For illustrated talks on natural history and history see

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Tuesday 31 August 2010

10 miles circular around Chichester Harbour

Mid Sussex Ramblers' chair, Sue, lead this walk in perfect weather from Bosham.
Click on any picture to enlarge it.
The tide was out, so we were able to walk across the creek on the causeway.
(Unlike some leaders, Sue does not call upon walkers to wade in the sea!)
The view of Bosham as we headed southwards.

Click here and see page 2 of the document for details of M2729, the former HMS Sidlesham, built entirely of mahogany and brass for inshore mine sweeping, but which never saw active service.
We crossed to Itchenor by ferry.

We passed fields of linseed with wild oats at the edges.
Chichester marina.
I fitted a Polaroid filter to my camera and set it to an experimental mode - with too long shutter speeds.  So all my bird shots are blurred and akin to expressionist images. We learn by our mistakes - I hope.  Any way enjoy the "impressionist shots" of moving little egret and godwits below.

There are fine views of Chichester Cathedral on this walk.
The Sea Aster, Aster tripolium, was particularly lovely on this day; especially here as we approached Dell Quay.
Click the image to enlarge.
There were 60+ swans feeding in the tranquil shallows of the harbour near Fishbourne.

Despite my inappropriate camera settings, the views of the cathedral as we rounded the harbour back to Bosham, were inspiring.
Nobody seemed to know what this crop was.
It was possibly Panicum miliaceum, Proso millet, common millet, broom corn millet, hog millet or white millet.

Our supermarket shelved would have fewer lettuces without these massive machines and labour force to harvest and pack the produce.

Five hours after starting out from Pagham, we returned to a flowing tide and the causeway and road that we had walked earlier under water.
What a great walk!  Thanks Sue.
That's all folks.....
except for the out-takes,which follow....
Bobby, enjoying the last chomps of Samphire, gallantly collected by Ian from the life-threatening quicksands.
Sue and Paul; one happy couple -- until Paul sees that I have posted their picture here.....Paul is perhaps a little shy!  Perhaps not.
Mid Sussex ladies gaining their sea-legs.

Monday 30 August 2010


Spheksophobia, or fear of wasps has been topical in the press lately.

 Last week, I was surprised to see a pond skater seemingly attacking a stranded wasp in my pond.  Or at least it was showing more than a passing interest.

I'm not sure what pond skaters normally eat, but a wasp does seem ambitious.  It eventually gave up and skated off.

Sunday 22 August 2010

A Pride of Sussex on 6.5 miles circular walk around Wolstonbury Hill

From Hurstpierpoint, this group set off to Wolstonbury Hill with the specific goal to find the Pride of Sussex flower, the County flower of Sussex, the Round-headed Rampion.
Click on any picture to expand it.
The walk was from the Mid Sussex Ramblers walks programme.  Click the link here for details.
The growling leader, me, lead the group directly up the side of the hill, where I knew the plant was to be found earlier.  First spotted by Gloria, the excitement of the pride was barely constrained to find the first one.  Although, past their best, perhaps, the Pride of Sussex and other flowers were lovely on this drizzly day.
The above and below pictures are ones that I prepared earlier, taken on the 28th July 2010.

Lunch was short and sweet, in the rain, atop Wolstonbury Hill with the Jack and Jill windmills in the background -- hidden in the clouds.
The group descending the hill, with glimpses through the cloud of the windmills.  With a large bull in this field, as leader, I liked to let the group, with dogs, go first!  Only joking, nature called and this was a good photo-opp.
A great day -- not too hot; not too dry; just right!  And I was so proud of my pride, as they were proud, to find The Pride of Sussex on this day.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Chanctonbury Hill 8.5 miles circular walk.

For the Mid Sussex Ramblers' programme, I devised this walk to be 8.5 miles.  On the way we passed an old tram being filmed, which was screened on Meridian News that evening.
Everyone had their heads in the clouds when we reached the top of Chanctonbury Hill.  And it was weird to look northwards, through the cloud base, into otherwise sunny areas way below us.  This quasi-euphoric cloud 9 feeling was further enhanced by the very steep ups and downs to follow; a route that I selected from the map just to add a few miles and several hundred meters more up 'n down.  Oh how everyone loved that sting in the tail of this walk.

Monday 16 August 2010

A Red admiral in my garden, but no Painted Ladies.

Finally, a Red admiral has appeared in my garden.  Unlike last year, I have yet to see a painted lady butterfly.
It is good to see these beauties.

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