Greek Wildlife

Some of the creatures I observed in the course of my holiday in Greece.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my series about my holiday in Greece (12th to 19th May). This one is an almost purely pictorial post showing some of the plant and animal life that I encountered there.

THE FLORA AND FAUNA I CAPTURED

Lizard I
This little green lizard was the only such creature I amanged to capture on camera, but I also saw a larger yellow/brown lizard at Methoni, although it made itself scarce before I could photograph it.

Lizard IICleopatraLizard IIIButterfly (1)Butterfly IIButterfly - folded wingsButterfly on spiky plantFish in rockpoolred beetleOrange ButterflyGiant green beetleYellow butterflyHopping insectHouse Martin nestsAdult House Martin visits one of the nests

Three cats at the noms plate
We had decided that we would put out cat food, but no treats, so the cats who visited were genuinely hungry..

Orange butterflyLizardYellow and green butterflyButterflygreen butterfly

dark butterfly
This picture and the next demonstrate that not all the butterflies in Greece are brightly coloured.

stony butterflylong legged insectbugmulticoloured beetlemulti-coloured beetle IIOrange catOld terracingFish in rockpool IIFishOrange bitterfly IIOrange butterfly IIIOrange Butterfly IVOrange butterfly VOrange butterfly VIGrasshopper IIHouse Martin visits the nests

Mountain snail
I saw this mountain snail during the ascent to Karytaina Castle, on the Friday, after the visit to Dimitsana.
arachnid
I could not identify this one with any confidence, although the shape suggests an arachnid of some sort rather than an insect.
Beetle
The size and shape of tbhis creature and the apparent solidity of its carapace suggested a large beetle, although such creatures do not usually display their wings when on the ground.

During one of the walks I saw a tiny snake which concealed itself very quickly, and I missed many other intended shots, but I think I got a fair selection!

Greece: Kardamili, Stoupa, Agios Nikolaos and Trachila

Continuing my account of my holiday in Greece.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next post in my somewhat spread out series about my holiday in Greece. This post follows on from my post about Nestor’s Palace, in which you can find links to all my previous posts about this holiday. Unlike my previous posts in this series this one covers events from two different days, the Monday and the Thursday. 

MONDAY: KARDAMILI AND TRACHILA

There were a few things to be done in Kardamili, including finding some sandals for me, and we decided havuing finished there to make the journey to Trachila, which is at the end of one of the roads beyond the resort town of Stoupa (the other, the main road, goes up into the mountains to Areopoli and then on into the inner Mani and down to very southern tip of mainland Greece). This was a pretty journey, and Trachila itself is very pleasant. 

Map
This map is part of the decoration of the shop from which my sandals came.

Discvover the spirit of the ManiSouvenir shop displayPharmacy postercertificate at the pharmacyThe seaFish in the seaFish in the sea - close upSeaside settlement

The path to the edge of the sea
This is how I was able to get so close to the sea.

Near the seawall fragments

The sea at Stoupa
The sea at Stoupa
lights, Akrouali
On our way back we stopped at Akrouali’s in Stoupa for lunch – these lights were close to our table.

THURSDAY: STOUPA & AGIOS NIKOLAOS

On Thursday morning my mother was going to Stoupa for a “Stitch ‘n’ Bitch” session at Patriko’s, while I made use of their internet connection. Then we were going to walk along the sea-front to the village of Agios Nikolaos, have a light lunch at an establishment there that my parents knew, and then walk back to Stoupa before heading back to Tseria. This was deliberately a day on which we did not go on any major journeys as major excursions were happening on Wednesday and Friday.

sparrow, Patriko'sgrasshopper on the path to Agios NikolaosGuided walks Agios Nikolaos

Natural Window
A natural window in the rocks, between Stoupa and Agios Nikolaos
Painted stone, Greg's, Agios Nikolaos
A painted stone used as a table decoration at the place where we had lunch.

placemap, Greg'sPlacemap, Greg's II

House Martin nests, Ag Nikolaos
Two shots of house martin nests in Agios Nikolaos

House Martin nests, Ag Nikolaos II

House Martin visits the nests
A shot of a house martin visiting the nest to deliver food to chicks concealed within.
Hill with Frankish fortifications
Not much remains of the 13th century Frankish castle which stood on this flat topped hill.

