Monday, 31 January 2011

Bigger branches

They'll need a bigger machine than that to deal with these branches.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Behind Stanmer House

Some of the City's Parks and Gardens staff are clearing fallen branches and spreading the chippings on the footpath.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Cor, stone the crows

From the Boss: It's very confusing. These birds are, I'm sure, rooks and not carrion crows, which are only a little larger than rooks, but the rook should have a white patch at the base of the beak. I haven't seen a rook with one of those patches for a long time. Could the local rooks be different? Has there been interbreeding with crows?

Friday, 28 January 2011

Trig point art

We've been going up here a lot lately as Stanmer Woods are so muddy. The trip point on the ramparts has been graffitied but it's really quite artistic and as it's only done in chalk it will soon wash off in the rain. I assume this is the work of those 6th Form students from yesterday.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

The answer

There were a load of 6th Form students - 50 or more of them - measuring the Bronze and Iron Age remains. Each of them had brought a chair, presumably for group discussions. Here the students are measuring one of the disc barrows and I thought I might help out.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Musical chairs?

What can those chairs be doing in the middle of the Roman Camp?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

After Crittitude

Time for a game, Boss? I've brought my toy.

OK, if you're busy right now I'll just wait here.

I'm still waiting.

(OK, Boss, but Crittitude does it miles better.)

Monday, 24 January 2011

Garden furniture

There won't be much call for the garden furniture at Stanmer House at this time of the year.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Before the rain

The clouds rolling in during the late afternoon look ominously black.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

After the rain

The rain the other night was so heavy that it pushed aside all the twigs and wet and rotting leaves as it rushed down this path in Withdean Park.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Morning sun Withdean Park. It's still low in the sky.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The ash tree

The black buds are starting to show on the ash trees but there are still plenty of last year's seeds left on them.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


That beech tree in Withdean Park is in the sun but there is still plenty of frost on the grass where the sun has yet to reach.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The pond garden

This corner of Withdean Park may not look so good now but it is a pleasant spot in spring and summer. Dogs are not actually allowed here but the Boss popped in to take this picture while I waited outside.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Crepuscular rays

We did have a little sun over the weekend. This is the view southwards over Brighton from the Roman camp (again!).

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Could it be?

No, surely not! Those holes can't have been made by a woodpecker looking for a nesting site. The wood chips look to have been made by mechanical means, like an electric drill. Perhaps a woodpecker employed somebody to do the job.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

A sign of spring

Now I wonder why the Boss thinks that pile of wood chips is a sign of spring?

Friday, 14 January 2011

The third day

For the third day running this is the view from the bedroom window. I just hope Stanmer woods and the Downs are still there!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

A sign of spring

It's very early, but they look remarkably like the new shoots of bluebells poking up through the leaves.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Panoramic view

Before we leave the Roman camp - sorry, Hollingbury hill fort - one last picture. This is a Photoshop montage of several pictures taken from the north-west corner of the fort (not as well blended as Photoshop usually manages) looking south-west at the left-hand side, through north to almost due east at the right of the picture. As you can see, the views from here are quite extensive.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Monday, 10 January 2011

Hollingbury Fort - the interior still

This is one of the disc barrows - Bronze Age burial mounds. Indeed, it is the only one which can still be discerned easily. You can learn more here.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Hollingbury Fort - the interior

The Boss has never bothered to measure the extent of the fort but if the measurements given on another web site are correct, the area covered is something like 48 acres. Much of the interior has been taken over by gorse bushes with paths threading through them like a maze.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Same viewpoint

But no mist. We actually saw the sun yesterday although it disappeared behind the cloud soon after this picture was taken. Then it rained. Again.

By the way, those white bits in the background hills are not snow. They are chalk quarries (now disused) just outside Lewes.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Hollingbury Fort again

From the eastern gateway and looking slightly north of east, we look over the golf course (don't ask which hole that is) and across Coldean with the new football stadium looming up in the mist beside the road to Lewes.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

The eastern gateway

Approaching the Hollingbury hill fort from the east means climbing a steep hill. In the Iron Age, this would no doubt have been cleared of the bushes and trees which are there now and an attacker would have been presented with a view of an impressive gateway. The posts on top of the rampart are actually concrete-filled steel pipes marking some of the original post holes.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Looking north

The view to the north from the western rampart of Hollingbury Fort. The woods in the middle distance are Stanmer Woods and you can just make out the Upper Lodges of Stanmer Park towards the left-hand end of the woods. The road you can see leads past the Upper Lodges to Ditchling Beacon, the high point on the Downs in the distance.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Hollingbury Fort - 2

The western ditch and rampart.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Hollingbury Fort

The western entrance to what locals usually (and mistakenly) call the Roman camp.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Sea view

Well, it would be a sea view if it weren't for the mist. We have had quite a lot of mist and fog during the last week although this morning is much brighter. This is looking across Brighton from the Roman camp.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year's reflections

The thawing snow and ice left puddles in the woods.