Monday, 30 May 2016

In An English (Not Country) Garden -Up-date For July 2016!

Hmm. So Lola the would be Killer Bitch Queen cat has been getting closer and closer to me. Came up the path quickly today. Right by my knee as I talked to her. Food might have something to do with it. I've mentioned this isn't my cat, right? Let me take photos of her.

Below: Lola who is the fastest moving little cat I've ever seen. Last week I saw her with a juvenile rat she killed in the garden.  Look at her....

On the other side of things. I have ten species of tree in my garden. The Buddleja alternifoliua (lilac coloured flower cones) may need trimming back this year as no flowers yet.
Above: Buddleja globosa
Below: Bridal Wreath ( Spiraea fritschiana)

But I have Buddleja globosa all over the place and they are crammed with flowers -putting food in the bird feeders its a wave of honey scent. No wonder the bumble bees, honey bees and others are all over it.

Ornamental cherry tree (Prunus sargentii) flowers quick and is gone. Elder Trees we have three so they will flower and then...

LOTS of elder berries but as I don't drink....Oak of course.


Mock Orange I have a big one and four growing from cuttings and they are about 6 feet (2.1m) tall now.

Conifers, obviously.
 Above: Do you see it in the Bridal Wreath tree?
Below: A Marsh or Willow Tit (only one sure way of knowing but not a good enough photo) -call seems to say Willow Tit but there have been calls from both types.

Bridal Wreath (Spiraea fritschiana) still has all its lovely scented flowers the BIG tree is also same species (I think)but 3 times taller.

Laburnum tree which has yellow flowers earlier in the year.

Apple tree.
 Above....Herring gull. I have a lot of arguments with him.
Below: Albinistic jackdaw.

Below: When I first saw this bird in 2010 I never got a close look but something other than the squirrel was stealing the acorns...a Jay.  It has been back a few times this year on the feeder and "plucked" showing she has young!

Below: Wood pigeons

 Above: A wood pigeon egg and, below, a juvenile wood pigeon!
Below: Blue tits

There are various types of ivy (plain and variegated). Ferns. Rose bushes -one growing up through the oak.

Lots of wild flowers (wild flowers are what they call "Weeds" -as one gardener put it: "Weeds is flowers growing where you don't want them growing!"). All provide nectar.

LOTS of insects and I've even seen beetles return this year -hedgehogs do not live by dog and cat food alone (especially that randy little sod). Birds need insects. And ants....bigger colonies this year and, yes, they are herding the aphids.

I can now say that I have seen at least three common shrews (front garden and back).  So they are back here in some strength. There are also field mice and, as the now friendly but still semi wild Lola has shown, the occasional rat (building work nearby is disturbing them so they come into my garden!).

Slow worms -never had my camera on me.  Same thing for a Common lizard and I've seen these in the past so they are here.

The Vixen (Vulpes vulpes)
Above: the vixen who had cubs this year -one of two coming here and there is a younger adult male, too.
From last year and apologies for any naughty words!

Now, with so many people cutting down trees, ripping up hedges and gardens (the main road out front looks like a car showroom just tiled parking place after tiled parking place.

First photo of female hedgehog 2009

Below: Young Hedgehog out in April 2011 and really needed feeding!

Below: Sow and young 2011

Below:The hoglet is the little one in the middle. The curled up position is defensive -the spikes make sure dogs, etc., can't grab them. The sow was VERY aggressive and I'm guessing when I went to check things out the, uh, 'dead' one decided to pull out all the tricks! I should have known better but it fooled me! Mind could have been a zombie hedgehog! 2011

All below 2016. Male and at least two females known in this garden.

When I moved down to this area in 1995 it was classed as "a wildlife deprivation zone". 20+ species of wild bird come into my garden during the year, badger, foxes, hedgehogs.
Let us not forget the mystery of the odd calls.....(still going on in July!)

My wildlife file cards list a lot. Twenty-one species of bird for a start!

Above: I still have to identify the small lilac-pinkish coloured wild flowers but bees like them.