Hill with Frankish fortifications II

A Couple of Puzzles and Some Butterflies

A couple of easy problems on brilliant.org that have generated considerable controversy, and some butterfly pics of my own.

INTRODUCTION

A couple of this weeks puzzles on brilliant.org have generated considerable controversy, so I am going to share them with you as a prelude to the butterfly pics. Both puzzles are actually very simple, and I will provide solutions and explanations some time on Friday.

PUZZLE 1: DR FRANKENINE

Here is a screenshot of the first puzzle:

Dr Frankenine

PUZZLE TWO: FUEL TANK

Here it is:

Fuel Tank

BUTTERFLIES

These are from Saturday and Monday. In addition the ones I have photographs of I have seen one other species, mainly white but with flame coloured wingtips but not yet been able to photograph it.

Small Tortoiseshell IIISmall Tortoiseshell IIWhite butterflySmall Tortoiseshellgreen and white butterflyveined white butterfly

The First Ducklings of 2018

Pictures of ducklings exploring the Gaywood River.

INTRODUCTION

I saw two broods of ducklings while on my way to a Musical Keys session on Saturday. 

THE PICTURES

I was delighted to see the ducklings, particularly in that location, on the Gaywood River, where they are far enough from the Great Ouse that they should not fall victim to large and aggressive gulls (yes, gulls do target ducklings).

Duck family outingDucklingspale ducklingducklingduck and ducklingFemale mallard with ducklingssix ducklings

Cricket Season Underway

Celebrating the start of a new cricket season.

INTRODUCTION

The first round of County Championship matches in season 2018 is drawing to a conclusion. Where there has been action (Yorkshire’s failure to get their ground into playable condition caused their game against Essex to be abandoned without a ball being bowled). I also have some photos to share, and will provide answers to the last problems I posed.

RAIN, WICKETS AND THE ODD RUN

A lot of drawn games have resulted due to poor weather before and during the matches. However, those matches which have had definite results have been absolute crackers. Only one game remains in progress – Sussex against Warwickshire, with the former’s David Wiese having scored the only century of this first round of fixtures (and off a mere 94 balls, helped along by 14 fours and three sixes). Sussex are building are useful lead, but it will take something spectacular in what is left of the match for anything other than a draw to eventuate. Gloucestershire beat Kent in a very low scoring affair (the largest team total in any of the four innings was only just over 150). Middlesex also won their match in short order, completing the job early on yesterday. Two other matches had definite results:

HAMPSHIRE V WORCESTERSHIRE

Worcestershire generally have a lot of away games scheduled for early in the season to give the New Road ground an apportunity to recover from its winter inundation (it is very close to the river Severn, so this is pretty much an annual event), and this year is no exception. Their match against Hampshire at Southampton (I refuse on principle to refer directly to grounds that are named after a sponsor) saw many twists and turns, but Hampshire were pretty well always ahead of the game. James Vince’s spirited 75 on the opening day was a fine effort, but yet again he failed to turn a good start into a really significant score. All-rounder Gareth Berg matched Vince’s score. Worcestershire fought back from a dreadful start in their own first innings to top the 200 mark, but they still conceded a deficit of 79, and Hampshire then scored 244 in their second innings to leave Worcestershire needing 324 to win. Worcetserhsire were so far short of threatening this target that it took a defiant last wicket partnership to get the final margin below 200 runs. 

LANCASHIRE V NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

Lancashire were all out for 158 in their first innings, Nottinghamshire responded with 222, and overnight Lancashire were 58-2. Harry Gurney and Jake Ball (Left-arm Fast and right-arm Fast Medium respectively) bowled magnificently this morning, and Lancashire’s last eight wickets scraped together a measly 15, which meant Nottinghamshire needed just 10 to win. Nottinghamshire themselves managed to lose four wickets while chasing down this target, making the score for the day 25-12. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

These are all from this morning:

MagpieTwo cormorants ITwo Cormorants IICormorantsBlackbird

Bee
My first bee picture of 2018

Bee IIBee - close upSlugPollinator IPollinator IISmall TortoiseshellSmall Tortoiseshell - close up

SOLUTIONS

I posed these problems on Friday, in a post titled “Solutions (And New Problems)

  1. Deck of Cards:
    Card problem

This is a multi-choice question, the possible answers being:

a) Less than 50%
b) More than 50%
c) Exactly 50%
This problem generated a huge amount of controversy among solvers on brilliant (many of those who opted for exactly 50% being unable to accept that they were wrong and arguing over it). The answer is “less than 50%” – whatever colour the top card in the pack is there remain 51 cards of which 25 are the same colour as the top card and 26 are the other colour. Hence the probability of the bottom card being the same colour is the top card is 25/51, which is just less than 50%. The more cards the deck contains the closer to 50% the probability gets, but it never reaches 50%.

