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Sheffields Flora and Fauna


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Kingfisher on the River Don next to Norfolk Bridge. As fish now thrive in our rivers and Canal, so do the birds that rely on them for food.

She's back!   W/E.

The plant I know as traveller's joy (old man's beard is another name for it, properly known as clematis vitalba) en mass near Broughton Lane bridge, August 2019.

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From Mr Odey at Darnhill, near Sheffield, we learned that no regular rotation of cropping was practised and that little land was summer fallowed.

He farther informed us, that tithes were a great obstacle to improvements.

When he entered to the farm he occupies, four loads of wheat were only produced upon the acre, but owing to the improvements made by him, the produce is augmented to twelve loads; and he considered it as a great hardship that the tenth of this aditional produce should be carried off by a man who had born no part of the expence

(1793; original spelling).

------------

Darnhill ??

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I don't think it is a cat doing it as our local cats seem to have made themselves scarce as well.

Whatever it is killing the birds it's still here and still at it.

Found this decapitated bird in the pavement this morning while out with the dog.

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Meanwhile, back in the garden our bird table and feeders have not seen a single bird for weeks now

Even though earlier in the summer these were plenty of birds and even families of birds bringing newly fledged chicks.

Now, as well as our mysterious random bird killer in the area, which must have scared a lot of the birds off I seem to remember hearing a news report recently about some disease or virus which is decimating the population of, in particular finches.

We used to get a lot of finches, but not any more.

Is this due to disease?

Anyone know any more about this?

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Still in the garden, our single apple tree has produced a bumper crop this year.

Now with a load of apples like that to me the best thing to do with them is to ferment them down into a nice brew of cider

So I could be a bit like one of these guys

However, to do this first the apples need to be pulped and crushed in a cider press.

This is a relativably simple but fairly heavy duty piece of kit

But at over £200 just to get the apples into a state where the cider making process can begin I think I'll be giving it a miss

Looks like MrsH will be making a lot of apple pies this year instead.

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We have also had a bumper crop of blackberries this year

So we could have apple and blackberry pies as well.

However, having watched the last ever episode of "Last of the summer wine" I deceided to make a brew of blackberry wine over the autumn.

MrsH got scratched and torn to pieces picking the 2kg per gallon of wine berries in the first place. I can't do this as the slightest scratch from any thorny plant always turns septic on me and takes a long time to heal up.

I had to invest in some new wine stuff as we have not made our own wine for quite a few years now, - in fact since the day we realised we could drink it faster than we could brew it so we would be better off buying the stuff.

Now, within a few hours and having been left overnight fermentation is underway, it already has that strong brewing smell around the house and is bubbling away nicely.

I will look forward to drinking that some time next year.

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Meanwhile, back in the garden our bird table and feeders have not seen a single bird for weeks now

Even though earlier in the summer these were plenty of birds and even families of birds bringing newly fledged chicks.

Now, as well as our mysterious random bird killer in the area, which must have scared a lot of the birds off I seem to remember hearing a news report recently about some disease or virus which is decimating the population of, in particular finches.

We used to get a lot of finches, but not any more.

Is this due to disease?

Anyone know any more about this?

With the smaller birds it could possibly be magpies, we used to have lots of problems with them in the UK picking off young birds newly launched from their nests. The larger bird (pigeon?) in your photo could have been the victim of a fox, although as a rule a fox will bury the carcass to return later to feed, we have witnessed this many times. Alternatively have you spotted any birds of prey eg sparrowhawks in your vicinity? I must say before we moved over here, we had noticed finches were on the decline in our garden, also sparrows which used to be so common. :huh:

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With the smaller birds it could possibly be magpies, we used to have lots of problems with them in the UK picking off young birds newly launched from their nests. The larger bird (pigeon?) in your photo could have been the victim of a fox, although as a rule a fox will bury the carcass to return later to feed, we have witnessed this many times. Alternatively have you spotted any birds of prey eg sparrowhawks in your vicinity? I must say before we moved over here, we had noticed finches were on the decline in our garden, also sparrows which used to be so common. :huh:

We have had problems with magpies killing smaller birds in the past, but even they seem to have made themselves scarce just lately.