Below: female sparrow hawk with pigeon it killed by front lane.
 Below: The hawk took down and killed the pigeon about 100 yards away by the kitchen waste bin. To the fore you see the front gate where she took it to eat.
 Below: The fifth pigeon kill by this female sparrowhawk in two weeks -this by back window. Her markings were clear enough. The other female and male sparrowhawk returned to garden but this seemed the main killer.
 Below: this female sparrowhawk (white mark on neck) along with the male used to go into the bushes to flush out the smaller birds but NOT kill. It seemed them testing out their skills and "playing".  The female hawk that killed regularly had a large white patch further down her back so she was easily identifiable.

Other birds in my garden regularly, and I do not want to spend all day uploading photos!

Wood Pigeons
Collared Doves
Feral (dumped racing) pigeons
White Wagtails
Hedge sparrow (Dunnock)
House sparrows
Robin (year round)
Long Tailed Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Marsh Tit
Willow Tit
House Bunting
Yellow Hammer
Reed Bunting
Gold Finch
Bull Finch
Green Finch
Jackdaws (the above three birds are here all year round and have plenty of young (3rd lot jackdaws this year just coming in)

there are other, occasional birds but these are the main ones.

Below the female squirrel whose activities I've documented on Face Book!

Below: outside my window -two Mallow bushes (in pots) and in the middle a tiny willow. The rest is all wild flower and Nigella.
A few packets of flower seeds, a bush and a bird feeder -and a source of water like a bird bath or mini pond. That is all it takes. We can't keep on taking and not giving back.

I have noted, this year, an increase in the number of different beetle types -probably due to all the wet weather we've had.  Not seen this many for years. 

What makes me sad is that I have spent 1994 -2016 spreading wild flower seeds around the area, treated manged foxes, taken in injured and sick birds -including feral pigeons,planted to encourage wild life and increased food for various birds (seen a rise in starling young each year and this year a huge number of Marsh tits) and am thinking of a new shallow pond. Twenty three years and I have to remember that from an area with not much wildlife I, and a couple aged compatriots who do their bit when they can, or could (one died recently) have seen it increase in leaps and bounds to what it is today. There is no protection for the property as it is City Council owned and if I get moved on or something happens to all goes.

But we do what we can while we are here and I urge everyone to do the same!

Below: Nigella

Ignominiam hominis

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Siberian Fisherman Catches A God!

It was nice to see, in this age of "sell it for as much as you can" that Nikolay Tarasov donated the object to the museum so that others could see it and learn.  Much kudos to him!

The figure is believed to be an ancient pagan god.

The figure is believed to be an ancient pagan god.

(The Siberian Times)

Siberian fisherman accidentally nets 4,000-year-old pagan god

A Siberian man looking for fish accidentally found a god.

Nikolay Tarasov, 53, netted the extraordinary 4,000-year-old figurine while fishing in his hometown of Tisul, in Russia’s Kemerovo region.

The small object got tangled in his net and Tarasov was getting ready to chuck it back into the river when he glanced down to take another look.

That’s when he saw a face staring back up at him.

“I stopped and washed the thing in the river and realized it wasn't a stone of an unusual shape, as I thought earlier, but a statuette,” the man told the Siberian Times.

Tarasov donated the figure to the Tisul History Museum free of charge.

Tarasov donated the figure to the Tisul History Museum free of charge.

The figure has a grim facial expression and round eyes. On the back, the carver has etched in plaited, wavy hair.

Tisul’s History Museum was stunned when Tarasov brought them the find. Experts said it was made out of horn that has fossizlied. They have dated it to the Bronze Age and believe it may have belonged to the Okunev or Samus cultures, a group of people thought to have inhabited Tisul in ancient times.

“Quite likely, it shows a pagan god. The only things we have dated approximately to the same age are a stone necklace and two charms in the shapes of a bear and a bird,” said museum director Marina Banschikova.

Tarasov’s hunch about the object turned out to be right, but even he was surprised when he realized how old it was.

