Wednesday, 30 September 2009

More Fungi

The Children's Mother was ill today but she managed a short walk with the dogs this morning.

I don't know what this fungi is and the Children's Mother is not certain, so more research required.  What ever, I love the subtle colours and tones.  Just before I took this shot, one of the terriers set a young deer across our path.  It was for too quick for the camera but really nice to see so close.  Fortunately, the terrier is much more interested in rabbits!

Further on, we came across these Cep fungi (Boletus edulis).  Ugly looking things but I am assured that they are edible, I suppose that is logical as some of the most attractive are really poisonous!  These are a little unusual in that they don't have gills but have pores to exude the spores.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


A few days of being tired, I must have overdone something.  So no posts I'm afraid.

The ponies are in now so the winter's morning routine has started,  breakfast, then stables, while The Children's Mother takes the girls to school and herself to work.

After I had put the ponies out and cleaned the stables, I wasn't feeling too bad so I took the dogs for a bit of a walk round the woods.  The Children's Mother had the Nikon so I borrowed No 2 daughter's Canon compact.  I have not used it very often but is a nice little camera, and I would have one for myself.  I had a fiddle with the setting's (digital is still a 'dark art' to me, I have just had to dig out the Nikon handbook again!) this shot was with the digital macro setting (I think?)  No idea which fungi it is, I will have to consult with a higher authority!

Hope to back on form tomorrow.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Urocelus gigas

Giant Wood Wasp.

What a whopper!  Late this afternoon I went into the kitchen to prepare for the onslaught of No 2's daughters freinds for a sleepover.  In a large vase on the window sill was this enormous Hornet looking beast.  At about 30mm long, it turned out thanks to The Childrens Mother, to be a Giant Wood Wasp.  The scary looking 'sting' is in fact an ovipositor, used to lay eggs in rotten wood.  Thank goodness!  I have a thing about wasps and bees after several painful encounters in the past.  I will release it into our little wood in the morning.

At the yard tonight I couldn't resist this shot.

Friday, 25 September 2009

The Sky at 19.27 bst

The Childrens Mother had a day off today, so we had a quiet, lazy time around the house before the school run and chores got in the way.

My evening trip to see my mother and check the animals was extended by a leaking boiler and a visit by the electricity engineer to check a damaged overhead line.  All this put paid to my plans for a few photos, so all I could manage was this sunset on the journey home for dinner.

Oh by the way, yesterdays feast of roast, terrier stuffed donkey, was delicious!!  And still some left for curry and sandwiches!

Thursday, 24 September 2009


Autumn is definately upon us.  I was doing some jobs up at my mothers cottage this afternoon, the garden and fields are surrounded by various trees, which are now turning colour.  All at different stages, the wild cherries almost bright red while the oaks are just showing a tinge of gold.  In a few weeks most will be bare and our views will change dramatically for six months or so.

This is a Variegated Cornus growing in the garden.

I developed ME just short of two years ago and apart seeing a little more of the children and The Childrens Mother!  I can think of few plus points.

I would normally look after my mother's garden but this year it has got past me and is showing neglect.  While I was clearing the compost bays today, I was delighted to discover a huge crop of potatoes under the mass of weeds.  They had all grown from potatoes thrown out of the kitchen.  A couple of years ago, I planted and carefully tended rows of potatoes in the vegetable garden and while the crop was large, most had been eaten by wire-worms and had to be destroyed.

You can imagine how pleased I was to see that this accidental bounty was perfect!  The best news is that I have yet to empty the large bay!!

The next job was to get everything (potatoes, and eggs from my wonderful hens) up to the car. 

Easy. Eggbox in the bucket and two trips, with the dogs, past the donkeys.  While I made my way to the car with the first load, the donkeys tried to eat the remaining potatoes.  I rushed back to collect the second bucket and take that to the car, only to find that one of the terriers had opened the eggbox and was making off with the eggs!

At last home and waiting for The Childrens Mother to prepare a hearty dinner.

What's on the menu?

Roast donkey stuffed with terrier, served with delicious potatoes and fried egg!!


Wednesday, 23 September 2009


I am in the middle of watching the BBC 'Wounded' program.  Very moving, I can't help but be impressed not only by the strength of character and determination of the two young soldiers but also by the equal skill and dedication of the medical and physio staff who help them to make as full a recovery as possible, from their devastating injuries.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Scarborough Lily

In the spring, I was given some tiny bulbs, the parent plant flowered a month or so ago but mine has just flowered.

They are a rather striking flower but I didn't want to post a straight picture, the plant lending itself to something a little more 'graphic' in style.

I seemed to spend most of yesterday organising the forthcoming trip to Germany with phone calls to Cologne and trips to Hexham to get some new passport photos.  Why is it that passport photos make you look like some sort of hysterical defficient, or the local axe-murderer?  I have aquired the deluxe version, I look ancient, with digitally enhanced bags under my eyes and defective grey balance!

I needed a photocopy of No1 daughter's passport the other day, bless her, it looked like a war crimes file!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The Plough

I thought that I had finished for the day.

When I got to the yard to check my horse, the field across the valley was being ploughed.  I couldn't resist another few shots.  I will try and still stick to the "post shots from the day" philosophy of another place as it is a good discipline but I love the freedom of being able to post another shot if one crops up later in the day.  Tommorrow there may be none!


I took this shot late this afternoon, convinced that there was a straight picture to be had.

No such luck, no matter how I looked at it on the screen there was nowt! Certainly not a straight.  In the end I inverted the colour and bumped up the contrast and my stubborn pride is satisfied. 

Now I can go and check the horse and animals, see how many eggs the hens laid today, and enjoy the last of the days sun with the dogs.  Home for dinner and book flights to Germany.

Ok. Just Teasling !

A wonderful sunny morning here in darkest Northumberland.

A good day to get my washing on the line, a chaps work is never done!  This teasle had grown up behind the dryer and was catching the washing.  Some things are just too much for a chap to bear, so it had to go.  Still, the light was perfect and the camera was handy......

Sorry about the repetition.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Ich Weiss Nicht !!

Daughter No1 will be a Vet.

I say she will be a vet. because she will!!  At sixteen, she is a very determined young lady.  She has just been given the chance  to go to Germany for two weeks work placement in a large Small Animal Hospital, thanks to a good friend of mine.

She can speak French and a smattering of Russian (and not a little Anglo-Saxon!)

"Just one problem"  She announced.
"I can't speak a word of German!"

She travels in four weeks!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

On Cloud Nine!

I would just love to fly in one of these things!

On my evening travels today, between checking my horse and the hens and donkeys at the cottage, for some reason I decided to go the long way round for a change.  At the top of the hill I saw this hot air balloon, a local company I think, floating in the light breeze on a lovely evening.  Silent apart from the occasional roar of the burner.

It landed a few minutes after I took this picture.  Another mile and it would have landed in our field beside the cottage, with the donkeys.

Now that would have been a shot!!!

I love Sweet Peas.

Cutting the lawn this afternoon in the lovely autumn sunshine, I remembered that we had picked very few this year.  On the occasion that we had, the house was filled with heady scent which should have reminded us to pick more.

Must try harder next year!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009


Teasles are a great favourite of The Children's Mother,  I have to admit, they are curious.

Having a look!

Hi, I may have become uncomfortable with another photojournal site, so I'm having a little play here.

ps  I have no idea how to do this, so bear with me!