6 Oct 2017

This and that

This morning in South Yorkshire the sun is shining and there are clear blue skies Even though the temperature has dropped another degree or two it's the sort of day to be out-and-about. 
In Italy our grapes were collected last month by relatives as they had matured early this year and the wine process has begun. We've been told that the weather is still warm, but thankfully not as hot as we experienced it. The swallows that were perching on the overhead electric cables when we were there will have migrated to a warmer climate by now. 

It was good to see butterflies in the garden and countryside. Most of them were, I think, varieties of dusky meadow browns. The one showing the underside of the wings on the bottom right was interesting. (I took the photo through a not-very-clean balcony window so it's not so clear, but it had very interesting markings just like a piece of bark and this must be good for camouflage against predators.  I think it's a tortoiseshell butterfly, but let me know if  I'm wrong. Thank you).

The grandchildren were fascinated by the lizards and the granddaughter took this photo.  It had been dozing undisturbed in the jasmine bush until we came along to prune the branches. I'm not keen on lizards ever since I saw one grab a huge praying mantis. The lizard scuttled away into the vegetation with the poor creature in its jaws.  I suppose that's the law of nature, but I had taken an interest in the praying mantis and felt sorry for its capture and obvious demise. 

Yesterday in Yorkshire, I was pleased to see this butterfly in our garden. Again, I'm not sure, but I think it's a comma butterfly. 

The sunflowers are just beginning to flower.  The roses continue to bloom.

The grapes will be left for the birds.

When we got back from Italy we found three nectarines had matured. The skin on one had wrinkled, but they were all delicious to eat. 

The fig tree is dropping its leaves and the figs still on the branches will not ripen now, but we gathered many bowls of  figs in September.

Our daughter, who was looking after our house and garden when we were in
Italy, picked many ripe tomatoes and put them in the freezer before she returned home. Usually we bottle them, but we were grateful that she froze them as they'll come in handy when the fresh ones have finished.  We can use them to make tomato sauce. We've been picking tomatoes off the plants ever since we came home and we still have a few ripe tomatoes on our plants in the covered yard. The tomatoes that were growing in planters outside have been gathered as we're now starting to experience frost during the night.  A few were gathered and ripened indoors. I also froze some rhubarb on our return from being away and will make rhubarb crumble. We've also gathered the pears and have stored them indoors. They're gradually ripening.  On the other hand, the apples are still on the tree, but they'll also need to be gathered soon.

Lastly, I've started planting Spring bulbs in pots and I bought some pansies to add some colour and variety.

As always, wishing you a good day and a peaceful weekend.  We're looking forward to a visit from our son, daughter-in-law and grandson tomorrow. I shall be busy today preparing some food in advance for our Saturday lunch so I'll catch up with you after the weekend.