Friday, September 5, 2014

Kitchen chores improved watching this

A beautiful looking and very active eastern spinebill has been collecting nectar from the daphne outside the kitchen window. Getting a photo has proven to be difficult so this is a stolen image from here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


At last I'm getting back into real farm work on a regular basis (does mean hefty doses of pain killers at the end of the day, though, to be able to keep moving).  This week I started pruning the pear tree - still loads to be done as I've got to either fall off a very tall ladder or climb the tree.  Cleaned the house and garage gutters - not bad going for someone who is terrified of heights. Pruned some of the olive trees behind the garage - not down (which should be done) but getting rid of dead branches  Chain sawed the last of the gleaned logs for storing for next winter.  For the first time in 10 years we are getting low on firewood.

The boys are managing the feeder really well and as a consequence the mice have moved elsewhere and the feed is lasting forever. 
Angelo doing the feed dance

This beautiful little heron landed on the roof next door (in the city). The photo doesn't do it justice - not very tall at all, fluffy shimmery tail feathers, very alert and I'd say very out of place.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Yet another night of severe frost

And the hot water pipes are frozen!  Not good.
8am - sun has been up for ages

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Frost and sunshine

Two nights of below zero temps and frost followed by two days of glorious sunshine. 

Pretty weeds unaffected by frost

Rhubarb devastated

but looking pretty nevertheless

A little later, in the sun, the scent from these violets was amazingly strong.

The brassicas drooped amazingly then recovered their upright status as the frost defrosted and the sun shone. Harvesting the potatoes was very warm work despite the temp being only 8C - undoubtedly the sunshine added lots of imaginary heat.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The gorgeousness of sunset

And I nearly missed it - going inside to get the camera!

This was after we discovered the tank - the 22500 litre tank - was EMPTY!  Despite recent rains.  The downpipe connection from roof top to tank had failed, leaving thousands of litres of water to head for the aquifer. Disaster all round and an amazing and unbelievable thing to have happened.  The other unbelievable thing is no rain is forecast for the next few days.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Gardens on the other side of the world

Haven't got around to sorting the 800+ photos recently taken in France and the UK, so for now here's a list of the gloriousness we visited over three weeks.

Giverny and Monet's Garden
Le Jardin de Plume
Pays d'Auge (lots of apple trees)
Le Vasterival garden
Les Bois de Moutiers
Les Andelys
Auvers-sur-Oise (with a sad visit to Van Gogh's "home")

Crathes Castle and Garden
Pitmedden Garden
Inverewe Garden
Iona Abbey (and great organic gardens at the back of two of Iona's hotels)
Duart Castle
Achamore House Gardens on the Isle of Gigha
Jura (with a wee tasting at the Jura Distillery)
Mount Stewart House and Gardens
Mount Usher
Mount Congreve
Waterford Crystal (amazing production and crystal way way too elaborate to ever want)
Tresco Abbey Gardens