Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Vandalism or Art?

Last month during a butterfly foray I was taken onto a brownfield site that was once a brickworks. Clay extraction started on this site in the 1940's but the works closed in the late 1970's since when nature has been slowly reclaiming the remnants of the factory buildings. On any abandoned site it is not unusual to see some form of immature daubed scribbling but I wasn't prepared for the sight that greeted me after negotiating through the lush green birch trees that now screen much of this derelict site.

In 2004 the main factory roof collapsed and diggers were brought in to clear the wreckage, thus opening for the first time large areas of the site, and almost every space on the remaining brick walls had become a canvas for graffitists who have covered them in bright murals and tags.

I can't say that I am a particular fan of graffiti art, but many of these are pretty special; whole walls covered with colourful artwork which must have taken hours to complete.

Graffiti is still a form of vandalism although many consider the 'wildstyle' form containing the calligraphic writing style of interlocking letters etc. to be art. This derelict and hidden away site has now become decorated with a varied mixture of styles including tags, throw ups and more elaborate pieces.

So whether you consider it vandalism or art I certainly had to admire the artistic ingenuity and thought that went into some of these creations. FAB.

Monday, 29 September 2014

The Patient Stalker.

In my book the Grey Heron has to be one of the most patient stalkers. Often standing in one position for ages with its eyes glued to the watery surface watching and waiting for its prey. This individual had picked a spot where the grasses provided some cover and was facing the sun so that its shadow didn't betray its presence on the water surface in the ditch well below its feet.

Even with a slight breeze blowing the Heron remained motionless, something I could never come to terms with when as a mere youngster I was taken fishing by my Uncle. I just couldn't find the enthusiasm for sitting still while watching and waiting for that colouful float to bob in the water BUT as a wildlife watcher I'm happy to sit for as long as it takes to see this master fisherman at work.

Very occasionally you might notice a slight repositioning of it head as it refocuses its concentration.

It then leans forward indicating that a strike might happen and in a flash the action is all over AND regretfully on this occasion my concentration wavered at the wrong moment!

The Heron was sucessful and after devouring its quarry it turned its back on me and repositioned itself further along the bank to continue its patient vigil.

 I'll just have to try another day in the hope of catching the moment of impact!  FAB.


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Master Spinners.

Every time I walk out into the garden I'm faced with numerous orb webs intricately created by the Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) to catch any unwary insects and me if I'm not watching where I'm walking!

Individual colouring can vary from extremely light yellow through to very dark grey but they all carry the distinctive markings across their backs with a series of white dots forming a cross or diadem hence the common names of Cross Spider, Diadem Spider and Garden orb-web Spider.

Fascinating to watch as they create their delicate webs (click here for a video link) or rush out of hiding in response to a vibration.

Just hanging from a single thread. [All images taken with the PowerShot SX50 HS.]  FAB.

Linking to Saturday's Critters.    

For something quite different, check out this post on FABirding. 


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