Sunday, 15 July 2012

Encourage Wildlife Into Your Garden

Bat Box
No matter how large or small your garden, it's easy to turn it into a haven for wildlife.
The RSPB have a fantastic range of ready made homes for wildlife on their website, with the added bonus of knowing 100% of their profit helps protect our birds and other Wildlife.


The Bat Box is designed to encourage bats to nest in your garden, it's rough sawn to give them grip and untreated to encourage them to roost.


As Bats are a protected species, you must not be tempted to open the box and have a peek, only persons licensed to handle bats should open this box.

Hogitat Hedgehog Shelter
A fun and easy way to discover if bats are nearby is either patience, or the perfect gift for gadget loving wildlife fans, the Magenta Bat 4 bat detector, available on the RSPB Shopping Website. It converts bats' inaudible ultra-sonic sounds to frequencies in the range of human hearing and comes with a headphone socket and built in torch.


On the ground, protecting your garden from slugs and snails are Hedgehogs, Frogs and Toads, encourage them with plenty of safe shelters and places to hide during the day.


The Hogitat is a brilliant little shelter designed to blend in with your garden.
On the RSPB Website there is extensive information on how to encourage these wonderful little nocturnal creatures into your garden. 
The Frogitat
Frogs and Toads will love the little Frogitat, not only does it look great in a sheltered spot in your garden,  it gives them year-round protection from predators and with wet and dry floor areas it protects inhabitants from extreme temperatures. 

And, of course as you would expect, there are plenty of fun and practical ideas to encourage birds and insects into your garden, with little insect houses for ladybirds and other mini beasts . Bird homes and nest boxes and a fantastic range of bird food and feeders.


With a little time and patience your garden will soon be buzzing with a magnificent variety of wildlife!

 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Fritton Action Rescue Needs One Last Word...

Noctule Bat
Here is how you can help save YOUR LOCAL FOREST.
We have until the 29th June 2012 to voice our opinions to Norfolk Council.
If you don't have time to write, you can submit your objections online.
For those of you who would like to send your objections by letter, please feel free to copy any portion of this post and send your letter to:

Norfolk County Council
FREEPOST NC22093/8
Planning &Transport Department MWSSA, Norwich, NR1 2BR


The wording on the Fritton Action Rescue Newletter (May 2012 Vol.1 Issue 11) is as follows;
Dear Sirs,
I write to support the County Council in their pre submission version of the Minerals Site Specific Allocations DPD as compliant and sound.
I am pleased that Waveny Forest MIN38 is omitted from the list because....
Signature,
Name,
Address. 
 If you are struggling to find the words, please consider any one (or all) of the following reasons Fritton should be protected from developers, and left alone for the people and the wildlife to enjoy;


Wildlife
Fritton is home to numerous protected species and is home to untold wildlife including Bats such as the  Pipistrelle, Brown Long-eared bat, Daubentons Bat, The Noctule,  and quite possibly the rare Leislers Bat , you can find out more about each species by visiting The Norfolk Bat Group.

The picture above of the beautiful, and one of our largest bats the Noctule, originated here on the North  NOTTS Bat group information pages.


Snakes, both Adders and Grass Snakes live in and around Fritton as well as numerous Frogs, Toads and an infinite number of insects including the biggest beetle in the uk, the Stag Beetle, also a protected species!
A beautiful couple
As terrifying as they look, Hornets living in Fritton are an important part of our Ecology,  we have spent many hours watching the sun go down beside a known Hornets nest, neither us, nor our dogs, or children have ever been stung by these huge and scary looking beasties, they obviously just want to be left in peace to get on with doing their thing!


We have been lucky enough to encounter the stunning Chinese Water Deer while visiting Fritton. They are solitary, quite beautiful, and did you know 40% of fawns die within the first 4 weeks of their life?
Also living in Fritton are the very shy Fallow Deer, you need to be very quiet to be lucky enough to see them.
While wandering around Fritton you are quite likely to see a shifting of Bracken and a flash of white tail as the small and beautiful Muntjac Deer hurries out of your way!


Nearby, you may also be lucky enough to see an Otter or two swim by if you can be still and patient enough on the banks of the river Waveney at the edge of the stunning Fritton Forest.


Other shy residents include the Barn Owl that can often be seen swooping over the reeds hunting for prey, such as Mice, Voles and Shrews,  while earlier in the day you will see Marsh Harriers gliding over the reeds catching small Rodents, Amphibians and Reptiles to feed their family.
Marsh Harriers were almost extinct in the UK around the early 1970's and these magnificent birds of prey are almost out of danger and are on the RSPBs amber list.
Protect Fritton


There are far too many species to mention in a quick blog post urging for help, the fact of the matter is, the future of thousands, no, millions of lives is in your hands.
You do have the power to change things, and you can make a difference!


If you do not want to protect the wildlife, then do it for yourself!


