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.


  1. Love the photos of the swallows - they arrived in South Africa before us - what amazing little birds, and what a journey.

  2. can't decide which is best, flowers or edible things. I have not seen figs like that since I was 10 years old. my uncle had a tree in the yard in Savannah GA... glad they got your grapes in for you... I will have 2 nectarines and a bunch of the sun flowers please

  3. So much garden produce Linda, how wonderful. Most of ours is sadly long gone now. Your sunflower and roses look beautiful and I loved seeing all the different butterflies. Swallows are difficult to photograph when they're in flight. Great that you spotted them sitting still for a rest.
    A spectacular lizard! I can see why the granchildren would be fascinated by it.
    Have a fantastic weekend :)

  4. So much gorgeousness and deliciousness. We had fresh off the vine grapes while in Jerusalem and they were so good. Crisp and sweet, so much better than what you get in the grocery story. Praying mantises are super freaky. I'm surprised it didn't grab the lizard. Ha! I've seen video of one catching a hummingbird bird. Yikes! Enjoy your weekend.

  5. Gorgeous! Lots of colourful butterflies and delicious produce. Hopefully we'll get to see the wine later.

  6. Quite a bounty! Lovely photos!

  7. Such a lovely abundance of birds and butterflies and delicious things to eat from the gardens. Interesting to see the lizard, too. Hope you have a lovely visit with family. xx Karen

  8. Such beautiful photos, a wonderful array of produce and plants. It was a joy to see the visitors too, the butterflies were a real delight. Have a lovely day with your family.

  9. Gorgeous cheering and sunny photos for a grey October morning. Have a lovely family day today and enjoy the weekend:)

  10. les multiples petites bêtes du jardin
    c'est un bon équilibre de la nature
    jolies récoltes de fruits et légumes certainement meilleur que ceux du commerce
    bonne journée
    bisous de France

  11. Your garden is quite wonderful. I love watching the autumn garden and still being able to pick produce for awhile longer. I picked a hand full of figs today and still getting a few ripe tomatoes. How nice to see your flowers and butterflies too.

  12. Hello Linda, Looking at all your pictures and listening to your descriptions of times spent puttering around in the garden harvesting and then planting for next spring, it all feels so calm and peaceful. A breath of fresh air. I hope your day spend with your son's family was a joyful one.

  13. Beautiful post - I enjoyed your garden very much.

  14. Beautiful post.... This past year I switched from pansies to petunias since they don't die in the hot summer heat... They will last all spring ---and through summer and fall.... BUT--I love Pansies too!!!!

    Amazing how you all an continue to care for two homes in two different countries. I certainly admire you...

    I have a good blog post today about our visit to a Slot Canyon in Arizona recently... You would enjoy seeing the pictures I think..

  15. Wonderful to see all the wildlife, both here and in Italy, lovely swallow photos. You've still got such a lot of colour in your garden. I harvested my apples yesterday and the tomato plants have all been cleared away, the green ones have ripened nicely in the conservatory.

  16. Dear Linda,

    Such a wonderful garden you have with all the gorgeous produce and flowers. Also loved seeing the swallow, butterflies and lizard.
    Always love pansies too, they are such bright and happy little flowers.
    Enjoy your week

  17. I did enjoy catching up with your garden produce at home, those tomatoes, grapes and figs look fantastic! Good to hear wine is being made in Italy too, marvelous swallow pics. Interesting hearing about the lizard eating the praying mantis....who knew!

  18. This is a fabulous show of your garden along with the various visitors! The swallows are very familiar as I see the same kind in my garden, too.

  19. You are really in the harvest mode right now! Yesterday, I made Apple Crisp and it certainly felt and smelled like Autumn in the house. Outside, the deck builders were busy bolting timbers together. Christmas is coming!

    1. I'm pleased to hear the decking will soon be in place. Looking forward to seeing the finished project along with the balcony.

  20. Temperature differs lot

    we are on little relief as in october temp is below 40 mostly and 30 plus though yet we are happy to get rid from 50ies

    .photos are amazing, unlike me my kids are not scare of lizards .

    i loved your roses and all the garden beauties.

    your daughter is wise to put tomatoes in freezer though i never did so as i think they will spoil in much cold ,may be i should try this.
    my each dish need tomatoes and you are so lucky to have suitable soil for them, here heat is much to spoil them.

    hope you had lots of fun while preparing you lunch as ladies love kitchen most

  21. Great pictures - as always!

  22. What a fabulous post this is.
    Lovely to read and to look at... a very nice mix.
    Thank you

    Hope you had a wonderful family visit.

    All the best Jan

  23. Hi, Linda. Very veautiful shots.
    I love the butterflies.
    The last one is certainly Polygonia c-album. I see it in Italy and in Finland as well.