We do have urban foxes in the area. One of them has a fairly fixed route it takes every night and our dog has great fun sniffing along its tracks ages after it has gone try to stalk it out. The dead birds are not along the path of this fox and I have never suspected it.

We do suspect, although we have not seen, a sparrowhawk, as both recent kills, - the collared dove on our garden wall and the pigeon (yes it was a pigeon) in the street are below trees along our street where the birds roost.

Both killings have been by decapitation in which the head has never been found but the headless body has been left. This strikes me as a bit unusual as if you kill a bird for food you would want the body with the meat on and not just a boney, beaky head.

I still suspect a sparrowhawk in our neighbourhood.

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We have had problems with magpies killing smaller birds in the past, but even they seem to have made themselves scarce just lately.

We do have urban foxes in the area. One of them has a fairly fixed route it takes every night and our dog has great fun sniffing along its tracks ages after it has gone try to stalk it out. The dead birds are not along the path of this fox and I have never suspected it.

We do suspect, although we have not seen, a sparrowhawk, as both recent kills, - the collared dove on our garden wall and the pigeon (yes it was a pigeon) in the street are below trees along our street where the birds roost.

Both killings have been by decapitation in which the head has never been found but the headless body has been left. This strikes me as a bit unusual as if you kill a bird for food you would want the body with the meat on and not just a boney, beaky head.

I still suspect a sparrowhawk in our neighbourhood.

I have seen a sparrowhawk take collared doves in our garden a couple of times, usually in a flurry of feathers and then carrying the whole bird away. I agree it is very strange to leave the body and just take the head. Could it be you have a mad axeman squirrel in the trees :P

On a different tack, thought you might like to see a photo of one of the strange creatures we get in our garden here in Andalucia. He changes colour dependant on what plant he sits on.

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On a different tack, thought you might like to see a photo of one of the strange creatures we get in our garden here in Andalucia. He changes colour dependant on what plant he sits on.

While on holiday in Italy there were plenty of little green lizards, cleverly hiding well hidden in the grass, until, like this one they ran across the base of a lamp post or a pavement.

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While on holiday in Italy there were plenty of little green lizards, cleverly hiding well hidden in the grass, until, like this one they ran across the base of a lamp post or a pavement.

Wow, that was really quick of you to catch him in a photo. Our "gang" of lizards move far too quickly for me to snap them. We had a laugh the other day when taking the dogs out, two lizards were lolling against one of the water pipes, for all the world just like two old ladies chatting over the garden wall, think Les Dawson sketch tongue.gif They just stayed there whilst we walked past but unfortunately Buster decided to cock his leg up and they both received a refreshing shower!!! Neither moved..... smile.gif
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Wow, that was really quick of you to catch him in a photo. Our "gang" of lizards move far too quickly for me to snap them.

You've got to be quick with the camera when you go on dangerous photographic missions on the Manor estate and places like that.

Comes in handy for capturing a shot of the occasional reptile lol

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...for all the world just like two old ladies chatting over the garden wall, think Les Dawson sketch :P

The Les Dawson sketch was called the "Cissie and Ada" sketch which Les used to perform with Ray Barraclough (Alec Gilroy out of Coronation Street)

Sadly both of them are no longer with us.

This was not an original sketch by Les dawson, or by Ray Barraclough either.

They had "borrowed" (stolen :o ) the sketch from earlier comedians going back to the 1940's, - their names evade me at present. part of the Sandy Powell generation of comedy.

But these two made the sketch their own, with all the manerisms like supporting an over large bussom on both folded hands, talking in "lip read" mode with delicate personal subject matter etc.

What an act.

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The Les Dawson sketch was called the "Cissie and Ada" sketch which Les used to perform with Ray Barraclough (Alec Gilroy out of Coronation Street)

Sadly both of them are no longer with us.

This was not an original sketch by Les dawson, or by Ray Barraclough either.

