bit more difficult to find under all the new growth, but worth it for being early.

The loganberry is magnificent and I have already had a few berries. It seems very happy with its north-facing position.DSC_0008 (1)

At last some decent gardening weather has turned up so I’d better get out there and clear more weeds.

Thanks for dropping by.

Photo Challenge Round Up: NATIVE


Mint moth on

pear leaf after rain

a welcome sight


As far as I can discover the Mint Moth is native to the British Isles. This one was a visitor to my garden this week. So tiny.

Also going Native this week:

Jane at Rainbow Junkie……. …………… ………juicy

Cathy at Nanacathy…….. ……. ……….. …….crafty

💜 me at Wild Daffodil……… ……… ……….  weedy

💜 Melissa at The Aran Artisan ……………..singing

⭐️ Denis at Haiku Hound…….. ……….. …  friendly

Christina A Look at the Little Things …….  goosey

Dorris at Dig with Dorris ………… …… …   admiral

The 💜 denotes a post that is also joining in with Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge – it’s fun to combine the two. Click on the link to see his review of the week’s wonderful haiku collection using the prompt words: FRESH and WIND

Miss E (aged8) asked me what the prompts were this week and wrote this poem

fresh wind

fresh wind

blows in my face

fresh wind

fresh wind

sometimes in disgrace

fresh wind

fresh wind

makes a lovely sound

fresh wind

fresh wind

blows sand around


When I asked her to tell me a bit more about the wind being in disgrace she said she that is because the wind does damage and  “You don’t like it when it’s windy Granny”. She’s right, I don’t!

The ⭐️ denotes a post with a poem or haiku written to go with the photo, but not using  prompt words.

Please let me know if I have missed anyone

Thank you everyone for all the NATIVE entries.

Join in this week the next Photo Prompt is


(if only the weather would oblige)

You can join in the Photo Challenge any time, click on the link to find out how to and see all the subjects for the weeks ahead.


Hare Haiku


hare stares back

when captured in paint

wildlife tamed


Watercolour by my sister, C.T.

Encouraged by Denis (see his comment in the last post) I just had to have a go at a 3/5/3 haiku:

the two sentences working like this –

hare stares back when captured in paint

when captured in paint wildlife tamed

‘Tamed’ isn’t quite what I mean, but I can’t get a word that suggests we can now spend as long as we like looking at a normally elusive creature.

Any suggestions?

Hare and Morning Clocks



These are a couple of watercolour paintings done by my very talented sister!

She has just tentatively started to exhibit and sell her paintings, limited edition prints and cards at this local exhibition and an art gallery.poster

Please ‘like’ if you do like so that I can send her your encouragement – she has many other beautiful paintings waiting in the wings.


Any ideas?


I’ve never seen a caterpillar close to this size before!

Presumably it is going to turn into a moth.

Anyone know what it is and what it eats to get to that size. I found it on my garden path.


In a Vase on Monday – herbaceous perennials

Our local garden centre is having a half-price sale of Herbaceous Perennials

I needed to snip off the flowers of some of them before planting and these blooms made it into this week’s Vase

DSC_0634 DSC_0635 (1)

A Chinese ‘foxglove’

DSC_0636 (1)

A delicate lilac coloured scabiousDSC_0636 DSC_0641DSC_0644

A Catananche, which can be used for drying apparentlyDSC_0647

A deep crimson scabious
DSC_0648and a few othersDSC_0641 (1)I’m looking forward to seeing if any of them come into flower again this summer, or will I have to wait til next year.

And does anyone know the name of this little beauty who was on my ceiling today.

Update: I think it is a ‘Small Magpie’

Food: The larvae feed on stinging nettles, mint and bindweed. The caterpillars remain hidden from predators by feeding inside a rolled up leaf.

DSC_0640 (1)Pop across to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see other wonderful vases from around the world.


DSC_0676Slugs leave leaves in tatters

I want to be rid of slugs

But they feed hedgehogs


Inspiration for Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge this week eluded me until I was wandering around my garden this morning and noticed the pesky slugs and snails have been at my irises and saw the leaves in TATTERS, the other word for the challenge is WANT and when I thought of that the Haiku wrote itself.

Haiku, so I have learnt, are traditionally inspired by nature so this one pleases me and the two sentences work in isolation – phew!:

Slugs leave leaves in tatters, I want to be rid of slugs.

I want to be rid of slugs, but they feed hedgehogs.

What else do British Hedgehogs eat: click on this link to find out.

Click here for Ronovan’s review of all the amazing Haiku.


Look who came and sat in the oak tree at the bottom of my garden todaybuzzard I thought it was too small to be a buzzard, and luckily I had my camera by my side, so  I took masses of pictures (garn! I need to get a better zoom lens)Hawk flight

look at those wonderful wing markingshawk landhe/she landed on the edge of the field

hawklftand gave me some great shots to identify it as a buzzard. They look much bigger when soaring in the sky.

I like to look in ‘Medicine Cards’ by Jamie Sams and David Carson, when animals make a strong or unusual appearance:

“Hawk may be teaching you to grab an opportunity which is coming your way…or bringing you the message that you should circle over your life, and examine it from a higher perspective. ….. Hawk has a keen eye and a bold heart”

Always good to look at things from a higher perspective.

