The wonderful place I've called home this summer. I've learned an incredible amount about English wildlife and horticulture.
This is one of the resident foxes, he's a young male who likes to hunt in the early mornings. Sometimes he tries to catch his breakfast around the bird table.
An amazing part to being in the middle of Sussex countryside is the presence of otherwise rare wildlife sightings. This Bull Finch is a rarity this time of year, but this juvenile stopped by one afternoon.
Sometimes the natural world accidentally comes inside. Found this little bird in the kitchen one morning, thankfully he easily flew back outside through the window.
There's delicious wild strawberries that hide in the shrubbery. They are used as a ground cover, keeping 'manky' weeds out and providing natural sustenance for the wildlife that comes through the property.
Much of my time this summer has been spent learning from an incredible naturalist, Charlotte de la Bedoyere. She has spent decades studying nature and working to preserve the indigenous wildlife of Sussex. Our three Leonbergers (Tia, Angel and Oscar) accompanied us on many of our adventures.
One of my first introductions to ancient woodlands was with the English Bluebells. They blanketed the woods like nothing I've ever seen before. I found this white version only twice in the thousands of plants I've seen. I wonder if it's an example of a double recessive phenotype of a white mutation of the plant. We focused a great deal on evolution last year in school, and seeing this brought to life so many of our lessons.
There are two types of meadows grown in the U.K.: grassland meadows and corn field meadows. The one pictures is the former, it's full of ox-eye daisies, mallow, cowslips, wildflowers, thistles amongst others, providing a haven for bees and butterflies.
My trusted associate, Oscar
This lovely Leonberger partook in all the work and learning I've been doing over here. He patiently surveys while I'm in the shrubbery and he is always game to explore the woods when need be.
Spey also has woodlands, home to badgers, deer, foxes and other creatures. There are a number of ponds and bog areas that make it quite diverse.