Sunday, 19 October 2014

Clouded Yellow

And I thought the painted lady would be my last of the year! Nope, the clouded yellows are still around and finally, I have a photo! Not a very good one, but I wasn't expecting to see anything. I spotted this one out of the corner of my eye while I was walking Beau at Ham Hill. Only had my mobile phone on me, so I let Beau off the lead and ran after this one. Luckily, she was quite happy to land for me. I also saw another clouded yellow this morning just walking the dog over the park - a male too, which I've not seen before.

Bonus pics this time will be of moth caterpillars. I love these things too. 

So, on the left is a buff-tip moth caterpillar. Kinda similar to large white caterpillars. I saw this one at Wych Lodge and I'm pretty pleased with the way the photo turned out with a nice clean background.

On the right is, I think, a fox moth caterpillar. I say think, because other photos I've seen of them have shown them being much hairier, unless this is a really young one! I'm not sure what else it would be.

This is unmistakable. The most amazing caterpillar. Very big! Elephant hawk moth caterpillar. The actual moths are stunning. I saw this one at Thurlbear Wood.

Just came across this one while on my usual daily walk with Beau. This is a pale tussock moth caterpillar. Very odd looking - like a toothbrush! Also known as hop dogs because they're found on hops.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Through the Years by Brynn Stein

Today, I'm joined once again by author Brynn Stein.

Blog Tour for Through the Years

Thanks Emma, for hosting me today. This is the fifth stop on blog tour for Through the Years.
On my last stop, I mentioned Nick. Nick is one of those characters that was supposed to be a minor period in a much larger story but he became so real that I almost could have written a story about him and Gene alone.
Gene is basically in love with Edward, but knows he’s unavailable (in a number of ways) and is truly content with just being friends with him, being an integral part of his life, being “Uncle Gene” to his girls. He wasn’t looking for another relationship.
Nick sneaks up on him.
It’s obviously that Nick is desperately in love with Gene, but he also knows that even though Gene loves him back, part of Gene’s heart will always belong to Edward. Nick loves Gene enough to stick around anyway.
Nick not only surprised Gene with his intensity, he surprised me as well. Up until this story, I hadn’t really written ‘hot sex scenes’. Nick insisted that a ‘fade to black’ just wouldn’t work here. There is one scene in particular that is the absolute hottest sex scene I’ve ever written. Nick is a passionate creature and insisted that I let the readers know that.
Writers, how do you handle sex scenes involving a main character and someone other than the other main character? Readers, how do you feel about other relationships for the main characters before they get together with each other?
Comment below to be entered into the raffle.

Here’s how the raffle works:

I’ve listed the tour stops below and have given either the link to the blog in general or to my post specifically. Feel free to stop by as many as you want. For each stop that you comment on, you will receive one entry to the giveaway. I’ll check all the stops numerous times throughout the tour and will draw five winners on Thanksgiving Day, so even if you come in late to the tour, you can go back through the list and comment on past stops.

I’m giving away five prizes. 1) a signed paperback copy of Through the Years; 2 and 3) electronic copies of Through the Years, 4) your choice of either a signed paperback copy or an audiobook of Living Again (the audiobook won’t be available until December), and 5) an electronic copy of Haunted.

Blog Tour Stops for Through the Years
Blog Stop
Blog Owner
Blog Address
October 6
Anne Barwell
October 7
Grace Duncan
October 8
Jessica Skye Davies
October 9
Shira Anthony
October 10
Emma Tett
October 11
Kim Fieldings

October 12
Bike Books Reviews
October 13
Tempest O’Riley
October 14
Sean Michael
October 15
Allison Cassatta
October 16
Jana Denardo
October 17
Louise Lyons
October 18
PD Singer
October 20
Shae Connor
October 21
Suki Fleet
October 27
Charlie Cochet
October 28
Elizabeth Noble
October 29
Tara Lain
October 31
Sophie Bonaste
November 4
Kit Moss
November 10
Lane Hayes
November 13
Mike Rupured

Thanks again Emma, for letting me stop by today.

Blurb for Through the Years
Edward and Gene were instantly drawn to each other when they met at college in Maryland. Fast friends, they developed a "closer than brothers" relationship. But then Edward began to feel more for Gene. In 1967, those kind of feelings would not be tolerated. Not even by Edward himself.

Gene always thought he was asexual. He had never been attracted to anyone... until he met Edward. He dreamed of Edward as more than a friend throughout college, but he knew Edward would not welcome that kind of attention. So Gene wasn't surprised when Edward reacted badly to a drunken kiss just before Edward's graduation. He was surprised when Edward moved to Florida and had little to do with him for years afterward.

When fate finally brings them back together, Edward is married and has a little girl. Gene gladly accepts the role of "Uncle Gene," happy to have Edward in his life in any capacity. Together, they face all the trials and tribulations life throws at them, including the death of Edward's wife, and as each grows and matures, their life views change. The relationship they've secretly wanted all along is closer than ever, and if Edward can break free from his homophobic upbringing and admit his feelings for Gene, there might still be a chance for them to share their lives in the way they both desire.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

Brynn Stein has always loved to write. Fan fiction, original fiction, whatever. While Brynn wrote in numerous genres – everything from mystery, to contemporary, to supernatural – she had always tended toward strong male characters. And then she discovered ‘slash’, male/male romance, and all those strong male characters were finally allowed to express their love for one another. It seems that there are always at least two characters clamoring to tell Brynn their story.