We need woodland! It's a scientific fact! 
So much of the UK woodland has been destroyed we need to protect everything we have left, it seems ironic that this year, the year the UK is celebrating the Queens Jubilee and the Woodland Trust is appealing for people to come together and plant 6 Million Trees to create homes for wildlife and areas for people to relax, explore and enjoy.
Why should we invest all of this money for saplings while planning to destroy  perfectly natural and well established havens for wildlife, acres of woodland and open spaces ALREADY bursting with life? It's insane!



Life that we are intent on destroying in the name of progress, and for investment in the future??
No, sorry I just cannot understand the logic!
By all means encourage more trees to be planted, but why not also protect the ones we have?
As well as an uncountable amount of protected species we also need to protect the popular woodland creatures, the Fox, the Badger and the Rabbits.


OK it's getting late, I am tired and I've not even barely touched on the rare and beautiful wildlife that lives on and around the Waveney Forest, there are probably millions more I could list (and if you think I'm exaggerating, feel free to send me a list, I'm listening).
The Norfolk Broads... it just wouldn't work with no trees!


So, some developer might want a quarry, a quarry we do not need, the residents around Waveney, do not want, the Wildlife will not survive, some species may possibly vanish!
Woodland that not only supplies us with fresh air, a place to relax and enjoy the stunning and huge mixture of rare and protected wildlife on our doorstep, but is also vital for the future, the endangered species, the environment and is also a massive part of the unusual and stunning beauty that IS the Norfolk Broads!
If you have anything to add, please do! I will be.
We have just one month left to make a difference.
Please let your voice be heard.





Thursday, 5 April 2012

Just Walking the Dog... (thanks Susi)

It's been a busy time here at Delphinus Dreams, but when the working day is over it's nice to unwind with a long leisurely walk with the dog...
Well, it should be, but little Grylls is a very spirited little soul! 
He's not so little any more either. 
Since the blog about him in August he has grown quite a bit and looks nothing like he did then.
Training him  has been fun, he is growing into a beautiful dog with a great character and a real love of, well everything really.
He faces every challenge with pure enthusiasm and joy and with his fearless attitude he certainly lives up to his name. 
 
Walking him on a lead has never been a simple task, as he was originally found as a stray I often wonder if he had escaped in the past because no matter what I have tried,he would try to wriggle out of it.
Little Grylls
We've had lots of fun this last year, it started with a collar, but he would pull and struggle, so we tried a harness. As he grew and got stronger he would pull so much it was rubbing under his legs.
He would also jump up and bite to try and get me to let go of the lead.
I have holes in my jeans and jackets from past battles with this stubborn little pup who is determined to make a break for freedom!
We got through the biting phase thankfully!
We tried a Slip Lead for a while, but he would almost strangle himself trying to lead the way ahead.
Later on we tried  The Canny Collar for Dogs, I liked it because it had a secure buckle and the web strap over his nose to gently deter him from pulling looked like a great solution.
And it was!
For about a week!
He soon managed the art of sudden and random lunging to try and trick us into letting him go, this caused rubbing under his eyes and obvious soreness, so the Canny Collar has been placed in the cupboard with many other tried, tested and beaten by Grylls methods!
The Gentle Leader
Next I tried a  Gentle Leader This was great and worked very well, but putting it on correctly with his long fur getting in the way was difficult. 
Some time ago I considered trying a Susi Combi Lead from Pets Express, but way back then Grylls was too clever in his escape methods and I feared we might lose him.
However as time has gone on and Grylls has settled I know he wont run away now, nor am I so worried about him struggling to escape.
I bought one last week and can honestly say I am delighted with it.
The Susi Combi Lead and Head Collar all in one comes with simple instructions and is so easy to use, the material is soft on your hands too and must be so much more comfortable for the dog.


Gwen from Pets Express asked me for my honest opinion so I decided to really put it through the test.
On the Beach
 
First I took him for a small walk over the back.
He wasn't too happy with the lead at first but I was!
The change was instant, there was no riding up to his eyes, no scuffing and amazingly no pulling or lunging!
Grylls was walking at my side with an occasional tug on the lead that just gently turned his head in my direction. We saw a cat and Grylls did try to do his manic lunging thing, but I quickly gained control, with no force or effort and we happily carried on our walk.
Next we went to the beach, Grylls's favourite place!
After some joyful free running we met other dog walkers, Grylls's favourite thing!
I put his new Susi Combi Lead on him because not many dogs, or owners appreciate the whole happy Grylls experience. (for those that have already, I'm sorry)
Just wonderful! Grylls wanted to run, but the lead gently stops him, another huge bonus is there is no fiddling around trying to get sand out of sprung clips, the Susi lead has no metal parts and is just one long and soft lead.
It's easy to slip on and off, yet it holds your dog securely, even if he did try to wriggle out of it he wouldn't be able to.
If I'd have realised this it would have been the first and only training, no pull lead that I'd have bought.
Even yesterday, Grylls tried to fly after a Seagull but the Susi lead gives him a gentle reminder that I'm on the end of the lead and I have his (almost) full attention again.
Unlike other products I've tried, once we get home he has no flattened fur, no signs or rubbing or chaffing at all and the best thing of all is I have had moments of walking along with my dog at my side with a slack lead and a wagging tail.
It is without a doubt the best training lead or head collar I have ever tried, so a massive thank you to the beautiful Susi who inspired the design and to Gwen for supplying it.

