Chalk Cliffs
April 18, 2010

For an excursion during our retreat, on April 13 we packed lunches and drove to the white chalk (limestone) cliffs near Eastbourne.

We went first to Birling Gap. For those who care about such things, while Worthing is west of the famous seaside resort Brighton, Birling Gap is east of Brighton, and the resort of Eastbourne is still farther east, all on the English Channel.

Birds and Blooms
April 16, 2010

I have not had good opportunities to do birding on this trip but have seen the usual common species such as blackbird, magpie, (little English) robin and great tit (similar to a chickadee).

The blackbird (Turdus merula), which is the commonest, most widespread thrush in England, has a song is a lot like our USA thrushes, including the robin. On the other hand, like our mockingbird, it likes to sing at all times of the day and night.

On a trip to the great cliffs at Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, I saw and heard several skylarks. Their high, tinkling, musical song is quite pleasant. This image of a skylark is from the web.

And here is a gallery of flowers we have been seeing. I do not know the name of this first one. It has a gardenia-like look, as seen in the second photo. If any of my readers know what it is, please post a message and let us all know.

Have you ever seen a forsythia trained into a shape like the one above?

Now think about it! If this were not so abundant as to be a royal nuisance, would we not treasure it as a beautiful specimen?

Beauty is a strange thing.