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Archive for May, 2013

Butterfly & Moth Pix


The Green Hairstreak Butterfly is one of a group of Hairstreak Butterflies in England. They are quite small and in the case of this one, very well camouflaged! The Ermine Moth was flying around early afternoon. I saw it go under a plant, put my camera down there and managed to get a couple of shots, I then took a risk and bent the plant over so the moth was in the sunlight. I managed to get this pic with my fingers, I’m not holding the moth, I pushed the plant over from underneath the moth. As I went to take a better pic, the Green Hairstreak stopped by – and the Ermine flew away. I then took a pic of a Blue Damselfly, but the pic isn’t good enough to post. However, the female Orange Tip Butterfly is. The male has orange tips to its wings. The Green Hairstreak is on a Forget-Me-Not.

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Pix I took at a Nature Reserve in East Kent, England


 

 

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The photos above are of a pair of flies mating, red ants on a wild flower, a tweyblade orchid beginning to flower and female broad bodied chaser resting on privet hedge. The males are blue. The pix were taken with an Olympus 820i digital camera.

Pictures across the Bay – and a short history of the area


Some pix I took a couple of miles further around the coast heading towards Deal and Dover. These were taken from Prince Edward Promenade just past Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour ( the only Royal Harbour in the country), looking across Pegwell Bay towards Sandwich and Richborough. There is a lot of history here. Saint Augustine came across to England arriving at Minster a few miles away. To the right and out of sight is Pegwell Bay. Hovercraft used to have a Hoverport here using the SRN4 type, crossing the English Channel to France. Sadly it went out of business about thirty years ago. Pix below

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The first picture shows the hovercrafts used, the second shows the derelict port, which is as it is today. It was turned into a nature reserve. K-nex in the early ’80s wanted to set up a factory and distribution centre here, but the local council turned them down. In the background is Richborough Power Station. This coal powered station went out of business about twenty years ago. Last year these towers were demolished, its on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-w9q864a7E . In the video you will see a small wind turbine. This was an experimental one erected I think in the mid ’80s. I haven’t researched that. I know someone who used to drive past it and for years thought it was a sculpture of a seagull. I kid you not. Richborough Power Station has the ruins of Richborough Castle, a Roman Fort, behind it.

Which brings me to the next set of pix. Below are a few pix looking across Pegwell Bay to Richborough and Sandwich. In the pictures are two daylight views of the area. Followed by early evening views. Richborough Power Station in the centre, to the right the silhouette of the experimental wind turbine and to the left Pfizers. Where Viagra was discovered. Pfizers, Sandwich, closed down a couple of years ago, leaving a skeleton staff. Businesses are coming into the area, Pfizers left most of their labs, etc, intact.

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This brings me to the experimental wind turbine. This is the Isle of Thanet, when you look at the east kent coast, Thanet is the part that sticks out almost due east. Over the past few years three wind farms have been erected around the north kent coast. Foreness Point, Botany Bay, Margate, then west to Whitstable and finally the largest wind farm in the world, the London Array. Below is a pic of the one off Foreness Point, Botany Bay.

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Some people have a problem with wind farms blighting their views. I don’t. I look along the roads and see telegraph poles, telephone wires, street lamps. I look across the fields and see electricity pylons. We have become used to looking through them and enjoying the views anyway.

I look on wind farms as sea forests. I have been trying to think of names for our three sea forests off the north kent coast, but as yet haven’t come up with anything worthwhile. They are here to stay and I would rather look on them as forests of the sea than moan about them. I suspect they are becoming a haven for wildlife under the water as well. They begin collecting detritus, animals begin to move in to feed off it, so on and so on. We cannot live off fossil fuels forever, we cannot continue with nuclear power for much longer. We need to accept alternative energy supplies must be used. 

A few more historical facts about Thanet. Isle of Thanet means the Isle of the Dead. There are about eight times more burial sites per square kilometre in Thanet than the national average for England. The bouncing bomb used in WWII was tested at Reculver. Below are the ruins of Reculver Castle, nothing obviously to do with the testing of the bomb….

To the right is the north sea. Behind the camera is Minnis Bay, Thanet.

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Charles Dickens lived in Broadstairs, Thanet. There is a Dickens festival every year. There is a Shell Grotto in Margate. The cave has been lined with sea shells. Thousands upon thousands of them. There is an issue about the date it was done, some say it was done a few thousand years ago, others a few hundred. Quex Park, holds important wildlife from Africa in their Powell-Cotton Museum. The chap used to go all over Africa shooting things. But what he also did was meticulously note everything down about each animal he shot. Where, when, etc. In recent years his collection has been used to re-introduce animals close to extinction in Africa. His meticulous note keeping allowed each hide he brought back to be used in relation to its DNA to help bring back near extinct animals . I could go on to be honest. Margate was the very first seaside town, for tourism and bathing.

Last but not least Manston Airport. The most bombed airfield in WWII. After the war USAF were stationed here from 1950 – 1958.  The US crews weren’t impressed with the Canadians who were based here during the war. They placed pipe bombs around all the buildings in case the Germans landed and didn’t remove them when they left after the war.

More recently, Manston’s Runway was an emergency runway for the Space Shuttle.

So there you have it. I thought I would share a few pix from some of my picture folders I’ve collected and I end up giving  a short history lesson on the Isle of Thanet and St. Augustine, Viagra, Space Shuttle, Hovercraft. Not to mention painters and writers.

It is always worth finding out about your local history. It is always interesting. I leave you with a picture of a Comma Butterfly and a Great Crested Newt, taken over the past couple of months. Enjoy.

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Cloud Pix Ramsgate


I’ve been going through my computer’s picture folders. I thought I would share some pix I have taken in recent years. I took these pix of the sun breaking through the clouds in 2007. 

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East Kent has its own micro climate. The English Channel meets the North Sea around the edge of the Kent coast. Turner is renowned for his paintings of Margate’s scenic views, he loved the light. Margate is a couple of miles around the coastline from here. Sadly these pictures do not do justice to the pink and grey hues I saw at the time. 

 

Pond in Pictures, Kent , England


The following are three pictures I took of a Pond at a Nature Reserve in Kent. The first pic was taken in January 2012 when the pond was at its normal size, about six – eight feet deep. The second pic, taken in January 2013, shows the Pond after the previous year’s heavy rainfall, followed by the freeze. The pond is iced over. I like the patterns that formed across the pond in this one. The third was taken after the thaw this year. The water is receding now and the Marsh, Lizard and Common Orchids are coming through. Above the pond is the Astronomy Observatory, a 12″ reflecting telescope. Our resident astronomer has decided, due to the fact most people visit in the day when the stars are not visible, to use different eye attachments so the telescope can be used to view birds on the nature reserve! 100 light years down to 55 feet. Quite an achievement!!

For those interested, The first pic was taken with a samsung mobile phone camera. The latter two were taken with an Olympus 820i digital camera.

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Wildlife Pictures, Kent, England,


Just a few pix from Kent, England. Since our poor weather; relative to us anyway, the snow has melted away, the water is slowly draining away, so I thought it might be nice to see a few pix of the small wildlife in our area. I have posted pix on Grass Snake, Common Lizard, Slow Worm, Jackdaw, Inkcap Fungus, Snowdrop, Pansy, Fly Bee, Bumblebee, Peacock Butterfly and a few budding trees.

 

We don’t have herds of Wildebeeste or Flocks of Flamingoes, we have little subtle life, that most of us do not take the time to look at and appreciate. Take the time today to have a look around you and enjoy the beauty, variety and subtlety of life.Image

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For those with an interest, these pictures were taken with an Olympus 820i Digital Camera.

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