Friday, 29 February 2008

Weather Views

Thank you for visiting

If you have never been here before please note that my posts and picture are posted for me by my friend Tom. As I do not own or know how to use a P.C. my visits to other blogs are rare. I do try to get to view other blogs whenever I can though. Happy Sky Watch and have a great weekend.

Peter Parrott

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Lonesome Tree

My Shot

Tom's Shot

This tree which is in the farmers field on Matley Lane in Hyde as always caught my eye. I took my shot of it at dusk, see the top picture and then called at Tom's to down load my images to his P.C. He took one look at my picture and said Snap.... same tree, same day but hours apart and from a different angle. If we are out walking together, we might see the same thing and take the same pictures. To do it to the same tree within hours of each other was something else. Still it is a good tree I think.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Stone and Wood

Moor Stones In A Peat Bog

Twisted Tree

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Gate Post Marker

The arrow mark on this gate post bares the mark of the War Department Arrow.. I come across these quite often when out and about. This one was high up on a moorland road so maybe it was meant to point towards a shooting range or a look-out post. It is interesting to see them and think about who made these marks and who followed them.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Earwig Beetle

The name EARWIG comes from the superstition that they crawl into the ears of sleeping people and bore into the brain. Although earwigs do look mean and dangerous due to their forceps, they are practically harmless to man.
Earwigs vary in size from 1/2-1" in length, they are brown to black in color. Species may be winged or wingless. Only a few species are good fliers. The body terminates in a pair of forceps. These forceps or pincers are the earwig's most distinctive characteristic. The forceps are used in capturing prey and mating. Earwigs are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of food. They will eat live or dead insects as well as live or decaying vegetation.
Earwigs can cause damage to cultivated plants. They can be a nuisance when they migrate indoors. Migrations of earwigs numbering in the 100's have been reported. They seldom become established indoors. Some species will emit a foul odor. Earwigs can be of value as predators of certain insect pests.
Earwigs are nocturnal. During the day they will be found in moist shady places, under wood piles, stones, boards, compost piles, flower beds, and other secluded locations. When earwigs migrate indoors, they hide in cracks and crevices around the floor and other locations. They may be found in potted plants and cut flowers
Creepy little blighters I think

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Lee and Burning The heather

Now you might be forgiven for thinking that Lee is a bit of a firebug.. but he's not.. burning the Heather is an important job. In Scotland, heather burning is referred to as Muirburn and in the south-west of England it is called Swaling but it means the same.

Throughout Scotland and in the uplands of England and Wales the burning season begins October 1st, so at the moment the heather burning season is underway and continues to 15th April, with some extensions beyond this date possible in Scotland. Burning at the beginng of October can interfere with other activities, such as grouse shooting and stalking, and therefore it is not always possible to burn heather that early in the season, but it can offer good conditions that allow for effective, controlled burning to be carried out. In spring, burning can be more difficult to control, especially if conditions become very dry, and there is a risk of interference with the nesting of some bird species. Getting the right time and weather is a must.

The burning of heather is an important management and conservation tool, it improves the condition of moorland. Without burning, heather can become rank and has little interest to moorland birds or grazing livestock. In many areas, the management of moorland for grouse provides an example of how burning improves the productivity of moorland areas for sporting, conservation and farming interests.

On a lighter note, Tom's misses Jane is first in the queue when it comes to having your very own Lady Chatterley's Lover. Jane said he dose not need those flames behind him to look hot.... ha! what Lee should be worried about is that Tom agreed.. ha!.
Feel free to had to, or correct me on the above burning process Lee

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Friday, 22 February 2008

Sky Watch

I hope you like these

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Relaxing By A Stream

One of the places I find relaxation, is always beside a stream such as this. No matter what is on my mind, just to get away and sit and listen to water is to be at peace.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Stalked & Shot

Another of Lee's Game Keeping pictures here, this time showing the outcome for this deer. I notice it seems it was shot in the heart. Hopefully Lee if he as time could fill in a bit of information about this picture and Deer Shooting. Don't just look at this as a dead deer as there is a story behind the picture. The long hours looking after the herd and the cost of such a venture. The livelihood of the workers such as Lee, and more importantly a way of life and tradation in certain areas. Look at where it was shot, how it was shot and what with. Think about why it was this one that was shot.

One of the tools of the trade, a trusty Land Rover. Notice the rail above the cab, and the lamp. These would be put to good use when out at night culling the local fox population. Look at that snow as well... I would think that Lee and men like him are out in all weathers doing this job. They will be working from dawn till dusk at this time of the year, and then out at night again lamping. Then in the early hours the phone might ring and someone as spotted a poacher, he can't just rollover and deal with it in the morning.. I should think Lee and others like him certainly earn their corn.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Mountain Hare Cull

The Mountain or Blue Hare is an animal from the upland heather moorland and the Scottish
Highlands. Moorland environments provide a perfect habitat with an abundance of short, pioneer heather for feeding, and longer more mature heather for shelter and protection from predators. Highest densities of mountain hares are found on moors managed for grouse where the burning produces different aged stands of heather ideal for both hares and grouse.

