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We arrived back home last Wednesday after spending eight days in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest).  It was probably the hottest day of the year so far and we spent it travelling by train up from Triberg, Germany to Ebbsfleet in Kent (England) where we had left our car.  We set off from the hotel at 6.30 am European time and got home just after 7.00 pm British time (one hour behind Europe).  The car thermometer said it was 32C (89.5F) when we set off from Kent and it peaked at 34C (93F) near the tunnel at the Dartford Crossing (under the Thames).  As we drove home up through Essex and Suffolk we watched large black clouds to the west edging ever nearer and we hoped we’d be able to get home before the storm got to us.  We did.  It was still 32C as we unpacked the car, opened all the windows and doors in the house and wandered round the garden for a while looking at the long grass and the drooping plants.  While I put the kettle on and made a cup of tea Richard telephoned the Chinese restaurant in Halesworth and ordered a take-away meal.  He was just about to set off when the storm broke.  It was the most violent one I’ve seen for many years with continuous thunder and bolts of lightening coming down vertically and travelling horizontally across the sky.  The rain was very heavy indeed.  Elinor and I sat on the stairs together as she gets quite frightened during thunderstorms and Richard went off to collect our evening meal.  The storm gradually abated and the sky cleared but still Richard hadn’t come back and I began to worry about him.  I found his phone which he had left behind so I couldn’t get in touch to find out where he was.  I was considering getting in the car and going to look for him when I was relieved to see him driving up to the house.  He had had a hair-raising journey and when he had got to Halesworth he found that the Chinese restaurant had a power-cut and couldn’t give us a meal.  They had tried to phone him on his mobile to let him know, but of course he had left it at home.  The town’s Thoroughfare was flooded with a foot of water and people were out trying to sweep the water away from the shop doors.  Water was coming up through the drains and the town river was in full spate.  Richard didn’t lose his head and knew he had a mission to accomplish so went to the other Chinese restaurant at the top of the town which hadn’t lost it’s power and ordered our meal from them instead.

When the rain stopped I went outside to enjoy the fresh, cooler air and took some photographs of the strange clouds.

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The following day I resumed my dutiful-daughter job and took Mum out to do her shopping.  We had bought double her usual amount of shopping just before we’d gone away and we had made sure she had enough of her medication to last as well.  While we were on our holiday she had been taken to church by my brother on the Sunday and he had cooked lunch for her at his house, so she had plenty to tell me.

When I got home again I got on with the washing and started to tidy the garden.  Richard and I called in to see our next-door-neighbours who had been kind enough to water the plants in the greenhouse and to put our rubbish bins out for collection while we were away.  We are very fortunate to have such thoughtful and generous neighbours.

The next day I continued with house and garden work.

P1000897Scarlet Pimpernel

Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis ssp.arvensis) found behind the greenhouse

P1000899Marsh Woundwort

Marsh Woundwort (Stachys palustris) found growing on the bank of the big pond.

P1000900Common Darter

I think this may be a male Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) though it could be a male Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)

P1000902Spear Thistle

A Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) in flower near the big pond


A rather old and tired Ringlet butterfly (Aphantopus hyperantus)

P1000908Hedge Bindweed

Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium) in flower in the area between our garden and the field at the back of the house.

P1000910Common Darter

I believe this may be a female Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

P1000914Sweet Chestnut

Our Variegated Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa variegatum) in flower

P1000915Sweet Chestnut

Sweet Chestnut flowers

I walked down the lane with Elinor to post birthday cards to my niece Natalie (my brother’s daughter) who had her 31st birthday on the 23rd of July and cards to Alice my elder daughter who had her 31st birthday on the 24th of July.  Natalie is exactly 23 hours older than Alice.


This is a teneral, or newly emerged dragonfly as you can see by the pale colouring and very shiny wings. I don’t know which dragonfly it is, unfortunately. It is perched on a Great Willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum) growing in the ditch at the side of the lane.


The new pond at the side of the lane which was dug during the winter.

Richard spoke to the man who lives on the opposite side of the lane to the pond and who was responsible for digging it.  Apparently, many years ago there was a pond there which was wide enough and deep enough to enable the horses to be led to drink while still attached to their carts.  It was filled in when horses were no longer needed on the farm but it has now been re-instated and I am very pleased.  The pond is already full of interesting plants and insects which have found their way there on their own.


Our lane. I am standing next to the pond (on my left) and looking back in the direction from which we had come.

P1000922Perhaps wall of demolished St N church

Looking over the hedge into the garden of Church Farm I noticed this piece of wall covered in ivy. I wonder if it is part of the old church of St Nicholas demolished many hundreds of years ago.

P1000923Lords and Ladies

Lots of unripe Lords and Ladies berries (Arum maculatum)

P1000924Field beans

A field full of Field or Broad Beans.


Another pond at the side of the lane. This one has become rather overgrown. It has fish in it and I once saw a couple sitting at the side of the road with rods trying to catch fish.


View across the fields towards All Saints church which can just be seen to the right of centre on the horizon. It is slightly obscured by a thistle flower!

P1000928Common Knapweed

Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)


Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

P1000930Wild flowers-001

Wild flowers at the side of the lane.


Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria)


Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)


Meadowsweet has a beautiful almond-blossom-like fragrance.


A poor photo of a male Gatekeeper butterfly (Pyronia tithonus)

These were all the things I saw at the side of the lane on a short 20 minute walk to post cards.

Here now is my musical choice – the Petite Symphonie in B flat for nine wind instruments by Charles Gounod, composed in 1888.  It lasts about 20 minutes and is of four movements.  I love the lyricism of French 19th century music and I like this recording of the piece very much.  It is a piece of music I used to play and it brings back such good memories to me when I hear it.

Thanks for visiting!