I'm off now to enjoy a walk with my dog! :o) Have a wonderful long weekend!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas, a very Happy New Year and thank you :o)

Be Happy!
We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Thank you  to all of our customers, it's been a pleasure trading with you and we appreciate your custom, support and  patience as we switched web servers this year.

We're doing it again in the New Year, Sunsets and Seascapes will be getting a makeover, but Delphinus Dreams will be staying where it is with new stock being added all the time.
Our eBay listings will be slowly reduced, but don't worry, we are not going anywhere!
We want to concentrate on our photography, and our  website sales.

I would also like to thank the staff at  TAOS Gifts, Three Little Bears, and Rachel's Bears for their support this year, it has been a real pleasure working with you and I look forward to the New Year knowing I have no idea what I'll be writing about next, but knowing it will be fun!

A big thanks to all my friends and family too for all  your love and support during another roller coaster year! :o) 


I shall leave you with some photographs I was playing with earlier, I hope you enjoy them.

Take time to relax
Spend time with loved ones
Eat well

Have fun

Don't argue


Enjoy life

Celebrate your differences and enjoy those little moments
However, whatever you celebrate, be happy


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Can I have the weekend back please? Lots of Seal pics...

Atlantic Grey Seal Mother and Pup
It's only Tuesday and what a week so far!
Firstly I'd like to apologise to my customers for the short delay in getting their parcels out, it seems Royal Mail have updated their online system and broken it.
After spending too much time trying to get online postage to work I admitted defeat and went back to good, old fashioned stamps.
Another mini crisis is my laptop is giving up the ghost, I'm fiddling with things and willing my reliable old work horse to keep going.
I know I'll have to get another soon, but I like this one, I have it set up just right for me and don't fancy starting all over again with a brand new system.
Oh and my washing machine decided to give up too! Why didn't it do that during summer when washing would dry outside quickly? No, it decides to go on the first damp foggy winters day of the year.

That's my moan out of the way, thanks for listening...
My weekend was wonderful, we went back to see how the Seals were getting on, they are doing very well, we were so lucky to see so many newborn Pups, I've added some of our photos to the Sunsets and Seascapes Facebook Page pop back there for more updates and pictures.

Below are just a tiny selection of photographs of the Seals on Saturday, it was a beautiful sunny winter morning and we could hear them before we got anywhere near the dunes, just the noise told us there were lots on the beach, as we climbed the dunes we were delighted to see them.

Many of the Pups had been born that night, and one was born just as we got there, truly beautiful, we watched it wobble around after a post birth sleep, then lift it's tiny little head to look around and take in the world before her, truly awesome!

Another little Pup was determined to get into the Sea, we watched as two other females chased him back onto land. See the photo's below of this little rebel, stubborn Seal Pup.

We stayed near one section of the beach to watch the colony, some were breeding, new Mothers were sleeping or feeding their Young and the males were fighting, one fight was exceptionally vicious and there was blood everywhere, neither Male wanted to back down, it went on for some time before the largest took over and chased the smaller, battered Male away
I hope you enjoy the photographs, there are many more I will get them onto the Sunsets website as soon as possible, I'm thinking of creating an Atlantic Grey Seal Calendar for 2012.
If I get a chance to get some printed before 2012 I'll let you know, meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the photographs, they may take some time to load, but I'm sure they're worth the wait,

New Born Grey Seal Pup, Norfolk

Young Grey Seal Pup feeding

Born Saturday Morning! Just hours old

Newborn Grey Seal Pup calling Mum for a feed

About to see the world for the very first time
This little one tried to have an early swim but was sent back to the beach
It's feeding time again
Beautiful Newborn Grey Seal Pup
New Born about to open it's eyes
First glimpse of the world, New born Grey Seal Pup
Just Beautiful!



Water baby, determined to swim

Protective female sends pup back to shore

With a nip on the flipper and a little roar

Still determined!

Life's a beach

Atlantic Grey Seal Pup

A cool dip on a sunny day

Keen Swimmer





But I'm born to swim!

will be treble this size in days!


oh Hi

Mother with Pup

Protective Mother with Pup

Contentment

Mum knows her Pup by scent

Beautiful Seal family

This Pups Mother had lost an eye, but was coping very well

little digger, this Seal Pup enjoyed burying her nose in the sand

New Mother and Pup

Being beautiful is exhausting!

Grey Seal family on Norfolk Beach

It's really not as peaceful as it seems...

well earned rest

Bright sunshine is such a shock to the system for a winter babe

But life is good

with food on tap

and plenty of entertainment

so tempted to go for a paddle....

flexing those awesome swimming muscles