The diet of mountain hare is variable depending on the available vegetation. If possible the Hares will feed on grasses during the summer and switch to a heather-dominated diet during winter. Other vegetation that features in their diet are rushes, sedges, blueberry, gorse, the bark and low twigs from trees.

The mountain hare is not a managed game species, but at times large numbers are shot. Lee tells me this cull was needed as the hares were doing so well on the local moors he managers and numbers had swelled in the last two seasons. This amount might seem large until you think of the acreage involved. A mountain Hare can also eat a third in a day of what a moorland sheep can. More from Lee the Game Keeper tomorrow.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Game Keeper Lee

I would like you to meet my good friend Lee

Lee is a Game Keeper, and lives many miles away from me in a stunning place near Tarland in Scotland.

From an early age Lee was interest in nature and wildlife, when the chance came to follow up this interest he jumped at the chance and I don't think he as looked back since.

These are some of the views Lee sees one a daily basis while going about his job as a game keeper . To many, a Gamekeeper is someone who is an indiscriminate destroyer of wildlife, providing sport for a privileged few. In fact the case of the modern gamekeeper, could be not be further from the truth. Lee grew up with a great knowledge of nature and wildlife and now he living the dream. I have a few pictures to show which Lee as kindly sent me... some do show the outcome of a hunt/cull but I'll post them again with an explanation of the whys and whyfors.
Once again thank you for your visits, as soon as Tom and I can sort it out I'll visit you all again even just so Tom can have a laugh at me typing again.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Woodland Finds

More of my woodland finds
The top picture is the underside of a mushroom, close cropped

Saturday, 16 February 2008

A Liking To Lichen

Lichen is something I'd not given much time to, I would see it and think it looked O.K. but since I got the camera I have got a liking for it. The different colours, shapes and form. I tried reading up on it but it is a specailist subject... so I'll stick to taking picture of the stuff and enjoy them.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Sky Watch Greyhound Sunsets

Greyhound Sunsets

I can't think of a more peaceful place I'd rather be than on a hilltop seat taking in the views with Defor besides me at dusk.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Swineshaw At Dusk

Swineshaw Reservoir, no matter what time of the day the views are stunning, I was luckier than normal as the dusk produched some colouring at the end of yet another warm spring like day

Tree Monster or Alien

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Edale To Crowden No.3

In the distance you can see the smoke from 'Burning The heather, burning removes the dead material and recycles the nutrients. This encourages fresh new growth to sprout from existing heather plants. Burning maintains heather moorland and prevents natural succession, which would otherwise result in growth of scrub and birch woodland. The burning cycle creates a pattern of different aged heather. The oldest provides cover for birds like the Red Grouse ( seen below ) and the new shoots provide succulent food for other birds and sheep. A well-burnt moorland will have a mosaic of heather and other moorland plants of differing ages, which will provide food for different wildlife. Heather burning is a very old way of controlling and prolonging the life cycle of the heather.
This is our larger than a sparrow but smaller than a starling. It is streaky brown with a small crest which can be raised when the bird is excited or alarmed It as a white-sided tail and the wings also have a white rear edge which can be seen in flight. It is renowned for its display flight, vertically up in the air. you can normally here the Song but the bird flying high can be hard to spot.

Our native Mountain or Blue hare is smaller than the introduced brown hare, it as a more rounded shape and without a black upper surface on the tail. Mountain hares also have shorter ears and legs than the brown hare. In summer, they have grey/black coats, and in winter they are partly, or completely white as the two above. These moult twice a year - in late autumn, and again in the spring when they lose their winter coat.

The red grouse is a medium-sized game bird. It has a plump body with a short tail and a tiny hook tipped bill. It is reddish-brown, its legs and feet are covered in pale feathers. These birds breed in the moorlands and are resident all year round. The best place to see this bird is on upland heather moors, when it suddenly rockets up from the heather when disturbed to fly off with fast-whirring wingbeats.

Back at Crowden at the end of the walk, and ready for a good drink

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Edale To Crowden No.2

Walking The Pennine Way

Peter as not done all of this route yet, but plans are being made for him and others to do it this year. It's a 270-mile walk that will take him from the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire along the Pennine ridge through to the Yorkshire Dales, up into Northumberland, and then across the Cheviots, setting him down in the Scottish Borders..

This stone pathway below is part of the Pennine way footpath

Join Peter again tomorrow for a picture or two of the wildlife he stumbled upon and more of these beautiful views. Peter did not turn up here today so maybe he was resting after this great walk.