They had "borrowed" (stolen :o ) the sketch from earlier comedians going back to the 1940's, - their names evade me at present. part of the Sandy Powell generation of comedy.

But these two made the sketch their own, with all the manerisms like supporting an over large bussom on both folded hands, talking in "lip read" mode with delicate personal subject matter etc.

What an act.

I totally agree, they were brillliant. he he The act was a tribute to Norman Evans, a variety and radio "artiste".

Norman was discovered by fellow Rochdale entertainer Gracie Fields. The act for which he is best remembered was "Over the Garden Wall", in which he played a toothless hatchet-faced Lancastrian housewife gossiping over a garden wall, which provided the inspiration for Les Dawson's Cissie and Ada characters with Roy Barraclough. The one-sided conversations would embrace all sorts of local gossip, including scandal about the neighbours and personal medical complaints, including silently mouthing words deemed too rude to be spoken out loud, and accompanied with a range of facial contortions and glances round for supposed eavesdroppers.

His first appearance on the London stage was alongside a young Betty Driver (who co-incidentally was Betty in the pub in Coronation Street) and he was the only pantomime dame to receive top billing at the London Palladium.

Norman Evans is buried in Carleton Cemetery, Blackpool. The headstone of his grave is a low wall built from natural gritstone blocks. His epitaph (preceding birth and death dates (June 11, 1901 – November 25, 1962) reads "Norman's last garden wall!"

We´ve got a bit off the Flora and Fauna topic here :blink:

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I totally agree, they were brillliant. he he The act was a tribute to Norman Evans, a variety and radio "artiste".

Norman was discovered by fellow Rochdale entertainer Gracie Fields. The act for which he is best remembered was "Over the Garden Wall", in which he played a toothless hatchet-faced Lancastrian housewife gossiping over a garden wall, which provided the inspiration for Les Dawson's Cissie and Ada characters with Roy Barraclough. The one-sided conversations would embrace all sorts of local gossip, including scandal about the neighbours and personal medical complaints, including silently mouthing words deemed too rude to be spoken out loud, and accompanied with a range of facial contortions and glances round for supposed eavesdroppers.

His first appearance on the London stage was alongside a young Betty Driver (who co-incidentally was Betty in the pub in Coronation Street) and he was the only pantomime dame to receive top billing at the London Palladium.

Norman Evans is buried in Carleton Cemetery, Blackpool. The headstone of his grave is a low wall built from natural gritstone blocks. His epitaph (preceding birth and death dates (June 11, 1901 – November 25, 1962) reads "Norman's last garden wall!"

We´ve got a bit off the Flora and Fauna topic here :blink:

Norman Evans was the name that was evading me. Thanks SuzyC

My brain at my age works on the "48 hour rule"

If I can't think of something that I know that I already know it will usually come to me, unexpectedly but in a flash within the following 48 hours.

You have saved me the wait ;-)

OK, back to the flora and fauna

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You've got to be quick with the camera when you go on dangerous photographic missions on the Manor estate and places like that.

Comes in handy for capturing a shot of the occasional reptile lol

Is the Manor still a questionable area then? I expect there is a thread here on the forum all about the Manor, I´ll have to have a look, can only remember driving past Manor Top as a child (well obviously I wasn´t driving lol ). However, my Mum´s cleaning lady lived on the Manor and she was the most decent, hardworking, straitlaced lady you could have wished to meet. When we moved from Norfolk Road across town to Broomhill she continued to work for us, imagine travelling all that way to and fro each day by bus (I expect Mum paid her fares but still it must have taken a lot of time).

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Is the Manor still a questionable area then? I expect there is a thread here on the forum all about the Manor, I´ll have to have a look, can only remember driving past Manor Top as a child (well obviously I wasn´t driving lol ). However, my Mum´s cleaning lady lived on the Manor and she was the most decent, hardworking, straitlaced lady you could have wished to meet. When we moved from Norfolk Road across town to Broomhill she continued to work for us, imagine travelling all that way to and fro each day by bus (I expect Mum paid her fares but still it must have taken a lot of time).

