Sunday, 31 August 2014
Friday, 29 August 2014
The field of maize near our house seems to have grown well this summer and is almost ready for harvesting.
Maize a type of wild grass came from tropical Mexico around 5000 years ago spreading to other South American civilisations. Eventually the Spanish discovered it and exported it around the world.
In the UK maize doesn't usually ripen as a grain due to the climate. The corn cobs are harvested together with the plants by farmers in the south when it is cut in the autumn and made into a high energy silage crop for winter feeding of cattle.
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Autumn brings fruit of many types. Yesterday we picked and dealt with the yellow plums from our old tree.
The plums are quite dry to eat raw but delicious stewed and served with yoghurt, in a fool, made into jam or with apples from our neighbour's tree and made into chutney.
Thursday, 14 August 2014
We have spotted this plant in the countryside many times but this year it popped up in our garden. We couldn't agree on a diagnosis so asked some friends who easily identified it as Caper Spurge, Mole Plant or Euphorbia Lathyrus.
When we say "popped" the plant grows at an alarming rate and by the time we pulled it up it was one and a half metres tall! All parts of the plant including the seeds and the roots are poisonous to humans and most animals so be very careful if you come across one. When seeds are ripe they apparently explode sending them everywhere which must be how it arrived in our garden.
It's other name Mole Plant comes from the fact that it is supposed to repel moles in the garden. W think it might have worked as we did have a young mole around in the spring but come to think of it he hasn't been around recently!
Wednesday, 13 August 2014
The fruits of the Horse Chestnut are now ripening to the delight of children who collect them for the game of Conkers where conkers are threaded on string and swung at opponents conkers to try and shatter them while keeping their own intact.
This fine avenue of trees leads to the church at Frampton on Severn.
Saturday, 2 August 2014
Saturday, 26 July 2014
I was awoken this morning with the sound of much flapping of wings and thought at first that a bird must be trapped but looked out to find a family of blackbirds bathing in the pond.
The continued this activity for around an hour presumably ensuring their feathers were in good condition and free of parasites
Friday, 25 July 2014
Monday, 7 July 2014
We have enjoyed some lovely evening walks recently such as this one along the Cotswold Way. As the wind drops, light percolates through the trees, birds sing and all is well in the countryside. Hope you too are able to make the most of summer.
Sunday, 29 June 2014
The hallway window was buzzing the other day and on investigation we found it was this Hornet. We managed to move it outside using a jam jar and it settled on the patio where we were able to photograph it. In fact the trauma of it all meant that it moved itself to the wall and remained there until it warmed up the next morning.