NAS West Norfolk 10th Anniversary Celebrations

A personal account of NAS West Norfolk’s 10th anniversary celebration garden party.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday saw the celebration of NAS West Norfolk’s tenth anniversary. We had a garden party in a quite magnificent garden in Castle Acre which we had been very generously allowed to use for the occasion. Here as a reminder is the poster we used to advertise the event:

MY ROLE IN THE CELEBRATIONS

As branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk I was involved in running the event – I helped to set things up at the start and with the clear up at the end. As an autistic person I was also delighted to take part in the event in between times. 

THE GARDENS

These gardens are truly amazing – this is where the original fortified village that adjoins the castle was located, and at one point there is a steeply sloped bank that leads down to a section of the old town moat. There are some amazing plants and grasses in these gardens, some excellent garden sculptures, a pond with ducks of various breeds and dragonflies around it, many fowl which run free and a swimming pool the excellence of which I can personally vouch for having spent an hour there. Near the pond is a summerhouse which was our designated Quiet Area (an absolute necessity at events for autistic people, or if you want autistic people being comfortable attending your event). There was also a house that was open to the public in which cakes (some baked by our wonderful hosts and some by members of our group), raffle prizes and such were set up.

The hosts had provided a few games for us, and one of our members brought along a swingball set as well.  

THE DAY

Once the set up had been accomplished there was plenty of time to enjoy the day, and it went excellently. For me the magnificent setting was one half of a superb equation, the other being autistic people enjoying themselves without worrying what anyone else was thinking because everyone present had some sort of connection to autism, and therefore some degree of understanding. Everyone present was at least at the ‘Understanding’ stage of the Awareness-Understanding-Acceptance-Appreciation line. I was regularly taking photographs except for the hour I spent in the swimming pool and we had a photographer from Your Local Paper present as well. The raffle prizes were presented by the Mayor of King’s Lynn. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are my photographs from the day…

Moat
The bank leading down to a section of the old town moat – an entangled bank worthy of the closing words of On The Origin of Species.

Butterfly2

Butterfly
The only one of many beautiful butterflies that I was able to capture.

Swingball2entrance to swimming poolPicnics3953Table tennis2Table tennisYoung cockerelbannerBig house

decorative brickwork2
Half of this brickwork Tudor Rose has disappeared.

decorative brickwork1Brick and flintbuildingmini clocktower

Watering can
A watering can sculpture (it is huge – one could not actually use iut.
big bird2
I saw this bird early on, but it kept itself to itself later in the day.

Big bird 1

wire sheep
Wire sheep near the pond

cockerelAvian flotillaJemima

Dovecote
What used to be the dovecote – the brick nesting boxes are still in place.

Dovecote2

Pond3
The pond.

Pond2Pond1Ducks

summerhouse
The designated Quiet Area.
Dark den
Inside the summerhouse we assembled the Dark Den – the framework is a little like Quadro except with that the plastic tubes have a smaller diameter. Initially we had failed to notice that the tubes have to go through the tenting, so we took longer to get this assembled than we should.
Dark den interior1
An interior shot – once I pulled the second door flap at the back into place and someone else had added a blanket to soften the base it was ready for use.
Private
This was in the summehouse.

NASWEN notice board

Swingball
The swingball set in use.
swimming pool
The swimming pool.

Bird2bird1

wire ducks2
wire ducks – there were also wire sheep near the pool.

wire ducks13913

Monday Miscellany

A mixed bag of an offering this Monday afternoon!

INTRODUCTION

This post will be every bit as varied as its title suggests, featuring a mix of politics, mathematics, music, nature and photography (and possibly more). 

SOME MATHS RELATED STUFF

I start with one of more recent followers, RobertLovesPi, and I have several pieces of his to share:

My next piece, courtesy of whyevolutionistrue is titled “The Coffer Illusion“, which concerns the picture below:

If the illusion defeats you, you can find out where the circles are by going to the original post. 

I finish this little section with a nod to the mathematical website Brilliant, which I am a regular visitor to (I am currently on a 64 day problem solving streak). As a sample here is a problem I solved today, rated at maximum difficulty by the site, pretty close to minimum by me:

Pythag

You can look at solutions to this problem on the website, and I will reveal the answer on this blog tomorrow. 

A FEW POLITICAL PIECES

There has been a lot of coverage from various people of events in Charlottesville. I choose to draw your attention to Richard Murphy’s excellent piece on Tax Research UK, titled “Charlottesville is a cradle of extremism: we should take note“. Below is a screenshot of the first few paragraphs:

charlottesville

My second link is to the petitionsite, regarding a young women in El Salvador who having been raped and then had a miscarriage has then been jailed for 30 years due to the Catholic church influence anti-abortion laws of that country. The screenshot below is formatted as a link to take you to this petition to sign and if possible share it:

Screenshot 2017-08-14 at 3.29.29 PM

I finish this section on a lighter note, courtesy of whyevolutionistrue. This little piece titled “Where is North Korea? Some Americans have no idea” reminds us how unacquainted USians are with that area known as the rest of the world! Here is a screenshot of the opening paragraph:
Screenshot 2017-08-14 at 3.39.40 PM

PHOTOGRAPHS

I usually end my blog posts with some of my own photographs, but this photograph section has an additional feature – as a nod to the principal subjects of many of the photos that follow I offer you a musica prelude – Ottorino Respighi’s “The Birds”:

cormorants and boatCormorants8Cormorant headsCormorants6Cormorants4Cormorants3Cormorants2Cormorants1Cormorants and gull 5Cormorant4Cormorants11Cormorants 10Cormorants and gull3TerngullCormorant3Cormorant2

Cormorant
I did not notice the white bird on the far side of the river until I was editing this one – I think from the shape and colour that is a Little Egret but the image is not clear enough to be sure.

Cormorants and swimming gullPollinator3Flybutterfly wingPollinator2white butterflyPollinator

Squirrel does Meerkat impression
This squirrel is clearly an impressionist – and his meerkat is very good!

Bird Pics on the #Inglorious12th

A post for the #Inglorious12th, featuring the right kind of bird shooting – that done with a camera.

INTRODUCTION

Today is August 12th, which is for well-heeled British hooligans the start of the grouse shooting season, known to them as “The Glorious 12th”. For folk like me, who view those who derive pleasure from taking pot shots at birds with utter contempt it is therefore the #Inglorious12th.

SHOOTING BIRDS THOMAS STYLE

I choose to mark today by posting pictures of birds shot the only acceptable way – with a camera. Most of these are from this morning, but I am also including some older pics.

Little Egret 1
The Little Egret that featured a couple of weeks back.
Magpie
A magpie on the path alongside the Great Ouse
wagtail
I was at the racecourse before my colleague arrived with a key, and this wagtail caught my eye while I was waiting.

small wadersmall wader2small wader3small wader4small wader5small wader6

CP1
The first of the new pictures – this and the final cormorant pic are in their correct positions, but some of the rest of the cormorant series are out of order.

Cormorant posing 1Cormorant posing 2Cormorant posing 3CormorantCP2CP3CP4CP5CP6two cormorantsCP and West Lynn churchFlying gullsRavenMoorhen in algaeJuvie moorhen

Jay1
I finish with this Jay – two live photographs and the relevant page from my bird book.
Jay2
The close-up shot.

Jay book page

 

 

Monday Madness 1: Science and Nature

A post largely devoted to nature, featuring links to Anna’s “Paradise on Earth” series of posts, a couple of infographics, a petition and some my own nature pics.

INTRODUCTION

This is the first of several posts I will be putting up today. I will start by bringing you up to date with Anna’s magnificent “Paradise on Earth” series which now runs to 12 posts, then I have a couple of twitter images to share with you, and at the end I will include some of my own photographs. 

PARADISE ON EARTH

I covered the first three posts in this series in The Fight To Save Trosa Nature, reblogged part 4 in full here, and then put up another post featuring parts 4 and 5. Since then Anna has continued to showcase the Tureholm Peninsula’s wildlife as follows:

  • Part 6 – continuing to feature birds. I include the Mistle thrush picture below as a sample:
  • Part 7 – another post about birds, including this crane:
  • Part 8 – focusses on slugs and snails, including the beauty below:
  • Part 9 – A more general pieces showing a wide range of local animals, including the moose pictured below:
  • Part 10 – focusses on the butterflies that live in the area, including the rare Apollo butterfly shown below:
  • Part 11 – A few more butterflies, including the one below:
  • Part 12 – focusses on water creatures, including the stickleback below:

INFOGRAPHIC 1: ICE-FREE ARCTIC?

This is by way of a warning of what our species is doing to this planet, and since it concerns the Arctic it follows on naturally from the stuff about the Tureholm Peninsula:

AI

INFOGRAPHIC 2: ON SPECIES

This one shows an illogicality in our classification of species by showing side by side three species of cat that share 95.7 of their DNA, and are therefore quite correctly considered members of the felidae and two species that share over 98% of their DNA but are classed as members of different genera. The reason the second pair of species are classed as more widely split than the first trio has nothing to do with logic and everything to do with religion (and Carolus Linnaeus, also known as Carl Von Linne, the pioneer of our system of classification admitted as much in the 18th century btw):

DNA

A PETITION REGARDING UK ZOOS

UK Zoos are still treating their animals badly, and there is now a petition on thepetitionsite calling on DEFRA to crack down on misery in UK Zoos. As one who cannot remmeber when I last visited a UK zoo (the last zoos I visited anywhere were those in Melbourne and Adelaide, both of which treat their animals well and give them space to move, in 2009-10) I urge you to sign this petition and help increase the pressure being applied.

zp

SOME OF MY OWN PHOTOGRAPHS

I finish this post with some of my own recently taken photographs:

Cormorant and Caspian Gullsposing cormorantCormorants2Cormorants and gullCormorant convocation 2

Grasshopper
This grasshopper being on the path frather than in the grass made it easier to spot and photograph.

Flying Herring Gull 2Flying Herring GullMoorhen2Pollinator 1Birds3Birds2Blackbird2

 

 

Kalla den änglamarken – Paradise on Earth part 4

The morning after I posted about the fight to save Trosa nature Anna is back with more pictures of protected birds from the Tureholm Peninsula who find themselves threatened by greedy road builders…

Annas Art - FärgaregårdsAnna

Här kommer bilder på ännu fler fridlysta sjöfåglar som bor på Tureholmshalvön, som tyvärr inte kan föra sin egen talan när stora markägare och kommunens politiker har bestämt sig för att bygga 670 nya hus där idag fåglar och andra skyddsvärda djur bor. När husen kommer upp måste de förmodligen leta nya boendeområden. De tänkta framtida Trosaborna i de tänkta nya husen på Tureholmshalvön, som kanske drömmer om naturnära boende kommer alltså kanske inte att ha särskilt mycket natur kvar att bo nära.

More pictures of protected sea birds in Tureholm peninsula. They can´t speak for themselves when landowners and politicians decides to exploit the landarea they live in. When the exploitations becomes reality the animals probably have to move somewhere else. The future citizens in the new houses maybe dream of living near nature. But when the houses are up there may not be a nature left to live…

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The Fight to Save Trosa Nature

Some links to posts about the fight to save Trosa nature and a few of my own pictures from today.

INTRODUCTION

It will be no news to regular followers of this blog that I have been supporting Anna in her fight to protect nature in her part of Sweden for some time. In this blog post I share links to some of her recent posts on this issue, and urge you to follow them up. At the end there are some photos of mine from today featuring creatures I saw while out walking this morning.

SETTING THE SCENE –

VICTOR, YANNO & DUNNO

The beautiful area of Sweden in which Trosa lies is threatened by a proposal to build a big new road which will bring large amounts of money to a few and destruction of priceless natural beauty as an inevitable consequence. This tale sets out the story of the road building plan through three characters, Victor, Yanno & Dunno. The feature graphic shows Yanno & Dunno as puppets being controlled by Victor:

ANNA’S REASONING

Anna laid out the case for her side in a post published on July 17 with the title “Därför vill vi spara naturen i Trosa – Why we want to save Trosa nature“. Below is the feature infographic from that post:

TROSA’S NATURE

Anna has produced three posts in quick succession showing some of the nature that is on show in her part of the world. We start with:

Kalla den Änglamarken –

Paradise on Earth part 1

As a sample of what you can look forward to seeing in this post I have selected the Sea Eagle picture:
As you might logically expect the next post is…

Kalla den änglamarken –

Paradise on Earth part 2

This time your sample picture is of a seal:

Finally, to bring you right up to date we have…

Kalla den änglamarken –

Paradise on Earth part 3

This third post about the wildlide of Trosa and the Tureholm Peninsula is devoted to birds. My bait to lure you in is a Heron…

SOME OF MY PICTURES FROM TODAY

I finish this piece with some pictures from earlier today, starting with…

A LITTLE EGRET SEEN IN THE RIVER NAR

The point where the River Nar joins the Great Ouse is about 10-15 minutes walk from the centre of King’s Lynn, and I regularly see interesting stuff there, but before today I had not seen a Little Egret there (as well as the two pictures I took of the bird I have a picture of the relevant page of my bird book):

Little Egret 1Little Egret 2Bird Book

My second set of pictures are…

A SNAIL, A DUCKLING AND A HOVERING INSECT

SnailDuckling

Hovering insect
The footpath above which this little beauty was hovering does not make a great background, bjut I hope you can see the delicate wings that keep that body airborne.

 

 

 

Autism Infographics and Some Photographs

A couple of classic autism infographics I spotted in the last 24 hours and some photographs of my own.

INTRODUCTION

The photographs which will be appearing in two tranches at the end of this post are mine, all taken yesterday. The two autism related infographics are shared from elsewhere (credit given at appropriate points). I saw the first of these yesterday evening and the second this morning.

AUTISM INFOGRAPHICS

First, courtesy of Patricia, who tweets as @pgzwicker, comes this gem:

Autistic chiuld infographic

The second was originally posted on Our Autism Blog this morning, and I link to that post so that you can comment on it there should you wish:

OABinfog

PHOTOGRAPHS

The first of the two sets of my photographs that I am putting up here were taken while out walking yesterday morning:

Upper Purfleet
The Upper Purfleet
giant slug
A giant slug on the path alongside Bawsey Drain
Moorhen
A moorhen swimming in a clear pool
Moorhen and lilies
This second pool was covered in water lilies.
white duck
A town centre section of the Gaywood River
Moorhens and algae
In the parkland area – this stretch of river is covered in algae.
Magpie
A magpie on the path alongside the Great Ouse
Cormorants
Near the end of the walk – some shots of cormorants and boats on the town centre section of the Great Ouse.

CormorantBoat3 CormorantsCormorants on platform2 cormorantsCormorant2Boat and gulls

The last few pictures for today were taken yesterday afternoon while sitting outside my parents house in East Rudham. These are probably the last shots I will have from there as my parents are moving to Plymouth.

Bee1Bee3Bee2