There is plenty of stuff on here about the Manor in other more appropriate topics, much of it put on by me :rolleyes:

The Manor still has a rough reputation, you only have to watch programs like "Police, camera action" and "Cops, cars and criminals" to see that.

In recent years new private housing developments have made the estate half council estate, half private which seems to have softened the area a little, but the bottom of the Manor and Wybourn are pretty much the same, hopefully it will improve.

Having said that, there have ALWAYS been a majority of good, honest, decent, hard working people living on the Manor and they always get overlooked.

It is ALWAYS a small minority of troublecausers that give the whole area its poor reputation.

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There is plenty of stuff on here about the Manor in other more appropriate topics, much of it put on by me :rolleyes:

The Manor still has a rough reputation, you only have to watch programs like "Police, camera action" and "Cops, cars and criminals" to see that.

In recent years new private housing developments have made the estate half council estate, half private which seems to have softened the area a little, but the bottom of the Manor and Wybourn are pretty much the same, hopefully it will improve.

Having said that, there have ALWAYS been a majority of good, honest, decent, hard working people living on the Manor and they always get overlooked.

It is ALWAYS a small minority of troublecausers that give the whole area its poor reputation.

Thanks Dave, I will have a look at the info. Endorse your sentiments at the end entirely, same everywhere, the few spoil it for the majority of good folks.

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Thanks Dave, I will have a look at the info. Endorse your sentiments at the end entirely, same everywhere, the few spoil it for the majority of good folks.

Just read an article in todays Daily Mirror about a 75 year ols spinster who lived on a block of flats "somewhere in Sheffield".

She was threatened by 2 delinquent youths and urinated on because she had dared to challenge them about urinating off the balcony of the flats.

Obviously this elderly lady is clearly shaken and upset by this incident but the report states that the police "don't turn up to such incidents"

Don;t know exactly where this is in Sheffield (there is a picture) but once again it seems that a mindless few yobs can get away with terrorising a majority of decent but elderly and harmless neighbours.

This sort of thing really annoys me :angry:

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Just read an article in todays Daily Mirror about a 75 year ols spinster who lived on a block of flats "somewhere in Sheffield".

She was threatened by 2 delinquent youths and urinated on because she had dared to challenge them about urinating off the balcony of the flats.

Obviously this elderly lady is clearly shaken and upset by this incident but the report states that the police "don't turn up to such incidents"

Don;t know exactly where this is in Sheffield (there is a picture) but once again it seems that a mindless few yobs can get away with terrorising a majority of decent but elderly and harmless neighbours.

This sort of thing really annoys me :angry:

Here is the article I was refering to

OK so this is a topic about flora and fauna but these yobs add a newer and nastier meaning to the word "wildlife"

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Back to flora and fauna, I came across these two yesterday, both on the same tree!

It may look like a clump of twigs, but it's actually a squirrel's drey, the occupant just having legged it round the other side of the tree!

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Back to flora and fauna, I came across these two yesterday, both on the same tree!

It may look like a clump of twigs, but it's actually a squirrel's drey, the occupant just having legged it round the other side of the tree!

Come to think of it, the 3 squirrels that used to frequent our garden and annoy Mrs H by digging up her plants to bury the nuts they had "stolen" from her bird feeders have made themselves scarce as well.

Would squirrels but worried by the presence of a sparrowhawk?

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Back to flora and fauna, I came across these two yesterday, both on the same tree!

It may look like a clump of twigs, but it's actually a squirrel's drey, the occupant just having legged it round the other side of the tree!

From what I can see in your photo,

the fungal growth is on what looks to me like a Beech tree?

It is one of a large group commonly known as Bracket fungi,

hard to make out, but it could from the genus Ganoderma,

of which there are about eighty world wide.

The smaller white one in your photo could be a new growth

spread from above,

as they usually discolour with age and size.

Here's another example of a young Bracket fungus,

this one is growing on a cut down Oak.

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