Latest Posts

Trying The New Posts Carousel Block

WordPress dot com have just introduced a new block that lets you display a carousel of posts. It’s called the Post Carousel block. The post that introduced it says that ‘by default, the block will display your most recent posts’.

I wonder whether that means that there is (or will be) a way to get the Post Carousel block to display older posts if one wants? I can’t see a way at the moment. Maybe I am missing something.

Actually, I can see one way to show older posts and that is to take advantage of the options to specify author, categories, and tags of the posts.

I could tag certain posts with something that is unique – such as ‘top-charlie’ and that would force those posts to show. But that workaround is isn’t a good use of tags.

A better idea might be if WP was to introduce an option to specify a date range for the posts.

Carousels For Self-Hosted Sites

It just so happens that over the best day or two I have been looking at carousels or sliders for a self-hosted site. I settled on one using a plugin named MetaSlider.

The pro version allows you to overlay text. And even better with the theme I use (GeneratePress pro version) it is simple to integrate the slider right into the header element.

Now having worked out how to do it, I am not 100% sure whether to do it.

On the one hand I know I myself am magnetically attracted to anything that moves. If I walk into a shop and there is TV with an advertisement for a headband to wear when out hiking, I stare at it.

On the other hand, developers say they hate sliders/carousels and that people hate them.

‘Sliders’ implies sliding, but the option I like in MetaSlider are where one image (with a text overlay) fades out and another replaces it.

In other words, nothing slides and nothing moves – left to right or whatever.

Imagine a slider at the top of a web site, with an image fading out and being replaced by another, and then another. That’s what I am thinking about. Do you love or hate them?

Horse Chestnuts: White v Red

White horse chestnut leaves
Red Horse chestnut leaves

In the comments on my post about White horse chestnut trees and Red horse chestnut trees, Deb Weyrich-Cody helpfully posted a link to the Morton Arboretum in Illinois.

It explains that the red horse chestnut is a cross between the White horse chestnut and a red buckeye.

And it says the Red horse chestnut is non-native. Is that a reference to the buckeye or to the white horse-chestnut?

Well the Morton Arboretum says that red buckeyes are native to the southern United States, up into the southern tip of Illinois.

So that makes sense and ties up nicely with the information that White horse-chestnuts originally comes from the Caucasus in south-Eastern Europe.

According to the Morton Arboretum, red buckeyes grow to 15-25 feet, and that perhaps explains why Red horse chestnuts are smaller than the white, at least in all the ones I have seen.

Another Look At The Trees

One thing I have learned is that it is easy to look and hard to see. But armed with that bit of tree architecture I went out to look at the trees again.

Now I see what I had seen before but brushed under the carpet of my brain – that the leaves on the red and the white are not the same. You can see that in the photos above.

Of Chestnuts and Conkers

Another thing I know from last year is that unlike the familiar spherical shape of the conker on the White horse chestnut, the Red is more oval in shape – a bit ‘walnut’ in shape.

Let’s see what the Latin names say;

White horse-chestnut: Aesculus hippocastanum
Red buckeye: Aesculus pavia
Red horse-chestnut: Aesculus carnea

The name “hippocastanum” means, literally, “horse chestnut” from the use of the seed to treat coughs and broken wind in horses and to distinguish it from the chestnuts that people eat (Spanish chestnuts).

Here are the young conkers forming on a White horse chestnut.

Conkers In The Making

When I can, I will go searching for the conkers of the Red. Although, it is a question as to whether they can properly be called conkers at all. Nuts, yes. But conkers?

Would any self-respecting conqueror / conker-er use a nut from a Red to battle his or her opponent?

Moorhens in May: The Beak In The Riverbank

First we saw dad with a chick. Then dad picked some food out of the water and delivered it mum in a nest tucked into the riverbank.

Then dad swam off to the right and the little scruff-ball of a tiny chick was all alone.

The chick pootled around for minute and then started to climb up to the nest, it’s tiny little winds flapping to help it along.


It slid back down the steep bank.

Would it make it, could it make it?

Yes! Another try it was in the nest.

Oh what joy.

Where Is The Nest?

The site of the nest highlighted
Can you see the yellow beak peeking out of the nest?

In truth I do not know whether moorhens split their time on the nest with dad on the nest some of the time.

So where I have said that dad passed the food to mum, and dad swam off, it might be the other parent.