Turn of Events – May 2021

There are certain times in life when things take an unexpected turn of events and there seems nothing one can do about it so I offer you my profuse apologies for not having been in touch for so long.

The first crop circle of 2021 was reported on May 10th at Stanton St. Bernard. It appeared in oilseed rape (canola) - the only crop advanced sufficiently to greet the circles.  We have had a mixture of inclement weather with heavy overnight frosts, preventing the much needed growth to receive the force.

Stanton St. Bernard, near Alton Barnes, Wiltshire.  Reported 10th May 2021.
Oil seed rape (canola) 120 feet (36.57m)
Images by Simon Man’w Copyright 2021

It is still quite early for the circles, especially bearing in mind the spring we have had, which has resulted in little if any growth in the fields, apart from the canola.

This has been one of the coldest springs with endless heavy frosty nights, but certain species seem to actually flourish, including the delicate fritillary, and the narcissus which is named after the beautiful young Greek god who fell in love with his own image.

Snakes’ Head Fritillary and Narcissus

Last Spring I sent you pictures of a blue tit’s nest photographed by friends who had installed a camera.  The blue tit family is once more raising a brood, this year there are ten fledglings with voracious appetites for the poor increasingly exhausted parents for feed. The fledgling are far from beautiful and it is hard to imagine that in just a very few weeks’ time, they will have their full plumage and be ready to fly.

Majestic White Tailed Sea Eagles are being more widely introduced in various parts on the UK. Jake Feinnes, Head of Conservation at Holkham Estate, said:
"The sightings of white tailed eagles on the North Norfolk coast seem to be becoming more commonplace, this week senior warden Andy Bloomfield was checking water levels in the lower field when this magnificent bird flew less than ten metres over his head.

"With a recent application for introduction of white tailed eagles into Norfolk it is encouraging to see them in the skies of their own accord, whether they be European birds or released birds from the Isle of Wight”

We are told that: The white-tailed eagle is the largest UK bird of prey. It has brown body plumage with a conspicuously pale head and neck, which can be almost white in older birds, and the tail feathers of adults are white. In flight it has massive long, broad wings with 'fingered' ends. Its head protrudes and it has a short, wedge-shaped tail.

This Schedule 1 species went extinct in the UK during the early 20th century, due to illegal killing, and the present population is descended from reintroduced birds so it will a treat if one is lucky enough to see one.

When flying, many is the time we see buzzards gracefully floating round on the thermals. Relatively recently, they too have been back into our skies.

As we come out of lockdown slowly and gradually, it seems in a way almost unreal.  It is like gently dipping one's toe into the water and finding, yes - that is great. We have all been locked away living different lives and doing what we can to make life seem as normal as possible. So many of us have become accustomed to a sheltered and rather slower pace of life and it is with huge excitement that we can start to spread our wings once again. I am one of the lucky people living in the country, so I have the natural world all around me and I can enjoy the seasons as they come and go and change on both macro and microcosmic levels. Even in the busiest of our great cities’ wildlife carries on all around them on every level, often unseen or unnoticed.

Not to be left out, the birds have been performing/conducting their own special orchestra of wondrous melodious sound, each bird coming in as though acting on a cue - never a false note as bird after bird after bird joins in a glorious crescendo.

One of the most glorious relaxations to the rules has been the permission to HUG, glorious, wonderful HUGS.

Animals and Children - Music by Nana Mouskouri (A Place in my Heart)
How to eat pineapple without cutting it anywhere
As usual I am sending you Pam Gregory’s latest forecast.
We are already more than half way through May and in almost two months’ time I will have the pleasure of taking groups of people into the fields to visit the circles. The feeling of excitement on the day is almost palpable as the group gathers and I explain exactly what we will be doing and where we will be going, and show them pictures of  the circles we will be visiting.  With any luck the sun will be shining, and after introductions we will set out on our adventure.  There is nothing quite like the anticipation and excitement of what lies ahead.

There are still a few places left as a result of cancellations from abroad so now is your chance to experience one of the special events of your life.

Before long, I hope to be up in the air once more to bring you my pictures, helped by your wonderful and uplifting generosity. I hope they will gladden your heart. I have researched the crop circle phenomenon for over 30 years and have enjoyed every moment, but the cost of research and flying has been, and is, enormous. I have benefitted from some donations and sales, and several of you have been very generous, but I would love it if you could still donate to help me.

I send you my love and best wishes,