Challenging Habitat Blog

Puppies are happiness!

You may well ask … It’s one of my favourite oak trees on my walks, sun shining through branches, seen through a shard of cobalt blue ‘night soil’ glass washed out of the abandoned daffodil fields in Silver Valley by recent rain.

Sometimes it is useful to look at life through a different lense.

Strictly socially distanced by length of paddles and exercise on the water can be a very enjoyable event.

It’s almost a mini-adventure!

Can you tell an oak from a chestnut, wild cherry from a beech or ash and a holly from a hazel, by just looking at the bark?

How about the difference between young and mature trees?

For some species, it’s not that easy, and when I tried on my woodland walk today, I also looked at the growth habit, shape of branches, dormant leaf buds and yes, the dominant leaf litter around its base.

Featured image: a young holly

I can’t believe it’s been five years since David Bowie died… January 2016.

Thank you BBC for celebrating his life and music this week!

It’s a great pleasure to hear how other people relate to his work and to feel transported to my teenage days of total abandon in his music.

Featured image: “David Bowie Street Art” by Observe The Banana is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

It is good to see that the public is reminded of the importance of small freshwater bodies for biodiversity by the Helen Briggs at the BBC:

Having created a wildlife pond in my own garden this summer, I have been astonished by the arrival of invertebrates, mollusks and birds within the first few weeks and months of its existence and the colonisation of pond margins with a variety of mosses, ferns and wild flowers.

Pond beetles whirling in my wildlife pond, November 2020

If you have a little space, I’d strongly encourage you to introduce water into your garden – a tiny space a couple of metres across will add a beautiful dimension to the experience of your space and it will support wildlife, such as newts and birds. It can be such a pleasure to watch evolve, get kids involved and learning as your wildlife pond matures…

I also sincerely hope that the protection of water courses on farmland and common land will be high on the agenda in coming years.

Now for something slightly different:

The Pelican of London’s very own tradition – the Great Egg Challenge!

The challenge: free fall drop of an egg from the main mast while maintaining its integrity.

Plenty of different designs disguising the padding techniques, and of course, we won’t reveal what works and what doesn’t – that would give the game away.

Mizzen Watch: Eggbert – apparently, he’s been on the ship all along?!?!

Darwin 200 Team: Stew presenting Eggward the chicken in a dry bag.
The Bosun’s department: Connor presents with no frills and in no time!
The entrants have arrived at the first platform of the main mast.
The Mate Tamsin measures the distance with precision.
Some entries look better after the event than before…

Judged on design, presentation with egg references, team work, distance hurled and egg integrity after the drop, Fore Watch won!

Sadly the moment of glory was short lived…why eggsactly will remain a secret until you eggsperience the Pelican’s Big Egg Drop yourself!

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