On Saturday I visited Petworth House to see the 'Turner and the Age of British Watercolour' exhibition. There were only seven Turners in the exhibition gallery, the rest being other well known water colourists. 'A First Rate Taking In Stores' was amazing, the amount of detail quite incredible for the size, and the contemporary description of how it was painted made it even more interesting. After that I looked at the Turners in the main galleries and saw again the three Petworth Turners in the 'Grinling Gibbons hall' which need restoration. The portraits from the Holbein school were excellent, especially the Henry VIII. I also liked the portrait of Elizabeth Percy.
|Heyshott work party|
By the path from the car park to the house the daffodils formed a carpet, with tall old conifers beside the walkway:
On Sunday a drizzly morning was spent metal detecting, my only finds being a lead hem weight, a large shot and a button:
A visit to Arundel WWT on Monday showed two toads in the pool by the entrance walkway. The Polyanthus on our balcony have all bloomed again so I tidied the planters up. The geraniums are looking good for Spring. While doing this I found a Western Conifer Seed Bug, a recent (1999) immigrant to the south of the country from the USA. The miniature orchid in our bay window has flowered again to join two Phalaenopsis.
|Common Toad, Bufo bufo|
|Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis|
On Tuesday a walk along Ferring Rife gave me my first Small Tortoiseshells of the season - six in total, not bad given the cloud cover. I also spotted an Angle Shades moth larva on a dock leaf. The last one I saw was eating the mint on our balcony. The ponds on the west bank had plenty of frog spawn, including clusters of tiny tadpoles:
|Angle Shades larva on dock leaf, Phlogophora meticulosa|
|Angle Shades larva|
|Small Tortoiseshell on nettle|
|Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae|
|Snowdrop, Galanthus species|
At home I found a Yellow-backed Clothes moth by the balcony light.
|Yellow-backed Clothes moth, Monopis obviella|
Yesterday I joined the work party at Heyshott escarpment. This is the first one for a month which has not been cancelled due to bad weather. A bank by the path was covered in Cuckoo Flower, foodplant of the Orange Tip. Afterwards I joined Mark at Iping & Stedham Commona then photographed the Cedar Cups at a churchyard. There are many more out than the last time I saw them, perhaps 80.
|Heyshott work party|
|Brimstone on the primrose slope|
|Cuckoo Flower, Cardamine pratensis|
|British White Cattle on Stedham Common|
The use of Sussex Wildlife Cattle on the local commons is a matter of controversy among the local farming community after a SWT cow was found to have bovine TB in 2015: http://bit.ly/2nJOold
|Cedar Cup, Geopora sumneriana|
|Small Tortoiseshell in churchyard at Singleton.|
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