Saturday, 31 August 2013

Bimble round Latrigg

A late afternoon family outing.  Saw remarkably few people which was a surprise and it was a super little walk, same route as I took with Jill at the beginning of July. 

Lovely views in all directions, Clough Head, the Dodds and Helvellyn in the distance:

Of course Daisy was with us, but unusually managed to keep out of the pictures :}

Half a mile from the car we were overtaken by a Dad and boy on mountain bikes.  The kid was travelling at speed, the father yelling at him to slow down, and Management watched the inevitable crash which happened 50 yards down the path.  When we caught up with them a crying 7 year old was being comforted by a rather shaken Dad.  It appeared the only injury was a badly scraped elbow and Dad asked if I had a plaster?  The first aid kit came out for the first time since we moved here and we were able to dress the elbow which was bleeding quite messily.

Management often wonders if I carry a larger pack than necessary and for a 3 mile bimble around Latrigg he's possibly right.  I'll keep doing so however, because you never know when a sterile dressing's going to come in handy :}

Friday, 30 August 2013

Bag End Cam, 3

Things have deliberately been very quiet on the wildlife camera front.  All those candid snaps it takes have to be reviewed . . . and that takes time.

Between 1st July and 10th August I put one of the cameras* outside the big shed. On at least two occasions LP had seen either a stoat or weasel disappear into the huge log pile and it would have been good to catch a photo.  So, I placed a camera and then promptly forgot about it/couldn't be bothered to check it.  Which is how I ended up with over 3,500 images to sort through.  Like I said, all takes time.

Sadly, no weasel but I have deleted hundreds of pictures of Daisy and I wandering back and forth. Also dumped numerous shots of pheasant, pigeons and blackbirds.  Confirmed my suspicions that we get regular visits from a neighbours cat who seems undeterred either by Daisy or one of those 'high pitched sonic' things.

Occasionally a red squirrel was 'caught' heading back to the hazelnut feeder and I obtained irrefutable (and deleted) proof that wandering around the garden first thing in my dressing gown is not something which should be witnessed by anyone!

Good to get a couple of hedgehog pictures although I already knew we had at least one large animal visit the garden having seen him/her late at night when I was out with Daisy.

Saving the best until last?   Lovely to have Lepus europaeus back in the garden

* oh, did I not confess that we bought a second one whilst they were on sale?  Well, it's a big garden :}

Thursday, 29 August 2013

New gate

If you've been to Bag End you will know it's "round the wrong way" and our front door is at the side of the house, not the front.  There is, however, a door at the front which some people assume is our main entrance (it leads into my sewing room).  We don't want folk wandering in this way - too near the bedroom windows and there is no bell, no letterbox, so a couple of years ago we put a simple sign on the gate.

It was too simple and despite the gate having both a top and bottom bolt, occasionally I still had some idiot trying to get through. Eventually I had to deal with one ignorant git too many, lost what small vestige of patience remained and ordered a new gate.

What you can't see is the large sign I found in the farm supply store which says NO ENTRY .  It has worked, so far!  The gate looks good but in typical Bag End style is giving Management and I all sorts of ideas about extending the fence either side to the same height ....

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Garden Visitors: Pond

Allegedly, photographing something as fleeting and beautiful as a huge dragonfly is easy.  You work out where the insect is going to land, set up a camera so that you have the landing site nicely framed, perfectly in focus and beautifully lit.  Then you just wait for the aforementioned dragonfly to place itself slap bang in the middle of your composition and click away.

Yeah, right.

It's a great plan with one problem - no-one briefed the damn dragonfly on its role in the proceedings.  I must have deleted a couple of hundred images to end up with one:

Friday, 23 August 2013

If you go down to the woods today ...

In the wood there is a tree:

And in the tree there is a door:

But despite her best efforts (and the helpful addition of a door knob), Daisy couldn't get inside :}

Another delightful wander through Holme Wood this afternoon.  Despite it being the day before a Bank Holiday the place was almost deserted and I only saw a couple of people the whole time we were out.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Garden visitors: Birds

I've been careless this summer and not taken pictures of the dozens of birds who visit us.  Each week I can be sure of seeing more than a few:

Tree Sparrow
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Coal Tit
Collared Dove
Wood Pigeon

And occasionally:

Greater Spotted Woodpecker
Long Tailed Tit

I'm guilty of taking them all for granted but as the weather gets colder and they come to rely more on the food we supply I need to get the tripod out and take photos.

