…. The Isle of Wight Ferry of course.
Doesn't really work as a written joke that... as when written, one needs to add an "e" to "Cows".
That said, it reminds me of another joke.
What if Isla St.Clair married Barry White, then divorced him and married Brian Ferry.
Would she then be known as Isla White Ferry?
Last August, me, my wife and boy took our summer holiday on the Isle of Wight - at "The Little Barn", on the only sunny and hot week of the entire summer it seemed (the rest of the summer was a washout if you remember?).
Last week, we did so again. And once again had a heatwave during our stay (although this summer, that's nothing special it seems). The only wet day was when we left the island this year!
I'm not going to do what I did last year on this post and detail the Little Barn in particular, or the ferry crossing or our thoughts in general about the Isle of Wight - if you're interested in any of that then please read last year's post here.
What I will quickly mention in this blog post though, is that we've had a WONDERFUL week again and seen EVEN MORE wildlife and taken even better photos of the milky way (above) if not the wildlife (below).
In note form then....
- I hired a 20mm f1.8 lens from a local lens hire firm to take the photo above from "Whale Chine" on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight at 2240hrs on Sunday 5th August. You'll see Mars left and Jupiter right and those in the know will be able to make out Saturn too and the "C" of the core of the milky way.
- We finally saw a red squirrel (got GREAT views in fact) at Alverstone mead Nature Reserve near Sandown. Apologies for the terrible photo below (I didn't take a decent camera and spent most of the time just watching the squirrel at pretty close quarters, and holding my boy up so he could see it too).
- I took my moth trap this year and caught some wonderful moths (a few of which can be seen below) including four poplar hawk moths and two garden tiger moths in one night! Also ruby tiger moths, swallow prominents, pebble prominents, silver ys, sallow kittens, a drinker, an oak eggar and others...
- There were a few more dragonflies over and around The Little Barn's pond this year, including this rather lovely golden ringed dragonfly (below).
- We managed to get to Yarmouth again and spotted two Whimbrel feeding at low tide in the harbour (One of which you can see below), in amongst the dozens of black tailed godwit, curlew and redshank etc.
- We had the pleasure of seeing and hearing two young buzzards mewing in the little wood next to the Little Barn all week.
- I spotted a weasel run across the road in front of the car on the way to Shanklin beach and then as we left to get our ferry home, a stoat running across the country lane outside the Little Barn as a wildlife treat to end our week! (Anna managed to see this mustelid too!)
- I managed to locate and photograph one of the many common blue butterflies roosting in the meadow outside the Little Barn at night (below).
- We visited Robin Hill Country Park and loved the owl show (photo of our favourite owl which the falconer kindly got to fly at me) and the falconry show.
- We visited Shanklin beach a couple of times again. Perfect for Ben to get confident in the water and perfect for a nice, de-stressing swim for me (Ben in first photo) (Ben on beach in second and me swimming "total immersion style" behind him).
- I even managed a round of golf at the stunning Freshwater Bay Golf Club and got to play amongst wheatears, kestrels and rabbits! You'll be able to appreciate the weather we had all week (well... until the day we left) looking at my phone photo below!
- Other wildlife(y) highlights might be the hobby (falcon) over the house once, the rabbits in the garden at breakfast (Ben loves rabbits) and of course the great green bush crickets singing to us each night, like last year. A covey of red legged partridge in the cabbage field next door was a bit of a treat too. Then of course there were the swallows at the Little Barn, and the house martins and finally two (of the last I'll see this year) swifts flying south over the Little Barn during our first sunset on the island last Friday.
Another wonderful week in the sun, on the Isle of Wight, during Cowes week (as it 'appens - although away from Cowes, as we were, you'd not have noticed any extra people really).
Packing and then leaving your holiday home for the week is always miserable - and made doubly so this year by the quite atrocious weather on the Ferry back to the mainland and then the drive up the M3. (see below).
Never mind - our holiday itself was taken under relentless blue skies - and those are once again the memories we'll take with us from the island. We've now spent 14 days on the Isle of Wight over two years and only seen rain on two of them - with the other twelve days being very hot and very sunny indeed! How lucky are we!
Anyhoo…. you didn't read any of this. It ALWAYS rains on the Isle of Wight. And there are no red squirrels. Or any other type of wildlife.
Nothing to see here.
Move along please....