Thursday, August 31, 2017

Photo Scavenger Hunt - August

I used to enjoy joining in with the Photo Scavenger Hunt which was organised by Greenthumb but that ended a few years ago now so it was great to find a new hunt via Louise at Ramblings of a Roachling.  The new Scavenger Hunt is organised by 'I Live, I Love, I Craft I am Me' blog - link here.
 Follow the link to find more.

Here are my photos for August


 1.  Relaxed - this elderly stag was very relaxed snoozing under a tree right near the car park at Wollaton Hall in Nottingham.  We spotted him when we went to look at the 'Dinosaurs of China' Exhibition in early July.

2.  It begins with an 'M' - Max our twenty-one year old cat taking a gentle stroll in the garden, he doesn't go out very often and likes us to be around when he does.

3.  Time for - Elevenses - five minutes to get to the coffee shop!  Clock on the tower of St Mary's Church, Nantwich, Cheshire.

4.  Tangerine - on a recent visit to Bridgemere Garden World near Nantwich in Cheshire there was a display of a new variety of Geum called Tangerine.

5.  It begins with an 'O' - a new plant for the garden this one is a Heuchera and it is called 'Obsidian'.

6.  Whiskery - I thought that the dying flowers at the top of the Artichoke looked quite whiskery.

7.  Lace - a lace collar or cape attached to a dress which was on display in Winterbourne House, Birmingham when we visited in June.

8.  Bridge - under the road bridge (No 60) which goes over the Shropshire Union Canal at Tyrley Locks near Market Drayton.

9.  Letters - on a bicycle at Austin's Deli and Coffee Shop in Nantwich, Cheshire.

10.  My Own Choice -  This scene at Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent may look familiar if you watch 'The Great Pottery Throw Down' - this is where all the challenges were done.  We were able to visit 'The Great Exhibition' where many of the items made by the contestants were on display on and around the tables they worked at. The exhibition ends on 3rd September.

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Peaceful Walk on a Sunny Day

On Saturday we took a walk at Aqualate Mere Nature Reserve which is just over the county border into Shropshire and quite close to the town of Newport.

We followed the designated pathway towards the Mere passing through lovely woodlands and meadows where butterflies and dragonflies flitted around us. 

Eventually we arrived at the first of the two hides on this side of the Mere.

 The hides are the only way of getting close to the water and most of the birds were at the opposite end of the Mere.  We saw the usual Mallards, Coots and Moorhens, plus Canada Geese and a Golden Eye duck.  One of the photographers in the hide saw a Hobby up above and started clicking away with his very sophisticated camera.  Apparently it swooped down to take a dragon fly.

 He was teaching another photographer how to take both still and action wildlife shots. It all sounded very technical.

 With my bridge camera I concentrated on the little birds on the feeders.

Mostly blue tits and great tits. I did see a robin very briefly.

We saw lots of butterflies and dragonflies, plus some interesting plants too. 

There were lots of the butterflies  flitting around over the wildflower meadows.  Above Speckled Wood?

Red Admiral and elderberries

Perhaps a fritillary of some sort? Edit 29/8/17 - thanks to Ragged Robin who saw this was in fact a Small Copper butterfly:)

 The native orange balsam flowers have a soft, sweet scent.

 Sweet Chestnuts

Horse Tail growing in abundance under the trees

On the way home we called at Shropshire Lavender as it was the last weekend of opening for the season.

 Most of the lavender had been cut but I was able to purchase a few items, like lavender and goats milk soap and some quince jam that I wanted for birthday presents. 

 The cafe was open selling lavender scones and cake but we had brought a picnic with us so didn't indulge.

 I must say the little courtyard looked inviting in the afternoon sunshine.

 The orchard was quiet and peaceful and full of apples

 and also damsons.

There is something so special about the scent and the colour in an orchard at this time of year.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Garden Produce

There are lots of good things growing in the garden at the moment.   Some of them are ripe for picking others are ready for cutting.

 In the basket are tomatoes from the green house, courgettes and potatoes from the raised beds and plums from the tree at the top of the garden.  From the herb bed there are sprigs of sage, parsley and basil.

The herbs make a lovely, fragrant display in a jam jar on the kitchen windowsill until we need to use them.

There is much more lavender to harvest and dry.  I don't like to take too many flowers off as the bees love buzzing around its fragrant flower stalks.

Add a red pepper, an onion and an aubergine to the courgettes and tomatoes and you can make a simple ratatouille.  A clove of garlic with some tomato puree, olive oil and black pepper complete the dish.

There are beans, more plums and more courgettes to come in the next week or two. It's so satisfying to bring into the kitchen fruit and vegetables you have grown in your garden even if just from a pot outside the back door or a even just pots of herbs in the kitchen window.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sunshine and Wildlife in Tissington

Yesterday, whilst on our travels, we dropped into the village of Tissington which is near Ashbourne in Derbyshire for refreshment.

We parked opposite Tissington Hall which is still owned by the FitzHerbert family.  The Hall is sometimes open for guided tours.  Usually around the time of the Well Dressing festival and on Monday to Thursday in August.

We walked down to the old coach house to Herbert's Tea Rooms.  I've just noticed it was obviously wheelie bin day!

A view of St Mary's church from the street in front of the coach house.

Another view through the huge windows in the tea rooms.

 The Hall Well one of six wells in the village, the Well Dressings here are held during May for seven days after AscensionDay.  When I was a child at junior school we always used to have a bus trip to see the Well Dressings.  I have memories of the cattle grids you walk over to get into the village and the picnic we used to have on one of the grassed areas, bottles of water or lemonade and usually egg, potted meat or salmon spread sandwiches wrapped up in greaseproof paper and stored in a brown paper bag. 

 Trees in the middle of the village

 Lovely door to the Kindergarten closed during the school holidays.

Just out of the village is the Tissington Trail, which runs between Ashbourne and Parsley Hay. I've taken you along parts of this in many posts.

I loved these old mounting steps with the view of the church behind them

 On our walk around we spotted rose hips in the hedgerows

A southern hawker dragonfly? Can anyone help identify it?

and a migrant hawker dragonfly?  Again not sure but would be grateful for help in idenficication. Edit - this one could be the southern hawker, not the one above.

 Butterflies - not sure what this one is as it didn't open its wings enough to be able to see it properly, it was rather faded with damaged wings, perhaps a pale Meadow Brown?

 Red Admirals on white Buddleia

and an adult Wren feeding one of its newly fledged offspring.  It was such a joy to be able to capture these in a photo as usually they are so quick.  All the wildlife were basking in the warmth of the afternoon sun.

Link to one of my previous posts aboutTissington