And as coincidence would have it, a friend shared this on FB today 158378_nnice synchronicity


Buzzard in oak tree                                                                                                   Surveys the scene with hawk eyes                                                                              Then swoops to the ground

Chaffinch Haiku

This Haiku journey is fantastic! The excitement of learning a new craft and discovering more and more – and thanks to a wonderful response from Maia to my last post, I am now trying to form the Haiku according to this part of her comment:

“I’ve found that working with another rule has drastically improved my haiku. Traditionally, the first and second lines are supposed to form a complete concept/idea/image/emotion, and the second and third, another. What makes the poem is how they work together. I think I got a piece of that idea in this one:

In the mid-day rain
Three goldfinches bicker
Over damp thistle”

Isn’t that beautiful!

The excitement I feel is the same thrill I get working out a new knitting or crochet pattern, or craft experiment – I feel fireworks of joy going off in my brain, in my synapses, in my toes, fingers and just everywhere! I just had to look ‘synapses’ up to see if I got that right and in the definition was this description:

“When all your synapses are firing, you’re focused and your mind feels electric.”


Anyway – here goes

Chaffinch 6

sunrise meets the oak                                                                                              branches in a soft pink glow                                                                                       frame for a chaffinch


nearly there?                                                                                                                  Thank you Maia!


Great Aunt Sue (my sister) arrived, full of energy and enthusiasm determined to build ‘the biggest sand castle ever!’.

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of this magnificent construction as on the evening of her arrival we ordered the very worst Chinese Take-away any of us has ever had and I spent the whole night being very ill indeed – next day I slept.

So thank goodness for GREAT (!) Aunt Sue as they all went off to build enormous castles on Newgale beach and had a lovely day.

Next day there was a raft race across Solva harbour which we went to watch,



again no photos of the actual race as R got a bit bored waiting for things to happen, and I still wasn’t feeling great so he and I went back to the cafe and shared a bowl of chips.

Sue and E loved the event though and were full of all the antics of the 10 teams who had to build a raft and collect a passenger from the other side of the harbour.

We celebrated what would have been our Dad’s 92nd birthday by eating some delicious, fresh caught crab and lobster – his favourite.


Sue had gone on a mission to discover locally caught shellfish and found one down a side alley in Upper Solva. This is just what our Dad would do, at home in Dorset, when we were on holiday in UK or in Portugal.  He’d search out local fishermen and often persuade them to take him out fishing with them. He’d come home beaming from ear to ear with a glorious haul of beautiful fresh fish for supper.

For a small village, there are some interesting shops in Solva, my daughter had a great time in Window on Wales and found some really nice clothes and some presents. 

In Simon Swinfield’s Gallery I admired a delightful nightlight burner, and my lovely sister  bought it for me as a gift for inviting her to join us – she was having such a wonderful time reliving happy childhood memories digging on the beach.


I couldn’t wait to light it when I got home, and surround it with the shells the children had collected. It throws a very romantic light on the little carving of a buddha that I got in Mid-Wales some years ago.

One evening the children were far too lively to go to bed so we took them to another little cove near St. David’s called Caerfai

Here are some pics I took a couple of years ago, in better light


and when the tide was out00cpo

there is a nice long steep climb down to the beach


this time, it was windy and the tide was in when we went, with waves crashing on the rocks. It felt a bit spooky, we looked for pebbles for Mamgu (my Mum – Mamgu, pronounced Mam- gee with a hard ‘G’ is the Welsh word for Granny) and found the egg of a dog fish

00dogfwhich E and R were a bit scared of and thought it looked more like a monster egg or an alien egg.

We found a picture of a dogfish on the internet later – which looks disappointingly benign



I’ve no idea if this is the same type of dogfish as the egg layer.

We had a truly wonderful, magical time in Wales and although the journey home took us 8 hours, with exercise stops with the little ones, we all loved it and hope to return together sometime.


Another one for you Lizi

Look who came to visit today

zmothAnd sat very obligingly on the lily, that is just outside my front door, while I went to get the camera and didn’t seem to mind being photographed at all



I wouldn’t be surprised if it has Zebra somewhere in its name,

but boy is he handsome!

Can you tell me the name of this moth?

I have been bemoaning the lack of moths around recently and was delighted to see this little beauty on my bedroom ceiling this morning


It is about 2cm long and slightly more corally pink in colour than the picture.

A quick search on the net has not revealed it’s name so if you know – I’d love to hear from you.

There seems to be a bit of a wildlife theme running at the mo ……. hmmm … it must be Summer!

Update: 9.Aug.

Hurray! A lovely friend has found the Moth in one of her son’s old creepy crawly books!

It’s a Rosy Footman – what a gorgeous name!

Thank you so much Liz – I love a mystery solved!

Having found the name I then wondered how this beautiful little pink moth had come by its name. On this Cumbrian website I found this explanation

By the 1770’s a few hundred species had been identified and it must have become harder to think up obvious names, so the Gentlemen entomologists turned to Georgian dress codes for their names. So here we get the sombre Quakers, shining Satins, furry Ermines, raisedBrocades and, for the ones they couldn’t be much bothered with, the Rustics in drab brown garb! Back in upper class mode and the home, there are the Footmen (wings folded straight back like a liveried servant standing to attention), the Wainscots (the texture of oak panelling in the drawing rooms of the day), the Mochas (the pattern of a semi-precious stone) and the pretty Carpets.



bug stack

filling the bug stack with rolls of old carpet, hollow stems, rotting wood, ridge tiles, cardboard – no comments as yet from the neighbours, only sideways glances!