2. Groyne

Groyne Q

This one caused such confusion to solvers om brilliant that over half of them got it wrong. The answer is A, since the groyne acts as a block against waves approaching it from the right as you look at it, and therefore the reduced speed of those waves causes sediment to deposited on that side of the groyne. 

Musical Keys On a Spring Saturday

A brief account of my session at Musical Keys yesterday.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday was a Musical Keys session, and Oliver who runs Musical Keys put in an appearance. Also, some of our stuff was recorded – we will hear it in a fortnight’s time.

THE JOURNEY TO THE SCOUT HUT

Immediatedly after a light lunch of salami and salad I set off on my journey (I was starting early because I needed to check in on my aunt’s house en route and also intended to take advantage of heading towards that part of the world to visit Gaywood Library). After the few minutes it took to make sure all was OK at my aunt’s house I headed for the parkland and thence the footpath between the two academies, before a diversion to Gaywood Library and a walk along the bank of the Gaywood River to finish. Here are some pictures covering the period between leaving my flat and exiting the parkland at Tennyson Road:

Saturday Market Place
A welcome return of market stalls to the Saturday Market Place.
Hampton Court Cannon Ball
This cannon ball hangs in the entrance to Hampton Court (near my aunt’s house)
Red Mount Chapel
The Red Mount Chapel
Guanock Gate
The Guanock Gate
Black headed gull
A black headed gull in The Walks.

Not fit for play!

The cricket season is underway in most parts of the country, but Yorkshire and Essex have had no play on any of the first three days of their match due to a sodden outfield. Norfolk has not been battered as much as the north, but this picture from The Walks shows the problem – saturated soil means that there is nowhere for water to go.

The second part of the walk to the Scout Hut provided a few photos as well:

Purple FlowersPurple FlowerYellow flowerDaffodils, Gaywood RiverLittle Blue Flowers

Blue tit
For more on the bird on this picture please visit my previous post.

BlackbirdThe above picture was the Featured Image in my post Blue Tit and Butterfly

AT THE SCOUT HUT

Once it was time for the session to begin I did not take long to decide what I was going to do…

Yamaha music system
This Yamaha music system is not quite the equal of the Korg that I jhave used on previous occasions at Musical Keys, but it is still a very fine gadget.

InstrumentchordFACE4 chordQuintCAFE

After I had been recorded I spent what was left of the session creating musical words (e.g playing the notes F, A, C and E for face or, C, A, F and E for cafe). For the bit was a recording I used a double pattern – each four note chord I used comprised two pairs of notes separated by two, and with an octave between each pair.

HOMEWARD BOUND

The entirety of my homeward journey took place not only in daylight but under a bright sun (yes, we sometimes forget about it, especially during long winters like the one we are just emerging from, but even here in Blighty we do get to see the sun). I only added one solitary picture to my collection during this journey – a pair of drakes swimming in formation in the Gaywood River…

drakes

Blue Tit and Butterfly

A blue tit and a butterfly from yesterday.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday was a Musical Keys day, and on the way there I got a few photographs which I think warrant a post of their own, before I move on to the main meat of today’s blogging.

THE BLUE TIT

This was a picture I took more in hope than expectation, since small birds nearly always fly out fo shot before the camera has picked them up, but on this occasion fortune smiled…

Blue tit
blue tit in tree branches, on the path than runs betwee the King Edward the Seventh Academy and The King’s Lynn Academy.
Blue Tit - close up
The blue tit, extracted from the foregoing picture.

Blue tit - bird book

THE BUTTERFLY

As I approached the Scout Hut where Musical Keys sessions take place, walking along the bank of the Gaywood River I spotted a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly. I investigated further and finished with six splendid pictures.

Tortoiseshell ButterflyTortoiseshell Butterfly IITortoiseshell Butterfly IIITortoiseshell Butterfly IVTortoiseshell Butterfly VTortoiseshell Butterfly VI