"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Thursday, 25 June 2020

"Bits and Pieces"

Another week passes and to be honest, even though places are beginning to re-open if you book in advance, I still don't feel confident enough to go out and about so another post mainly about the garden.

A little vase of Mock Orange Flowers

Large Orange Lilies are starting to flower.

Verbena bonariensis

Another one of those shrubs we bought years ago which I cannot put a name to!

Birds-foot Trefoil flowering by the pond.

Corncockle in the wild flower area

Herb Robert and an unknown little pink flower with clover shaped leaves.

Edit Many thanks to Dean at "Punk Birder" the mystery plant is Pink Oxalis.

Wall Pennywort seems to be doing ok although, horrors of horrors, I went up to check the few planted by the stone wall this morning and the leaves have been nibbled which is not good news :(

D found a Devil's Coach Horse in the front garden.

Red Admiral

Ladybird larva

D found this wasp species in his bedroom last night. Thanks so much to Stewart from "Boulmer Birder" via Twitter who suggests it is a Digger wasp and possibly one of the Ectemnius species.


This Batsford book on hidden villages was very good.

I've been meaning to read Mrs Moreau's Warbler for ages and finally got round to it - it is excellent and very informative.


This is the "Fast Cakes" book by Mary Berry that my daughter and I are working our way through in a random fashion.

Fairings were made last week - too hot this week to bake!

It was B's birthday yesterday and this is his cake - A Thornton's Chocolate Cake which is melting in the heat!

Hopefully, we may be able to visit our caravan in Herefordshire on or after the 4th July following yet another easing of the lockdown restrictions. It would be good to be able to take all the items we have bought and as Rosie said "make it our own" as we haven't seen it since we bought it last October! I am not sure we will yet be doing many of the things we planned such as visiting places like Ludlow, Hereford and Cathedral, Croft Castle, Brockhampton, etc. etc. but the caravan site itself is lovely with a pool and hide and wildflower meadow so it will be a good place to relax and there are always country lanes to walk which I hope will be quieter than those round here!!

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera

Thursday, 18 June 2020

More of "This and That"

Just a few photos from the house and garden this week as I haven't been out again. This week has been hot and humid with thunderstorms and rain although the garden and countryside desperately needed rain so I can't complain.

Another shrub I can't name but at this time of year it is covered in pretty yellow flowers.
Edit Thanks to Rustic Pumpkin who has advised this is Rose of Sharon or Hypericum calycinum

Antirrhimum has self seeded in one of the hanging baskets which haven't been replanted this year - no plants and little compost left!

The lovely "Gatekeeper" statue I bought last year from the National Herb Centre.

The first Large Skipper (a female) was spotted in the garden last week.

I think this may be a species of Orb web spider (Cucumber Green?) but my spider id skills aren't good so if anyone can help would love to hear from you.

I haven't put the moth trap out but I did find this moth on the garage window - Common Emerald I think?

Edit Thanks to Edward Evans for confirming id of moth - Common Emerald

Wall Pennywort seeds have been transplanted into bigger pots.

Some of the more "leggy" ones I decided to plant near the top of one of the stone walls. Sadly, it was a bit of a rush job as I disturbed a nest of red ants and beat a hasty retreat. But hopefully one or two will survive.

One of the stone walls where I am hoping to establish Wall Pennywort.

Little swedes are starting to form on these plants.

Cat's Ear - this was the "no mow zone" but we have had to temporarily abandon the idea as bamboo seedlings were spreading all over it (rather than wild flowers) from a nearby bamboo plant.


It always seems to rain as the poppy buds are about to open :(

Recent Reading

I really enjoyed this book and the ending was a complete surprise to me!!!



More baking from Mary Berry's "Fast Cakes"

Lemon Shortbread made by E - most had been eaten when I took this photo!

Mild Ginger loaf which I made yesterday. It has a good ginger flavour but it is a bit dry!

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

All photos taken by me with the Pansonic Lumix FZ330 camera

Saturday, 13 June 2020

A Brief Walk at Temple Balsall

D was on leave last week so, as it was fairly dry on Tuesday, we went for a drive out to Temple Balsall with the idea of going for a walk. I didn't park in my usual place by the school and church as I wanted to avoid school run time and, as leaving times are I think staggered I couldn't be sure what times they would be, so I used the car park by the Natural Burial Ground and Cemetery. I picked Temple Balsall because in the week you never normally see a single person. Unfortunately it was busier than usual with 3 cars parked and we saw other walkers and cyclists. Thankfully all but one who we passed in the lane were in the distance and there were a few cyclists gathered in the car park when we returned.

Information Boards - some of you may remember I paid several visits to the natural burial ground last summer when it was just one huge wild flower meadow buzzing with insects.

Wild Strawberries

In the end we decided to walk past the cemetery and along the lane.

I've been trying to identify without success these pollen covered beetles which at times seemed to be "fighting". I saw several of them on umbellifers so they must be fairly common. If anyone has any idea what they are I would love to know.

Edit - Thanks Dean. A species of Sawfly.

A Hoverfly I still haven't identified.

This hoverfly is I think Eristalis pertinax - Tapered Drone Fly


D spotted a catepillar in the hedge.

Edit - thanks Dean - a Yellow-tail moth caterpillar



Grasses - I think the first may be Meadow Oat Grass?

It was a lovely walk and so good to be back in the countryside. Everywhere looked reassuringly "normal" apart from Covid 19 signs in many places warning of keeping the 2 metre distance and a few people wearing masks.

I drove back through the lanes and managed to park when I spotted what looked like a badger run. There opposite the run in a wood were signs of a badger sett. Hopefully active and it was certainly the highlight of my day.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

*D Photos taken by D with the Canon SX50 HS bridge camera

Rest of photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera