|Posted by micky brown on July 2, 2019 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
Wingspan Male: 58 - 70mm Female: 62 - 74mm
After feasting on thistles, their British-born offspring are programmed to return south in the autumn, seeking sunnier climes to continue their lifecycle
In some years, the migration can be spectacular. In 2009, it was considered to be one of the greatest migratuions ever.
Unfortunately, this species is unable to survive our winter in any stage, but it has a strong flight and can be found anywhere in the British Isles, including Orkney and Shetland. This is the only butterfly species ever to have been recorded from Iceland. A butterfly may travel south from northern Europe to Britain where it will breed and die, the next generation will carry on the migration back to Africa.
The extent of the annual journey undertaken by the Painted Lady butterfly is astonishing. This tiny creature weighing less than a gram has no opportunity to learn from older, experienced individuals, but still undertakes an epic intercontinental migration in order to find plants for its caterpillars to eat.
Scientists did not know if the Painted Lady made the return journey at the end of the summer, like the closely related Red Admiral, or simply died in the UK.
A radar in Hampshire has revealed that around 11 million Painted Ladies entered the UK in spring 2009 with 26 million departing in the autumn. The butterflies fly at altitudes up to 3,000 feet, which is why they were never spotted by humans, at speeds up to 30mph.
|Posted by micky brown on April 9, 2019 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
We have a new Mosaic, created by Michelle Greenwood Brown
The old one was getting a bit weather worn and pieces were becoming loose. It showed a compass in the centre with fishes and sailing boats around the edge with the inscription " BLESS THE SEA AND ALL THATS IN, BUT BRING ME HOME TO KITH AND KIN"
The whole area of the Lookout Point has now been levelled and cemented over with level access added for the disabled, and new steps at the front. There is a carved seat and the new mosaic is on a theme of the North Star to guide our sailors and fishermen on their journeys.
The new mosaic created by Michelle Greenwood Brown
In the centre is a swallow coming home to welcome spring, surrounded by fishes and waves. Around that we have elements of the park with Ivy and berry laden twigs, and of course the points of the compass to guide us home safely. Around this we have sea themed cartouches with sailing boats, seagulls, dolphins, shells and starfish on the beach. Another has a crab, shell, and anchor. Seperating these we have elements of the park with butterflies, flowers, birds, bees, dragonflies and violets.
The inscription surrounding all of this beautiful detail reads "BRIGHT STAR WOULD I WERE STEDFAST AS THOU ART"
This is the first line of a love sonnet by John Keats.
Before anybody complains about the spelling, it was written circa 1818/1819. The old spelling of 'steadfast' originally was without the 'a' (stedfast). Other old versions are 'stedefast' or 'stedefæst'.
Michelle tells us "The inspiration was the two views from the plinth, looking back into the trees and meadows and looking forward to the sea and beach. The swallow has always been a significant symbol for sailors and a traditional subject for their tattoos. I chose to use the original Keats spelling of steadfast. The mosaic is made using a heritage porcelain tile made for over 200 years by a French company called Winckelmans. It is twice fired and extremely weatherproof and non slip. The same material is often used in the old mosaic shop doorways, a few of which remain in the town."
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.
Addressed to a star (perhaps Polaris the Pole star, around which the heavens appear to wheel), the sonnet expresses the poet's wish to be as constant as the star while he presses against his sleeping love.
The poem came to be forever associated with his "Bright Star" Fanny Brawne – with whom Keats became infatuated.
Some of you may remember some years ago the lookout had a shed and a shelter on it but a 12 year old vandal decided to set it alight.
The old shelter
The new works begin - Hank inspects the old mosaic and seat. He doesn't look impressed.
In with the new ramp New kerbing
The old mosaic disappears under cement Some new steps
The final touches to the base to make it non slip Finally Larry inspects the new Lookout Point.
There is a new fishy themed seat and table
A bit about Michell Greenwood Brown
She was born in Teignmouth and has lived here for most of her life. She is a full time professional mosaic artist and a member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen in Bovey Tracey. She also teaches mosaic and will be exhibiting in Devon Open Studios at TAAG gallery in September if people want to come in and chat to her and see some mosaic demos. She has a series of mosaics permanently displayed around the arts quarter area in Teignmouth and is currently working on a big project for Totnes town council.
|Posted by Ian Cannons on February 12, 2019 at 2:05 PM||comments (0)|
Friends of Eastcliff
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Wednesday, 27 February 2019 from 19:30-21:00
TAAG Arts & Community Centre 4/5 Northumberland Place, TQ14 8DD Teignmouth
All are welcome. If you are not a member you can join on the night
WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU BEFORE THE MEETING
Do you have any comments or suggestions about the the work we do in The Dell or The Orchard? Do you have any planting suggestions? Is there anything we're getting wrong?
Would you like more information about the agenda?
Do you have any nominations for the committee?