There are a couple though - these baby finches were quite comical sitting by the pond, but I'm useless at ID-ing juveniles.

This lovely didn't need any introductions - a beautiful Grey Wagtail.  There were two but one ticked the no publicity box.

Friday, 16 August 2013

A gift from Australia

When QuiltSue came to stay last month she brought with her a gift from another Susan.  This was totally unexpected but one of the amazing things that happens with friends made through blogs.  Susan sent similar gifts to Sue (obviously!) and Hazel.

Chatting to Sue earlier in the week and we were pondering what to make with our Aussie gift; she came up with the idea of Stack'n'Whack.  Brilliant idea, just the right thing for the feature fabric but one problem - not enough material.  I pondered this for a couple of days and then remembered a simplified version of S'n'W that was around a few years back - Four-Patch Posie.  If you Google it there are hundreds of images online, but this blog from Michele in Wisconsin has a very good explanation of the effect.

Watch this space :}

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Kona Bay

It's raining today and I absolutely am not in the mood to go outside.  Daisy had a good walk yesterday and she's not begging for the great outdoors either.

The title might confuse my gardening friends - don't try looking the location up on a map, it is not a place but a range of absolutely gorgeous quilting fabric.   My dear friend J. in St Louis has a larger collection of Kona Bay fabrics than most quilt stores.  When J. decides to "get piecing" then look out - she takes no prisoners, no breaks for lunch and doesn't quite know when to stop.  Which is why she ended up with far too many segments for her latest quilt.  Being a kind and generous soul (and knowing how much I covet her fabric stash), she sent this strip to me with the note "hey, you like table runners, do something with this!"

Trouble is, "this" was 92" long and rather larger than any table I'm likely to fit into the house.  So I unpicked two seams making the runner into three sections, pieced them back together again (she'd sent some strips of the black, bless her) and added a border.  The pansy fabric doesn't look too good in the photo but it works pretty well in 'real life'.

Another top joins the longarm queue ... (and this isn't everything, there are more, all over the place, whoops ...)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

I can see my house from here!

I've dug around some very old picture folders and this is the view from upstairs at the Hampshire house (that's a flock of waxwings in the trees).

Although a newly built estate it was a good place; lots of space, lots of protected trees & hedgerows with an ancient bluebell wood next door.  But nearly everywhere you looked there were more houses, cars and people.  Which is why it feels more than a little querulous if I complain about the lack of views/visibility here!

And so it was this afternoon when Daisy and I had a short bimble around the back of Lorton.  Cloudy haze notwithstanding, when Daisy and I sat down just to enjoy the peace and absolute silence I could still see Rannerdale Knotts, Haystacks and Great Gable amongst others and on a clear day, Scaffel Pike is visible.

Daisy picked up the restful mood and was happy to settle down and watch the world.

I've often heard that tadpoles in inhospitable conditions can take two years to develop.  This puddle at the bottom of a track is probably one of those places.

Heading for home now, I can see my house from here :}

Friday, 9 August 2013

Just for a change, back to Mawbray :}

I often wonder what Daisy thinks of her new life.

Is it my job to accompany Daisy on her walks, or is it her job to accompany me on mine?  Either way, the calendar shows me that we went out for 17 walks during August, but I didn't take the camera on all of them :}

There's lots to interest us both, although I think this little Common Cross Spider which landed on my trousers was a bit confused.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Blackcurrant time

A major picking session yesterday afternoon.  The 'Ben Sarek' plant is more prolific and gave 1500g.  'Ben Lomond' is much easier to pick, something about the way the strigs are arranged, but the fruit are individually smaller and the yield was 1050g.

Nonetheless, 2½kg of blackcurrants is not to be sniffed at, although cleaning them up took a quite a while - 2½ episodes of a not-very-good American legal drama on DVD!  Fortunately it occurred to me to use a pair of the vitrile gloves so at least I avoided stained fingers this time.

Ages since I've made jelly rather than jam and forgot what a mess it creates.  The upside was the house smelt like a Ribena factory all day.  The downside was a sink that looked like an out-take from an early episode of Dexter.

Showing off?  Yes, just a little :}

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

August flowers

Liatris spicata

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

Hemerocallis.  Sold as a white variety ...

Lythrum salicaria (Purple loosestrife)

Unnamed water lily, a gift so no idea which one