17 Sep 2019

Our garden - early September

I haven't blogged about our garden and gardening recently so I thought I would do an update today.  We've been enjoying these September days close to home as the weather has been calm and mellow even though there has been a nip in the air in the mornings and evenings.  Sometimes it's nice to chill out at home, especially as I have a pile of library books to read and Mr P is still busy with his woodworking (making planters), trimming the leaves from the tomatoes that are ripening in the covered yard and generally pottering in the vegetable plot gathering a few of the vegetables now and again. No doubt we'll take a drive out when we feel in the mood as there are several places I'd like to go and see whilst the weather is fine.
Here are a few collages of what is happening in the garden this month.  It's amazing how many summer flowers are still blooming.

The little solar powered fountain makes a pleasant sound when the sun is shining.

The apples and pears have survived the days when we've had windy weather, but still are unripe.  Broccoli, sweet corn and beans are welcome additions to an evening meal or soup.

The hanging basket of strawberry plants our granddaughter gave us flowered and recently produced a few strawberries that were appreciated as a little snack with some chocolate chip biscotti.

Here are some of the different varieties of tomato still ripening outside and in the conservatory/yard and plenty have been bottled.

We brought the bistro table and chairs into the covered yard.  I need to get covers for them for when it rains and we have had some showers and rain during the night.  However, the table is useful and the chairs provide extra seating if anyone comes by for a coffee or cup of tea. The other end of the covered yard is where I usually sit and read.

Thank you for your visit.  I hope all is well with you. I'll catch up with your news soon.

9 Sep 2019

The Woodland Discovery Centre

Every so often we take a drive to another one of the interesting areas that make up the city as we go to a specialist shop that sells brewing equipment so that Mr P can get his wine kit to make his home made wine.  It also gives us an opportunity to visit the small businesses and charity shops in this particular local high street before returning home through the ancient woodlands called Ecclesall Woods.  Last Thursday we stopped for a coffee at the Woodland Café in the J. G. Graves Woodland Discovery Centre and I took a brief walk in the woods.  (I'm still having trouble with my knee, but gentle exercise is beneficial for the circulation so I'm taking every opportunity I can to keep moving. The soonest physiotherapy clinic appointment I was offered is not until mid November.  Mr P, however, has an appointment next month to see a consultant for his hip replacement surgery so things are under way for that, which is more important).

The Woodland Discovery Centre is in the middle of several hundred acres of mature, semi-natural deciduous woodland previously used for timber and the making of charcoal and hosts many activities related to the woods. There are parking spaces along the main roads with a dedicated car park at the Centre and so it's accessible for us to take a break and be in the heart of the woods. It's an education centre so there are occasional demonstrations of woodworking, woodcraft courses, social events and, of course, the opportunity to walk in the 15 km of public footpaths to find landmarks such as an old mill, remains of the charcoal burners' trade, streams and ponds.  Indoors there are viewing areas with binoculars provided for bird spotting, logs for sale as well as the refreshment area.

There were quite a few robins and also great tits who were at the bird feeders and the café was a pleasant place to have our coffee and watch them.

There are signs of the transition from Summer to Autumn.

There are many areas around the centre, for example a sunken area of grass, where a visitor can sit and enjoy the peace and quiet of the woodland surroundings.

Thank you for visiting.  Have a good week whatever you're doing!
Linda :)

30 Aug 2019

Friday Bliss # 51

We're blessed to have beautiful countryside on our doorstep with a combination of farmland, moorland and woods. A short drive from home on Monday we were on the ridge overlooking our local reservoir.  The lanes are narrow here, but there are a few places where we can stop and admire the views.  Birds hover in the sky and whilst Mr P was concentrating on the driving I saw a small creature scuttle across the lane from the grassy bank to the field.  It had a long, thin body and was probably a weasel. We could smell the cut grass as farmers are cutting the hay to store for Winter.  We see their vehicles laden with hay bales or tractors that have been used on the land as they pass through our local roads.
Although we do not have the close connection to the land and farming community as we do in our Italian village it's interesting to see what's happening on the local farms at different seasons of the year and getting out into the countryside and being close to the natural world lifts the spirit. 

Damflask Reservoir - our local reservoir

 nearby is Agden reservoir.

calf sitting in the shade of the mother cow

Remnants of a dry stone wall and gate post on the moors gives a good idea how the wall was constructed.  Now this piece of land has been fenced off.

This photo was taken on a different day when we stopped on the lay by just before the entrance to a farm. (The top lane is narrow so it's dangerous to park there on the road and obstruct other passing vehicles).  A new wall is being constructed breaking up huge boulders. One day it'll look as weathered as all the others in the area.

 The old stone walls and rocks covered in lichen and mosses on the moors.

 collages of the wild flowers I photographed and left undisturbed
common ragwort, bird's-foot-trefoil, creeping cinquefoil, white dead-nettle

common knapweed, a variety of vetch, campion gone to seed
and signs of the changing season with the blackberries everywhere

Thank you for your visit.  Wishing you a peaceful weekend,