Monday, 31 May 2010

Insects and Monsters


Hosta Leaf Veins



The Flying Critter!



Hungry Butterfly!



The Monster....!


Today was a good day for pictures.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Hoverflies and Hellebores

If I may quote my infants school 'News Book'

"No news today!"


Hoverfly,   Eupeodes  corollae   and buttercup



Euphorbia   griffithii

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Where have all, the children gone?

The children have all gone to Nice!  The Children's Mother and me have been abandoned to our own devices for a week.

It's very quiet.  Too quiet!  You don't half miss them when they are gone.....



Into our void the rain has fallen to add to our misery. 


The Hawthorn,  Crategus  monogyna  blossom has just burst this week and most of the trees are laden with flower but today the blossom is doing it's best to cope with the wet.




Beside the burn at the cottage there are large and increasing clumps of  Bugle,  Ajuga reptans 

Cheescake!

The Children's Mother and I went to a friend's wedding reception last night at Alnwick Castle.

The wedding and reception were held in the castle garden in front of the magnificent water feature and fountains. Unfortunately it was almost dark when we arrived so no pictures of the fountains but I did grab a shot of the Tree House Restaurant.  Yes there is a wonderful restaurant in this brand new, multi million pound rickety old tree house!


The surprise of the evening was the wedding cake!



Yes, it was cheese ( and delicious!)

My camera ran out of battery after this shot so you will have to trust me that the bride looked radiant and wore the most beautiful, simple but elegant dress I have seen!

Congratulations to Elizabeth and Chris, have a wonderful life together.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Day Trip to Newcastle

I had to take my car into the big city this morning to have it's Mot test, so I delivered it at 9.30 and spent most of the day wandering round Newcastle, filling in time and taking some pictures.  As a result you are all spared more photos of flowers today!   (But tomorrow is another day!)

I thought it would be nice to just use architectural shots for this post and have used some pictures of iconic buildings in the city.  They are in order of construction.


The old Co-operative Society bonded warehouse on the Quayside, now a Malmaison hotel.  date unknown



The Tyne Bridge   date 1928




"River God Tyne"  by David Wynne,  Newcastle Civic Centre   date 1967




The Sage Arts Centre, Gateshead   date 2004


The car passed with flying colours, I am exhausted!!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Rain Drops on Noses!

The forecast rain arrived in moderation but enough to soak everything, including my nose!  One of the girls was off school ill today but I popped out into the garden to snatch a few pictures during one of the breaks in the rain.  The rain on the plants has freshened them up a little after the dry weather of late.


Geranium



Welsh Poppy

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

All This, and Grass Cutting Too...!

In order to preserve my sanity I spent the morning watching all the current series of "Outnumbered" on I-Player, I feel much better now!

I dashed up to the cottage to check the donkeys and hens and get the lawns cut before the forecast rain tomorrow.   It was a fairly dreary day with not too many opportunities for pictures so when I saw these two plants I took my chance.


 Cornflower   Centaurea montana




Orange Welsh Poppy   Meconopsis cambrica

Monday, 24 May 2010

No Shorts Day!

What a change in the weather?  My shorts were abandoned by 10.30 this morning!  Some of us Northerners are just not as tough as we used to be....


On one of the few trips I made into the garden today I spotted this tiny viola which had self seeded into a joint in the flags on the patio, more punishment for my poor knees.




Also in the garden is this pretty little Campion.




Up at the cottage tonight, the various Clematis are laden with buds bursting into flower.  Another week and the show will be dramatic.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

A Glorious Day!

It has been a wonderful sunny day here in Darkest Northumberland, reading in the garden, The Children's Mother alternately walking the garden recording her plants with the camera and dashing indoors, complaining about the heat!  The eldest girl has exams in the morning and spent the day sitting outside under the umbrella doing revision and practice papers.


I waited until the evening animal run before getting the camera out and took all my pictures up at the cottage.


I really liked the sun shining through this young foxglove leaf.




Silver Birch Bark



In the orchard we have a Flagpole Cherry which The Children's Mother rescued from somewhere or other.  After two years and several attacks by the donkeys and deer it is in full blossom and looking wonderful.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Wild Flowers (again!)

Sorry if anyone is getting bored with these flowers pictures, they are not my usual subject but am really enjoying crawling round on my hands and knees taking them.  On the other hand, as it were, my hands and knees are not enjoying it quite as much!



Lesser Stitchwort and Tufted Forget-me-not  Myosotis  caespitosa



Lesser Stichwort



Birdseye or Common Speedwell  Veronica persica



What will tomorrow bring?  More sun I hope!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Weeds (perhaps)

I was all set to title today's post as "Weeds" until I asked The Children's Mother what the first plant was called, I was convinced that it was a weed.  She tells me that it is in fact a type of Euphorbia and was planted by her Mother.