Siberian driver Nikolay Tarasov found the Bronze Age figure while fishing near his home in Tisul, Russia.

Siberian driver Nikolay Tarasov found the Bronze Age figure while fishing near his home in Tisul, Russia.

(The Siberian Times)

“I knew when I looked closely at my find that it must be not even a couple of hundred years old, but older. But I still needed to sit down when the experts told me that this object was carved at the very beginning of the Bronze Age,” he said.

The man decided to donate the figure to his local museum free of charge—even though it may be worth more than its weight in gold, according to the Siberian Times.

“To sell it and make profit? What are you talking about?” asked Nikolay. “People should see it, and learn the history of their region. It was quite clearly precious for the museums of any country.”

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Fantasists Are Showing Themselves

We have had, as I've previously written, phases of behaviour. The US gets an abduction craze and it takes a few years then...the UK gets abduction craze.  I have the largest file on UK and European alien-entity/UFO cases, and I mean cases where (unlike many very well known 'Ufologists') I have gone back to the sources.  The Greys -and you need to sort out what type of "Grey" you are talking about since alleged abductees/experiencers, et al all come up with so many variations- never cropped up.

Hey -the US goes through a paranormal/demonic craze where even a three leaf clover is seen as demonic interaction (Three scratches or anything it seems are the Satanic mocking the Trinity -I found three bees on a plant this morning so I'm worried).  Takes a while but the good old UK....blah blah blah.

The US has its TV fuelled Sasquatch craze know where I'm going, right?


Now I have always taken the open-minded stance.  Other naturalists may say "ridiculous!" without even looking at a case.  Me? I want every fact and I want to talk first hand to the witness -no fake internet names.  You do not give a name you are a hoaxer (obviously, if I talk or write about a case then I protect a witnesses identity and have done so for over 40 years).

So, I ask various paranormal groups, very politely, about their best evidence and I get very -VERY- rude responses.  I am, apparently a "skeptic" or a well know debunker.  Really?  You can be polite and explain over and over but that's it.

What are they hiding?  A cobweb, insect, specks of dust caught on cameras are not "spirit orbs" -you can see the actual composition of the dust particles on the images these people enlarge themselves. Old, wood buildings creak, groan and, as I found out some 40 years ago, after a warm days you can hear the loud "bang" as things cool down.  Digital recorders produce some of the most inaudible and crazy sounds going.  Back in the old days the electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) researchers used to have anything picked up and recorded checked out by independent specialists.  By my count alone, based on the few TV shows I've seen, there are at the very least 200 "spirit voices" recorded.  We see the investigators show screens with bars and wavy lines...ooooh. But why have these recordings never been handed over to independent audio labs for analysis? That would give the proof these paranormalists want.  Faked.

Do not even get me started on the thousands of 'psychics'...."Oh. As soon as I spoke to you over the phone I realised this was a demonic entity!"  Balls.

So then we have the "British Wild-Man/sasquatch" delusionals. "I found a stick in woodland and believe that this is a stick used by the wild-men for tree knocking communications!" I found a twig in my back garden and gods knows what bigfoot uses that for!

But, no, I sat back and politely contacted the groups involved to see just what was going on.  Again -the nasty responses.  They wanted someone to look at the evidence.  I offered.  Nasty name-calling and then "okay" but nothing.  The photos of these creatures taken...NO! I couldn't see them.  "Footprints" that were not footprints BUT I could not use them or see the original, unaltered (brightness/contrast/colour etc) images.  There are a lot of lean-to structures to be found in every wood or forest. I've gone into all the explanations but even "something moving in the woods in the dark" is unquestionably a Bigfoot.

I asked again and again but not one single person out of all those with the 'evidence' came forward. The mentality at times is very childish. I am "owned" because I would not argue that a stick found in woodland is a stick....sorry, "Bigfoot tree-knocking communications tool".

Now, I contacted the newspapers regarding the upsurge in "werewolf" incidents in Hull, etc....nothing. Could I speak to one of the sources as a naturalist and the newspaper could exclusively report my findings? 

