Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A rambling break from the holiday

 Long-tailed Tits
Every Winter we get a few days when flocks of Long-tailed Tits pass through the garden.  They only stay briefly but they are a delight to watch.  Imagine our surprise when a flock suddenly appeared at the beginning of August.  We had never seen them in Summer before.  They included both adults and youngsters.

A Victorian Letter Box

Partner-who-loves-tea does all the driving nowadays as my eyesight and the loss of feeling in my legs makes me pretty unsafe on the roads (though a lot safer than some of the clowns we see around).   She is quite used to me shouting ‘Stop!’  Though I do try to add a ‘Please’ and, if there is enough warning, say ‘Are you being followed?’ before I yell.   I am usually sensible enough not to do so when circumstances are obviously against her stopping.   But she knows that when I do ask her to stop it is for one of two things – something natural history related or, that other love of mine, a letter box.

This Victorian wall letter box is of a type that I have photographed before but I couldn’t be sure of that as we passed it each time we drove through Gayton on The Wirral.  So, having worked out on a previous occasion where I could get P-w-l-t to stop, I photographed it the other day.  What does it matter that I have got photos of that type previously?  It gives me a chance to fill this post (if you’ll excuse the pun) with a pretty red letter box well over a hundred years old.

 Rules for a happy marriage... cont.

Here is Rule for a Happy Marriage #2.
At least once a day say one complimentary or kind thing to your partner.

Rule for a Happy Marriage #3.
Make your partner happy – when they are happy you will be happy and vice versa.

Rule for a Happy Marriage #4
To be happy with a man love him little and understand him a lot.  To be happy with a woman love her a lot and never ever ever try to understand her.

Grey Dagger
This beautiful moth, the Grey Dagger (Acronicta psi), is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found from Europe and North Africa to northern Iran, Central Asia, southern and central Siberia and Mongolia. In the Levant it is found in Lebanon and Israel.  It is also found in our garden and, during hot weather when all the windows are open, it comes in the house as well.   

This species has grey fore-wings with bold black dagger-shaped markings. (The scientific name also refers to these markings, as resembling the Greek letter psi ψ.) The hind-wings are dirty grey, generally paler in the male. The wingspan is 34–45 mm. This moth is very similar to the Dark Dagger (Acronicta tridens) and identification is generally only possible by minute examination of the genitalia. Needless to say I didn't get around to perusing its private parts and let it out of the window instead.

 Steven Gerrard (Warning - this paragraph is sport!!)

In the game against Spurs (Tottenham Hotspurs 0 - Liverpool 3) last night Steven Gerrard became the first Liverpool  FC player in history to score in 16 successive seasons - he previously held the record at 15 with my idol Billy Liddell.   

Gerrard also created a new outright club record of 43 successful penalties.  The legend continues....


  1. Birds, letter boxes, interesting moth with neat name, marital advice and sport...my kind of post!

  2. Cute birds, and lovely red letterbox. Why don't I feel as attracted to moths as to butterflies? I suppose one reason, besides the colours, is that the butterflies usually have the sense to stay outdoors!

  3. Lovely fresh post today, John. The energy is a perfect match for the start of the new month and beginning the new season - fall term - even if we are not all returning to school. Love your early harbinger of winter, the young Long-tailed tit. In the last three or four days here, the Canada geese have stepped up their flight training - another sign winter is on its way. I missed commenting on wedding photos - what a beautiful event - for such a beautiful couple. Congratulations and good wishes to them and their families at such a happy time.
    Take care, McGregor

  4. Congratulations to Gerrard, and to you, for getting that photo you wanted!

    You are right about your rules for marriage. Compliments go a long way, as does thanks when your spouse does something special for you. Or even something ordinary for you.

  5. It's really good to see your posts coming think and fast again Bruv. Long may they continue.

  6. Aren't those little birds the cutest ones I've ever seen!
    The moth is very beautiful. I wonder whether it knows that (probably not).
    The letter box looks very much like some I photographed for you in and around Ripon this year.

  7. I like those cute long-tailed tits...wish they were visiting my garden.


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