A weed, she tells me is only a plant that is growing in the wrong place.  The euphorbia was growing out of a box bush so I guess that it qualifies!


Euphorbia  griffithii




Euphorbia  griffithii






Dandelion -  Taraexacum  officinale

The dandelion, I think we all accept, is a weed....  In this case, a rather pretty one..!


Thursday, 20 May 2010

Lesser Stichwort




What more can I say?  It does what it says on the tin!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Sunshine and More Flowers

A sunny but humid day here, still a pleasant change from the cold of late.  The variable light was quite nice for these pictures, though I used flash on the Oxlips to lift them a little.



 Red Campion    Silene dioica


Oxlips    Primula elatior



Daisy    Bellis perennis

Thanks as ever to The Children's Mother for helping identify the plants properly and dig out the latin names! 

The World's Smallest Lilly - Saved!

Good news.

The world's smallest lilly has been saved.  Scientists at Kew have managed to propagate this tiny lilly and begun the process of reintroducing the plant to the wild.


And Rog thought his Lilly was the smallest...!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

More Flowers on a Sunny Day

We woke to a glorious sunny morning.  A certain three or possibly four loads of washing and drying sort of day.

What else could I do?  Out into the garden with the camera, so you are getting flowers again!



Exochorda - 'The Bride'



Prunus laurocerasus  (Cherry Laurel)



Blue Bells!



Euphorbia robbiae

Four loads of washing and the lawns cut too. What a day, what a man!!

I would like to think more of a man than the ex Government Ministers who it seems pushed through such huge last minute spending that senior civil servants demanded written confirmation of the instructions.  An almost unprecedented move on the part of the Civil Service!

Thanks Minister......

Thursday, 13 May 2010

A Cottage Morning

While I have been here at the cottage, I have been steadily catching up with (not quite getting ahead) of the strimming.  A little bit each day.  Yesterday I was the turn of the bankside down to the burn below the orchard.  This morning the donkeys had a few minutes treat grazing there, though I can't leave them as they invariably start on the fruit trees!

The plan is that one day, the orchard will be extanded to this area giving us perhaps another dozen trees.  It  was down here that I planted some wild crab apples a few weeks ago.


I will bore you all with another shot of the Wood Anenomes, I have to admit they are a favourite of mine.  A nice bit of 'bokeh' for Rog too, yes Rog I had to look it up!

After lunch I had a wander down the road to collect the papers and on the way had a chat with some of the locals.


The Highland Cattle above and the Kune Kune pigs below.  I had never heard of  Kunes before I first saw these ones just over a year ago and I am still trying to persuade all concerned to let me have some in the orchard!



At last the old bread bin where all the papers for our little group of houses are delivered in the morning.  It used to be on the other side of the road until it was hit by a wayward car one day!  The papers have been delivered here for as long as I can remember, and probably even longer...

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Cold Facts......

I took this first shot late last evening when I was locking the hens up and feeding the donkeys.  The dogs were tearing round like mad things, looking for rabbits to chase and moles to dig for!

The clear sky an indication of the white frost I woke up to this morning.


Yes, hard frost on 12th of May, it was snowing in Allendale yesterday!  Not unknown up here though, I remember in the late seventies, driving to the station at Hexham through a blizzard on my to college one June evening.  It was a night of contrasts, the train caught fire...!

So we have a new Government, not quite the one were were expecting but it makes a change!  It's works in the two most successful ecconomies in geographic Europe, Germany and The Isle of Man, (the latter despite the previous UK administrations best efforts!)  so why should it not work here?


Lets be totally honest, we don't really have a choice.  Do we.....?

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Darling Snows of May?

Well not quite but as I was out this morning strimming the orchard, it was snowing!

As usual when staying up at the cottage, I got up fairly early to let the hens out, check the donkeys and give the dogs a run round the fields before breakfast which is eaten at the moment while watching the political too-ings and fro-ings on the BBC news.  Gets my juices flowing and my teeth well ground for the day ahead!

Second trip outdoors is to clean the henhouse and collect eggs (they are a bit quiet at the moment) and give the dogs another run.  I usually carry my camera this time and today was a lovely sunny morning.

More shots (and hopefully better) of my old favourites on my mother's little piece of Britain.  The Wood Anenomes, that I have been trying to get a decent shot of since I discovered them and below,  the georgous, delicate,  little Violets which have increased dramaticaly since last year.


The clump of Primroses which is surviving in the protecion of the fallen branch.


And once again the Plum blossom.


I used the Samsung for all of these shots and as I am finally getting used to the way it works I am quite impressed by the way it handles some subjects.