Quick Links 22nd August 2016

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read, inspired me or just sparked my interest in the previous week, with a little background and my thoughts and other things that I’ve been up to in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.


Slightly curtailed this week due to a variety of things all converging at once, and leaving little time for anything else.


Love this:


The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures


Currently Reading – not much progress since last week, so still the same books. I’ve lots on my “to read” pile, but it’s just one book at a time (or two in my case).

Run to the Mountain by Thomas Merton [GoodReads]

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson [GoodReads]


Sunday 21/08/2016 Holy Trinity Church, Bosham, West Sussex

Sunday 21/08/2016 Holy Trinity Church, Bosham, West Sussex

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Potting Shed Update 19th August

A quick video from the potting shed.

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Allotment Update from 13th August 2016

Since I recorded the above video, the pumpkin that is next to the brassica cage has succumbed to slug damage. I think I’m going to pull out that plant this weekend, as although it has already fruited another pumpkin, there is no way that it will ripen in time.

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Quick Links 15th August 2016

I’ve been publishing these Quick Links on a Tuesday for a while now. I’m going to try to continue to post them each week, but am moving them to a Monday until further notice as it’s a bit easier for me.


Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read, inspired me or just sparked my interest in the previous week, with a little background and my thoughts and other things that I’ve been up to in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.


One Of My Local Buzzards

One Of My Local Buzzards

I wrote last week about the licence to kill buzzards issued by Natural England (the supposed protector of our natural environment), although there has been a response by Natural England, which states that “Natural England will shortly be making documents associated with the assessment and granting of this licence publicly available”, I’m going to reserve judgement on this until I see the details.

In other areas however RSPB has released information about the disappearance of satellite tagged Golden Eagles. (There’s more detail on satellite tagging of birds in this blog post as well). With this and the persecution of other raptors e.g. Hen Harriers, for what seems to be the sport of a privileged few, we seem to be going back to the bad old days of gamekeeper and sporting estates (or maybe we never left). Earlier this year I read “Raptor” by James Macdonald Lockhart [GoodReads], which bought home to me just how persecuted birds of prey used to be. Although things have gotten better, it does seem that there are still a few that are intent on taking the law into their own hands, and committing wildlife crime.


My Mum has a whole herd of elephants in her house. There are African ones, Indian ones, China ones, wooden ones, glass ones, plastic ones, but they are all ornaments. Many of them run trunk to tail across her mantelpiece. For me the elephant is an iconic symbol of a wild animal, an intelligent giant. It would be a human failure of epic proportions if they became an extinct species in the wild. A bit more on the history, and prehistory of the species here.


The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures


This time of year, when the vast majority of our food is coming from the allotment, we seem to eat very little meat. The arguments for moving to a vegan diet are quite convincing from many standpoints. Could I do it full time? I’m not sure, although my meat intake is quite low anyway, and I can’t eat fish due to allergies, I do eat quite a bit of dairy, particularly cheese, eggs and milk. I know there are alternatives to some of those, so I might give them a try and see if I can reduce at least some of that. We’ll see.


 Currently Reading – bit of a mix at the moment.

Run to the Mountain by Thomas Merton [GoodReads]

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson [GoodReads]

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Buzzards Overhead

IMG_0462

I was out at a meeting for a proportion of yesterday, when I came back I was sitting at my desk catching up on some emails, when I heard the distinctive call of a buzzard outside. I grabbed my camera and stepped outside.

There were two individuals and they seem to be having a lot of fun soaring and diving in the sky. I managed to capture a few images.

P1000048

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Quick Links 9th August 2016

The fact that climate change is real, happening, and having a major impact on the planets weather patterns is an accepted fact by the majority of people, but it does seem that the worlds media does little to highlight the issues as facts, instead tending to focus on the sensational news. Now I know that this is because the sensational stuff is what tends to sell papers or attract airtime or whatever the metric a particular media outlet uses, but I seriously feel that we need to get a grip on truth and facts. Here’s a little round-up which highlights some of this, and here’s a truly shocking piece on some of the effects.


I loved Swallows & Amazons by Arthur Ransome as a child, and I guess I still do. The film version has been remade and will be in cinemas soon. Looking at the trailer (see below) I think that maybe the new film goes a bit off-script compared to the original and the book, but it may well still be in spirit.


This piece interested me because of the link to Elm trees, I’ve seen White-letter Hairstreaks locally where there are still some surviving Wych Elm trees. I think that at least for now the ones that I am aware of locally are a little more protected than the ones mentioned in the article.


Birds of prey were once much more common than they are today. Overtime they were persecuted to dwindling numbers and in some cases for some species in the UK to extinction. Now the governments own watchdog, that is there to supposedly protect wildlife, has issued a licence to shoot buzzards. This is because allegedly the birds prey on pheasant chicks which are being bred to be shot. Not necessarily as you might think for subsistence consumption, but as sport. Some sport. This, and other game bird management practices are driving down numbers of raptors once again. Do  we not learn from the mistakes of our own history? Clearly not. It’s likely that this won’t end here, as now a precedent has been set. Patrick Barkham, writing in The Guardian, also has a take.


Currently Reading:

Normal Pt. 4 by Warren Ellis [GoodReads] I really enjoyed this four-part novella. I was wondering how it was all going to get tied up in the final part but the author did so incredibly well. I plan to reread all four parts together at some point soon, I suspect I’ll pick up on a few things I missed reading them each a week a part the first time around.

A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins [GoodReads] This still stands up as a good travel read despite being a journey that is over 40 years old.


The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures


I remember the original version of this being in cinemas when I was a kid. Looks like a great summer movie, for kids of all ages.

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Quick Links 2nd August 2016

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read, inspired me or just sparked my interest in the previous week, with a little background and my thoughts and other things that I’ve been up to in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.


The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures


Currently Reading:

Normal Pt 3 by Warren Ellis [GoodReads]

A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins [GoodReads]


I’ve been taking a lot more photographs over the past couple of weeks after being lucky enough to be able to get a new camera. It’s a Canon G7x Mark II. Here’s one from an afternoon walk on Sunday:

IMG_0177 (cropped)

I think I’ll be using it a lot more. I used to take a lot of photographs, but funnily enough I sort of fell out of the habit once I had a phone that could take pictures. It’s funny as although have a phone with a camera built in and therefore mostly always on my person, I seem to take less photographs than I did when I had to carry a camera with me. I’ll be interested to see how that changes.


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