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IMG_5766Beach at Dunwich Heath

The beach at Dunwich Heath.

We visited yet another of our local beaches on a very windy, cool afternoon recently.  We only stayed on the beach for a short while because the wind was so biting; Elinor and I both got earache.

IMG_5767Beach at Dunwich heath

The mist in the distance is sea-spray.

IMG_5768Beach at Dunwich Heath

The waves were quite rough but the tide was going out.

IMG_5769Beach at Dunwich Heath

Foam was left on the sand and was blowing about.

IMG_5770Dead fish

This little fish must have come too close to the shore.

IMG_5771Snail on bracken

This Grove Snail (Cepaea nemoralis) attached to its bit of bracken was swinging about in the wind.

My ID guide suggests that the Grove Snail “is used to demonstrate the survival of the fittest in evolution, because Thrushes eat the snails which are least well camouflaged against their environment.”


The Heather (Calluna vulgaris) was past its best but the Dwarf Gorse (Ulex minor) was looking wonderful


Another sunset.

In a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that the bright yellow of the Perennial Sow-thistle was not common at this time of year.  I will have to eat my words because most of the flowers I have seen since then have been yellow!


Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) seen on the roadside between Linstead Magna and the village of Linstead Parva *(see below)


The Tansy has very aromatic leaves and the little button flowerheads are made up of disc florets only.


The genus name ‘Tanecetum’ and the name Tansy are both derived from the Greek word for immortality. The plant was believed to give  eternal life to the drinker of an infusion made from it.

Tansy used to be used as a flavouring in food until fairly recently.  Egg dishes especially, were enhanced by the use of finely chopped tansy leaves.  Tansy was also used as an alternative to expensive imported spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon and Tansy Cake at Easter was very popular.  Because of the strength of its scent, Tansy was also used as a repellent, keeping mice from corn and flies from meat.


Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea)

Close to where I photographed the Tansy I found this hedge of Dogwood.  It was covered in large black berries – the largest I have ever seen on a Dogwood – and most of  the leaves had turned a beautiful red.  Dogwood leaves are usually a much darker, duller maroon in Autumn.


What also surprised me about these Dogwood bushes was seeing flowers in bloom at the same time as the berries and the red leaves.

It isn’t easy to see them in this photo so I cropped it.

IMG_5782Dogwood - Copy

One of the flower-heads is in the centre of this picture.  The couple of weeks of warm and sunny weather we have had recently had fooled the bush into thinking it was spring again.

Richard and I have been working in the garden, getting it ready for winter.  I only seem able to get out there a couple of days a week but I have managed to get quite a lot done.  One of my jobs has been tidying behind the garden shed and round the back of the greenhouse.  Behind the shed was rank with weeds, mainly stinging nettles, which I was able to pull out fairly easily as the soil is quite damp there.  I had stored lots of pots and tubs full of spring bulbs behind the greenhouse so these have come back out to be smartened up and got ready for next spring.  I discovered other flowerpots that should have been emptied and cleaned ages ago.

IMG_5783Marchantia polymorpha liverwort with snail

This pot was covered with liverwort Marchantia polymorpha. It has little green cups on the leaf-like structures (thallus). Do you see the baby snail?


We have a lot of fungus all over the grass in our garden. Nothing exciting or colourful, just brown and cream-coloured toadstools. These had been nibbled by something.

Two other unidentified types of fungi.


I have had this Hibiscus for about 26 years. It was a gift from my ex-mother-in-law who brought this with her when she came to see us when Alice was a tiny girl.

I love these double flowers – the peach petals have dark crimson bases.


Richard has a new Chrysanthemum flower


My Geraniums are still flowering


I like this pretty Viola

Three different Michaelmas Daisies




The three ages of Astrantia


Elderberries from the bush at the end of the drive.


Acorn  This is the first time in years that these acorns aren’t affected by Knopper galls.

018Acorns with galls (640x458)

This is a photo I took last year of Knopper gall damage on acorns



IMG_5815Ash keys

Ash ‘keys’

IMG_5795Autumn colour

The trees in our lane

IMG_5812Silver birch

Our Silver Birch is changing colour

IMG_5813Birch leaves

Birch leaves


I pruned our Pyracantha recently

IMG_5821Apple tree damage

We not only had a lot of aphid damage to our apple trees in the spring and early summer but the apples on this tree are now being eaten by Moorhens!  It is odd seeing water birds wobbling about in the trees gulping down our apples as fast as they can.

We are getting a little tired of next-door’s free-range chickens in our garden all day.  They kick about in the flower beds and damage seedlings; they peck off flowers and generally make a mess of the paths, beds and compost heaps in the garden.  We have spoken to our neighbours about it a few times but they don’t appear to have any intention of keeping their chickens on their own land.  They have a constant supply of chicks too.

Linstead Magna (large/greater Linstead) is now a small collection of houses and farm buildings.  The church no longer exists but I spoke to someone some years ago who remembered the church and used to attend it.  For more information about this church see here.

Linstead Parva (small/lesser Linstead) is a pleasant little village with a pretty church.  In spring the churchyard is covered in snowdrops and other spring flowers.

Thanks for visiting!