I have had a busy week with hardly any time in the garden and no time to add a post to my blog – until now. The weather has been a little better this week – good for all the young people on their half-term break.
Wednesday 19th Feb: A beautiful orange sunrise – a pleasant mild day with lots of cloud and some sunshine. A returning to Sheffield today so she came with me when I took my mother shopping in Diss. We took her to the station after getting the groceries and waited with her until just before her train arrived. She texted later to tell me what a long and unpleasant journey she’d had. A landslip between Chesterfield and Sheffield meant that she had had to change trains at Nottingham. Over an hours wait for the new train to arrive and then a long circuitous route to Sheffield avoiding the damaged track. A dislikes travelling at the best of times – delays make her doubly grumpy (don’t they A?!)
Thursday 20th Feb: Rain overnight and a cloudy, gloomy, breezy morning. While R and I were drinking our morning tea we watched a deer wandering through the garden – probably muntjac though might have been roe; couldn’t see clearly. Heavy rain followed by rain showers today. Did lots of food shopping and then lots of ironing. Watched a pair of deer grazing in the field on the other side of the lane at the front of the house. The sky cleared after dark.
Friday 21st Feb: A beautiful clear bright morning – almost a frost. Water droplets had become gel-like but not frozen. As the sun rose everything shimmered and sparkled – heavenly! Took Mum to the eye clinic at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital again to have another injection in her eye.
Poor lady has glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration and the injections are for the latter. Her eyesight was so good until fairly recently. She now finds reading, knitting, sewing difficult as well as all her household chores. She it was who taught me to be observant, teaching me when I was tiny the names of flowers and birds. I remember her showing me how to colour pictures with the natural dyes from grass and flower petals while we were on a camping holiday. She pointed out bilberries to us all when we were walking across the North York Moors. All we could see were rabbit droppings at first so that was what we called rabbit droppings ever afterwards.
Surprised at the large number of dead deer at the sides of the road. Noticed bumble bees flying in the garden this afternoon.
Saturday 22nd Feb: Another lovely day – more bumble bees about. I managed to take a few photos of flowers in the garden this morning while R was trying to do something about filling in some of the deep holes and ruts made by the JCB. The elder tree is coming in to leaf. I am so pleased we have an elder tree as I love the frothy flowers in mid-summer and the beautiful berries in the autumn. I really like elderflower cordial and the flowers also go well with gooseberries – they are in season at the same time. Elder trees are traditionally magical – some traditions have them as evil trees and some as good. In some parts of the country it was thought best to ask permission of the tree before pruning it or taking anything from it. Boggarts are thought to live in Elder trees. (I remember reading ‘The Boggart’ by Susan Cooper to A when she was little). Elders are very useful trees. Flies do not like their smell so they were often planted near to cottages – larders, kitchens, dairies, outside lavatories!
R and I decided to drive to Dunwich and walk on the beach this afternoon. It wasn’t as busy as we thought it might have been seeing as the day was so fine. Lovely rolling waves – R pointed out the hissing noise the pebbles make as the water recedes before the next wave rushes in. What a good work-out for leg muscles walking on deep shingle beaches is! I found a mermaid’s purse, a dogfish egg case, and gave it to E when I got home. We saw a little egret fishing in a pool near the shore. We drove home as the sun was setting – the trees, black silhouettes, showing every twig and growing leaf bud against the pale sky.
Waves on Dunwich beach
View out to sea
Stonecrop, rope and other bits and pieces above the strand line
More waves with a juvenile herring gull
A fisherman with the town of Southwold and it’s lighthouse in the distance
View inland from the beach
Little egret in the pool
Little egret again. Neither of these photos clear as I had to zoom so much to take the picture
Richard Thornburgh said:
If one is ever planting an elder, make sure you get one that smells sweet. The other smells as if a cat has been marking its territory! It’s only the former from which you can gather the flowers to make cordial.
Ah yes, I know exactly what you mean! Our elder was here when we moved in and is near the pond so I leave all flowers and berries for the wildlife. I will keep your advice in mind if and when we plant any more.