I would also appreciate it if you would let me know if you are thinking of coming to the AGM, just for an idea of numbers
|Posted by Ian Cannons on January 30, 2019 at 11:05 AM||comments (0)|
27 January 2019
This was something different for The Friends of Eastcliff Park: we don't usually work in the Rowdens, outside of The Orchard. The aim was to uncover the big rhododendrons on the lawn.
I can just about remember how it was when I was a school there nearly fifty years ago. There was a big island of rhodies without the brambles and scrubby trees. We won't be able to wind the clock right back but there should be a much better show of flowers this year.
A big thank you to everyone who turned out.
Below: working on Sunday, 27 January 2019
|Posted by micky brown on January 15, 2019 at 12:10 PM||comments (0)|
This file is licensed under the Wikipedia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike.
If you are walking past the 5 oaks in the middle of the park, look across the path to the other side and you will see a couple of damaged trees. These are badger scratching posts. The tree at the front has much fresher damage. I took some photos.
You can clearly see the claw marks. There have been badger sets next to the fields above the park for many years and this may be a way of marking their boundary.
This file is licensed under the Wikipedia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike
|Posted by micky brown on January 14, 2019 at 4:05 PM||comments (1)|
Just had this message for a snake spotter-
Whilst walking today at 1pm in Eastcliff I nearly trod on a snake at least 3ft in length, green in colour, maybe a grass snake but looked online only 2ft in length this snake was at least 3 ft and 30mm thick, never seen anything like it in uk, please inform dog walkers as it may not be native to uk, looked online all day nothing like this native.
|Posted by micky brown on October 7, 2018 at 5:30 PM||comments (0)|
Around about 5pm on the last few evenings there has been a flock (called a charm) of Goldfinches arriving in the park before they go off to roost. If you want to see them, they congregate in the tallest tree right at the top of the park. They flock together in small groups of half a dozen or so and chatter about the days business and where they found the best food etc. Then they fly off and get together with other groups and come back a minute or so later with an even bigger flock. They keep on doing this until by about 5.15 tonight there were now just two flocks of about 100 each in and out of the tree all chattering away. Small groups then split up and start heading off to roost. I don't know where but they all headed North in the direction of Dawlish. By 5.30 they were all gone and it was quiet again.
|Posted by micky brown on September 8, 2018 at 4:40 PM||comments (0)|
Devon Rocks and Stones
This group has a facebook page, and has been set up for the people of Devon to have great fun with or without the kids, decorating, hiding and hunting rocks, to let you bring out your artistic side as well as getting out in the fresh air. You can paint some rocks or stones with what ever design you want, also write on the back (post a picture on devon rocks and stones ) then hide them somewhere for people to find, also can you post a picture of the rocks you're hiding and the area you are hiding them, so people know where to look
Some of them have been turning up in the park.
Here are three that I have found -
If you find any in the park please send us some pics before you post them on their website, and remember to hide them again in another part of Devon.
We have started our own photo album containing these brightly coloured stones. More have been added. Just go to our Contact page to tell us your finds.
|Posted by micky brown on September 2, 2018 at 3:50 AM||comments (0)|
A couple of weeks ago you may have seen the machinery in the park cutting the hay.
If you have wondered what happened to it, the clue is in the notice that went up at the Dawlish Countryside Park.
Opened in 2017, this 65 acre countryside park is a public open space with wild countryside and walks. It is home to native species including wildflower grassland, scrub and woodland, and native wildlife, such as cirl buntings.
The grassland will be managed as hay meadows packed with colourful wildflowers and bustling with butterflies, with mown paths for exploring and shorter strips for throwing a ball.
It is still being developed, and so there are still huge open areas for dogs to run and run and run!
Part of it's development is to put in wild flower areas and that is where our hay has been important. The notice below shows the areas where our hay has been spread.
|Posted by micky brown on July 18, 2018 at 11:55 AM||comments (0)|
Masses of ladybird larva have arrived in the park.
Many people have said they haven't seen many ladybirds this summer. Well it looks as though they are on their way. I noticed, while clearing some nasturtium plants that were looking the worse for wear from the orchard in the park, that they were full of blackfly. The blackfly had been able to eat and breed in peace due to the spell of hot dry weather and lack of rain to wash them away.
Then I spotted all the ladybird grubs. But after checking online I found they were not the British ladybird larva, they were the harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) larva.
The photo above are of just a few that fell from the Nasturtium plants.
Harlequin ladybirds are an invasive species which has been spreading north and west throughout the UK since it was first sighted in the south east of England in 2004. The native larvae are a paler grey than the harlequin larvae which are more spiky looking, with much longer legs.
After a female lays her eggs, they will hatch in between three and ten days, depending on ambient temperature. The larva will live and grow for about a month before it enters the pupal stage, which lasts about 15 days. After the pupal stage, the adult ladybug will live up to one year. They can eat upto 60 greenfly in a day.
The hot summer of 1976 is remembered as a particularly good year for ladybirds, with swarms of them infesting towns and cities across the UK.
The group noun for ladybirds is a "loveliness"
So it could be that very soon we will be invaded with a loveliness of ladybirds.