Brynn lives in Virginia with one of her two two-legged children, and two four-legged ones. Her supportive family encourages her writing and provides a sounding board for fledgling stories. When she isn’t writing, Brynn teaches children with special needs. In free time, when such a thing exists, she reads anything she can get her hands on, and haunts bookstores. She draws and paints, and enjoys the outdoors—especially if she can get to the beach—and is always thinking about her next story.

Please feel free to contact Brynn at any of the following:

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Painted Lady

I finally saw my painted lady! I think this is the last (new to me) species of butterfly I'll see this year. It's coming to the end of the season and all I see lately is speckled woods, commas, small coppers, and small and large whites. I'd still like to get a better photo of a small heath, small white and large white. You'd think the whites would be easy as they're so common, but they never seem to land for very long for me!

Anyway, so I happened to stumble across two painted ladies while out walking Beau. Again, no camera, but as I was waiting for a phone call, I had my mobile phone on me. So while the quality isn't great, I do have record shots.

Painted Lady

plume moth

And as this blog isn't very long, here are two bonus moth pictures. The plume moth came up out of my flower beds as I was watering the garden, and the angle shades moth I spotted (somehow!) roosting while I was out walking with Beau on Ham Hill. I love the angle shades moth.
angle shades moth

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Butterflies Part 2

So... I have since seen four new (to me) butterflies since my last blog post and actually managed to get photos of them all!

brown argus
First  up, the brown argus. Spotted this one at Ham Hill in Somerset, it just came and landed on the ground right in front of me. I knew straight away it was a brown argus, even though they can be quite similar to female common blues. Managed to get some good shots before my dog Beau charged over and it flew away.

small copper
A small copper - just what I wanted to see! I hadn't expected to see this - I just came across it feeding on this plant and it stayed for a very long time, allowing me to take lots of photos. I hadn't realised how small they are. Super pretty.
small heath

This is a small heath on the right - just took this photo today actually, and as the weather's quite poor, I didn't even have my camera on me as I wasn't expecting to see butterflies. Luckily, I had my mobile phone. So the picture quality isn't great, but at least I do have a picture.

This is a holly blue. Bit of a scraggy one! Small blue butterflies with black around the edges of their wings. Photo taken at Thurlbear wood, Somerset.

On the right is a comma! Seen them before, so not new to me, but first time I've managed to get a photo.You can see the little white 'comma' mark on the underwing which gives them the name.

Bonus moth pics!

heart and dart
Heart and dart moth on the left. Big-ish. Has heart and dart markings on the wings, hence the name. You can just see the darts in this pic.

The photo below is of a garden carpet moth that came into our kitchen.

garden carpet

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The World is Made up of Boxes I Don't Fit In.

I've just been out on a walk with my dog and, as dog walkers know, you usually see the same few fellow dog walkers and you have to stop and have a chat and let your dogs have a play. There's one guy with several Jack Russells who I often see and the dogs have to sprint over to say hello (and they're adorable). I saw him just now and we were having a chat and got talking about work and he said to me, "I can't place you." Meaning, he couldn't work out what I did for a job. I get this a lot - people not being able to place me, as if everybody fits neatly into a box. I've had a similar comment from another old dog walker. I guess it's because I'm (reasonably) young, I rarely wear make-up, I don't mind looking like a scruff or bellowing across the field for the dog, I don't mind wearing wellies and getting wet. I don't have children, I'm clearly not pregnant and I'm always on my own. I'm reasonably intelligent, yet I have a farmer's accent (not that farmers aren't intelligent, but whenever books/film/TV wants to portray a stupid, working class person, they usually get given a west country accent).

When I say I work in an office, it surprises people. I don't know if they were expecting 'kennel worker' (done that) or 'house keeper' (done that, too) or, I don't know. Farmer. Horsey person. I have no idea what's expected of me.

And it got me thinking about other things. How I am and what I like in general often surprises people. I don't fit with people's perceptions. I remember having The Shanklin Freakshow playing quite loudly in my car, pulling up to park and, when I turned the engine off and got out, having a guy come up to me to ask for a light. When I said I didn't smoke and had no light, he accused me of lying and said, "You can't listen to music like that and not have a light." I'm not sure what the implication was!

I watch Hollyoaks. Apparently, that surprises people. I have tattoos - again, something that's given people pause. I loved the OC. I hate horror films but love Most Haunted, or documentaries about autopsies. I listen to opera and classical music. And I bloody love Robbie Williams's 'Candy' song.
I have been to watch Shakespeare plays and cheesy musicals and The Circus of Horrors.

my eye
Psychics can't read me, Derren Brown can't fool me. I've got green eyes, along with the other 1-2% of the entire human population. I'm INFJ, says Myers-Briggs. I'm a supertaster, and I'm immune to the common cold. My surname is so rare that there's apparently one Tett per million people in the UK.

I don't smoke, I don't drink. I'm agnostic, anti-social, too-honest and too-angry. I love making people laugh. And I'm a blue belt in karate.

I have been called weird. And quirky. And "Not like anybody else I've ever met," but doesn't everybody think they're different? We're all special snowflakes.

The world is made up of boxes that I don't fit in ~ I Keep Myself to Myself by The Boy Least Likely To