The Cerne Valley is becoming lush. April has seen prolonged periods of sun and warmth spurring on plant growth. The catkins have fallen and all trees are starting to flower and come into leaf. Along the river banks, the low-growing Butterbur that had been clustered on bare dredged-out chalk heaps are now concealed by dock, stinging nettle, and flowering Comfrey. Iris and Sweet Flag stand flowerless with their roots in the water. An isolated leaf curves downwards to trail its point in the river flow, creating fantastical patterns of reflected light, while the birds sing their hearts out and bees buzz lazily by.
Gone? is a short computer generated film about revival and hope, with a flock of elegant butterflies in slow motion.
The video from Elyarch is being used by the Natural History Museum in London to draw attention to their forthcoming event called Sensational Butterflies. Alessandro Giusti, Curator of Lepidoptera, gave the filmmakers a little help with their project at last September’s Science Uncovered event. It’s become a nice allegory for him of the Museum’s project to digitise their own collections to give them new life (see in his latest blog post: http://bit.ly/NHM-An-encouraging-message).
The River Corrib can be amazingly fast-flowing as it passes through Galway City to join the sea. The pictures above try to capture the ever changing rough texture of the water surface; while the video clips below give you a more immediate experience of the rush and the noise of the water.
This short video clip shows two streams of water gushing from the base of the large multi-tiered shingle bank that blocks the valley at Pwll Du Bay in Gower, South Wales. The water comes from the Bishopston Pill river that flows down the valley to the shore, but which has been dammed up behind the shingle. In summer, reduced water flow means that just a trickle seeps out of the shingle base and spreads across the shore. This video was taken in October after heavy rain had increased the quantity of water in the river and subsequently the pressure of the small lake behind the pebble bank. There is a fast and steady flow and the two streams have begun to create channels through the pebbles before converging on the beach. Apparently, in winter, the build-up of water pressure behind the bank means that the river cuts its way straight through to the sea.