Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

out of season

just wandering around the garden today I found these plants in flower (from the top, camelia, feverfew, geranium and cape lily), in addition to our normal winter flowering shrubs mahonia and viburnum. The camelia is at least two months earlier than usual. Any hard frost now will damage the buds. What a strange year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

only in our imagination

It's been a tumultuous year for everyone everywhere, and a sad one for us, but here's to a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to you all.


Spot and the OHG

Monday, December 19, 2011


At this time of year in the meadows it feels as if the party is over, the tussocks are drab and collapsed, seed heads look like cigarette butts chucked on the floor and ground out, the carpet is sodden, and the buzz of conversation has gone. All that chatting up and flirting, and vivid displaying on the dance floor in party frocks is over. No one has cleared up yet, but one gets the impression that the party goers, once over their hangovers, somehow somewhere will start the party again next year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

funnel troops

not a lot is going on at the moment although there are more mushrooms about than usual for the time of year. These very large mushrooms are one of the species of clitocybe and are large enough to be gigantea (edible when boiled) or geotropa (v edible), but are probably just plain old common funnel mushrooms (edible). A group like this is called a troop. As usual I cannot tell which is which. My unease about eating wild mushrooms is not helped by the mention (in only one of my reference books but not the others) of the spread of the Paralysis funnel, (C. amoenolens) which is easily mistaken for the others other than that it smells of ripe pears, the ivory clitocybe (deadly poisonous) which is common on lawns. These look edible but are ivory coloured, and don't smell of much at all! It's back to the superstore then.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

snipe starling

a starling looking very smart after the autumn moult. The new feathers have creamy tips that stand out from the dark background, and the back feathers are paler brown than in the summer. Below is a snipe caught in mid flight. This was one of a party of 6 or 7,  small groups like this are called wisps. There are two types of snipe, common and Jack. This is probably the common snipe becausethe wisp was feeding on very damp marsh land. They are extremely quick on the wing.

Lurchers frighten off rabbit

large buck rabbit looking very scared in flower bed after severe warning as to future conduct. We will stop at nothing to rid our garden of rabbits as long as it doesn't involve running around and barking.