Tuesday, June 30, 2009

But, soft! Who comes this way?

I have been done for parking without showing a permit, which I possess. Rats! Co-incidence? I think not.

And rats too, to our weather! The reason for the sea frets which grip this region of north east England have been explained to me. Something to do with cold water and warm air. Or vice versa. The result is whilst the rest of the country swelters we are gripped by a blanket of clammy mist, at its worst like low cloud, soaking into everything it touches.

Hardest to bear are the cheerful voices on the media giving daily advice on how to "stay cool" and protect oneself from "the harmful rays of the sun"! Fat chance!

More soon on the daily round of Battlefield the Beautiful.

UPDATE AUGUST: I got let off (just this once).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Comment on comments

Yesterday I discovered I had overlooked some comments posted to this site.

If you were one of those kind enough to post a comment and have been wondering what happened to it I can confirm that now all have been published.

I will promise to keep my eyes open in future.

Meanwhile ...

... some more views for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Right hand, left hand Revisited

Newcastle City Council displays leaflets about the plight of the Song Thrush, a once familiar bird of parks and gardens, beloved for it's song and habit of eating slugs!

Unfortunately, the Council's concern is not joined up to it's actions on the ground ....

I mentioned in another post how, two or three years ago, I had seen a recent increase in Song Thrush numbers around Battlefield and the somewhat heartening sight of four birds together (3 + 1) during the early breeding season. The shrubberies near the footpath I was on were cut down to near ground level a week later and the Song Thrushes departed, never seen again.

Timing of works appears to be weak at present, possibly more governed by finance than environmental considerations. During a recent foray into the most 'threatening' part of the Battlefield open space I noted more signs of this disjoint between intention and outcomes.

A felled tree. It was removed at the height of the breeding season. I am sure the aboralists worked to minimise harm but this kind of operation must involve disturbance. Later in the year or better still in winter would seem appropriate and straight forward.

This area has been left largely undisturbed and was aloud with birdsong, including a warbler, possibly Garden Warbler.

Bonus points are due for this action, seen in the photograph below. Uncut grass margins, large enough to be useful as a habitat for invertebrates, is commendable. Butterflies, moths, crickets and grasshoppers, beetles and so forth need this kind of long grass in which to prosper; so to, do birds. Quite apart from the animal kingdom, wild flowers and grasses thrive. No one loses from this small consideration for wildlife husbandry. Thanks are due to those involved in this piece of initiative for the benefit of wildlife.

Perhaps someone should tell one arm of the Council what the other is doing?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Out of the blue

Suddenly, we have summer! I have already eaten out of doors more times this past fortnight than I managed to do in the whole of 2008!

In weather such as this (I left the tree tops in the frame in the first photograph just to prove it wasn't just a rectangle of blue I'd d run up on the computer!) "threatening" Battlefield and the "in need of landscaping" City Stadium come into their own. Yesterday, late in the day (presumably after lectures) the local student population was out in strength lying about in the very warm sunshine* in groups and couples all across the grass or seeking shade from the many fine trees. I do not stroll about photographing semi-unclothed young people and children for reasons I think will be obvious to you; but, I hope these images convey something of what the space has to offer.

It refutes the claims made against this piece of inner urban open space by those greedy to cash in or too blinded by 'schemes' to appreciate what is front of their eyes. For those who neither have the means or time to jet off to the sun – women with young children to keep amused for example – then, this lovely, safe, traffic free space is a God send.

Long may it last!

*Please! Use sun blocker and take care! Also take litter home. But above all, make use of 'Battlefield'.

A selection of recent photographs of this hot spell will be put on the 'Battlefieldthebeautiful' Flickr site in due course.