Nothing. In fact, the major sightings that started all this were years back in Staffordshire and I have the person responsible for hoaxing admitting this in writing.


That about sums up what all these people have.  If they really want someone to look at their alleged evidence but then keep refusing and tending to do so by insulting it shows that their bluff has been called.  That or they realise they may well have nothing what-so-ever. There is no real, credible explanation other than these.

I will look at the most ridiculous sounding account/claim but remember that "I Believe In Evidence" from the top of this posting.  That does not mean YOU can only offer an account and that's it. I check things.  Other reports around that time? A local history of whatever?  Are the people involved credible?  It is not a case of sitting on my arse saying "Yeah. This isn't good enough.  Try again" (that would be mistaking me for a Fortean or Cryptozoologist).

I do not call people nuts. If a witness is honest and a case can be investigated then I will offer a conclusion:

1) It was a hoax -and offer my reasons for stating this.

2) Open. Something may indeed have been seen/encountered but  there is not enough evidence.

3) Unknown. Everything points to a genuine incident and there is evidence to back the case up.

"Open" I am never happy with and it's taken me 30-40 years to prove or disprove some cases -I don't think I can now afford 40 years at my age but.....

Being honest is the best start and that's from both sides.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

All Time Most Viewed AOP Postings

When I first posted this back in 2016 I only included the top 5 posts and wondered whether other posts had taken over in popularity since then?

The simple answer is "not really" and one of the reasons for this could be that whole chunks of text from those posts have been used without acknowledgement or permission since they appeared. Even You Tubers have used information only I came up with.

See, proper financing I would be producing videos on these topics. Oh and once I understood that Mountain Monsters was sheer entertainment I became a huge fan -series 6 just aired and I watched it online and it was SUPERB!

Any way back to 2016 then the update!
I wondered just what were the most viewed postings on this blog and so I decided to check.  Here, folks, are the top 5!

(1)  I Believe That Ghost Adventures Has "Lost It" was posted on 4th January, 2015 and has been viewed
some 23,808 times.

(2)  The "Unidentified" Corfu Sea Creature was posted on 28th October, 2015 and has been viewed some 2,435 times.

(3)  Strange Sea Creature Found In Persian Gulf & Others was posted on 27th July, 2013 and has been viewed 1,781 times.

(4)  Phenomena X –Things Strange And Sinister: Lake And Sea Monsters was posted on 20th November, 2012 and has had 898 views

(5)  Ben Matine Sasquatch Footage and The Yeti Of Bourganeuf was posted on the 15th January, 2012 and has been viewed 543 times.

It disappoints me that a post stating the obvious, in other words that Zak Bagans and crew helped instigate a great many false claims, hoaxes and even faked the video footage in their pilot documentary that helped seal their TV careers, has had so many views.  

I am glad that postings 2-4 show that there is an interest in unidentified sea creatures.  It's sad to think that, perhaps, there are far fewer of these marine creatures thanks to Man but I hope one day we'll get good close up images of a living creature.  

Sasquatch.  How can you go wrong?  Let's not mention Mountain Monsters okay?

I know that it is rare -rarer than the chances of seeing an unknown sea creature or Sasquatch even- for anyone to comment on blog postings these days but if you have commented here -Thank You.  It shows I'm not posting to myself and I have actually got some people to think about something.

So any change since 2016?  Here are the details:


Well, you can see what attracts the attention. The Martin Clunes post was in regard to a statement he made about fox hunting being nice and traditional -anyone who claims to be a major dog lover (and gets TV series out of that) as well as a general animal lover and supports packs of dogs ripping up another member of the dog family deserves every bit of bad press that can be given.

A good time to mention my "explosive natural history book" on foxes, etc -The Red Paper:Canids

The Red Paper: CANIDS

I'll try to keep blogging here but if you have encountered strange creatures or any phenomena -genuinely- I really am VERY interested in hearing from you.  I know I have made that appeal 2-4 times a year since 2011 but I live in hope!