Adrian Bell, bird-scarer cannon, Blue Tit, buttercup, comfrey, cow parsley, cows, cut-leaved crane's-bill, daisy, fairy ring, field maple, fish, Germander Speedwell, goosegrass, great yellow-cress, greater spotted woodpecker, Greater Stitchwort, greefinch, Hawthorn, Herb-Robert, Lords and Ladies, May, orange-tip butterfly, perch, pineapple weed, pond, red campion, ribwort, sheep, St Mark's fly, stinging nettle, wedding ring, wild rose
I have managed to do a little walking this week and have enjoyed it very much. Monday and Tuesday’s walking was mainly round the shops so doesn’t count as enjoyable walking. For some stupid reason I mistook the time of E’s hair appointment and we arrived in Halesworth an hour early on Monday. E kindly said she was happy to wait for an hour at the hairdressers but I thought she might go mad with boredom so we did the supermarket shopping and then I got more petrol for the car. She then went for her hair appointment and while she was there I called in at the jewellers to see if anything can be done to my wedding ring to stop it cutting into my finger. Twenty years ago we hadn’t thought that my ring would wear away so quickly. Apparently, we chose the wrong ring – a 9 carat D-profile ring – and should have had a round-profile ring and something of a better quality. Well, too late now! This is my wedding ring, bought for me by my husband and blessed at our Marriage Blessing Service. We weren’t able to be married in church as we had both been married before, but we had a beautiful Blessing Service after our Registry Office wedding. The jeweller said either we could buy a new ring or have my one built up which would cost the same as a new ring. A dilemma which we are still thinking about.
Both Monday and Tuesday were mainly cloudy days and no good for drying washing outside so I decorated the inside of the house with wet clothes. I had more shopping to do in Bungay so drove there on Tuesday afternoon and I made my purchases. On the way home I got stuck in a traffic jam! This is quite out of the ordinary, living where we live. The vehicle in front of me was a supermarket delivery van and not much holds them up usually! I couldn’t see what the problem was as these vans are quite wide, so I edged round a bit and saw….
The cows took their time to leave their field and amble down the road to the farmyard. The stockman had a busy time trying to get the cows out of people’s gardens where there were lots of interesting plants and trees to eat. I took the photos with my phone and then enlarged the pictures so the quality isn’t that good.
E asked if we could watch a DVD together during the evening which I thought would be nice but no-one thought to tell my eyes to watch too. As soon as I sat down they became extremely heavy and so I dozed most of the way through the film to the disapproval of my daughter. This is not the first time I have done this.
Wednesday is ‘shopping with mother’ day which went very well as Mum was on top form and we had a real laugh together. The weather on Wednesday was lovely too – a hazy start and then lots of sunshine. When I had had some lunch at home I decided to walk down the lane to take advantage of the bright weather and to see what was to be seen.
Lots of stinging nettles and goosegrass. Goosegrass is a relative of coffee and quinine and has many medicinal uses. At one time the seeds were roasted and used as a coffee substitute and apparently the young shoots are edible and can be cooked in soups as a vegetable. All I know about it is that if I touch it, it brings me out in a rash! The seeds are hooked and stick to hair and clothes – hence the plant’s other name of Cleavers.
Stinging Nettles are very useful, if painful plants too. They can be used for making cloth, food and medicine. My plant book says that the Roman belief that stinging nettles cured rheumatism still persists in Britain. I can say that there is some truth in this as when I am stung on my hands my rheumatic joints there become less painful. I can’t say I would care to roll about in them unclothed as some people recommend!
These are Hawthorn flowers – May blossom. ‘Ne’er cast a clout til May be out’ – either don’t leave off your winter clothes until the end of the month of May, or, don’t leave off your winter clothes until the May blossom is on the trees.
This is the wild rose and already there are large flower buds as you can see. This is early, as the rose usually flowers at the end of May and into June.
A fine crop of old equipment and other rubbish in this field. At the beginning of Adrian Bell’s book ‘Corduroy’ he talks of the Suffolk farmers’ habit of leaving implements in corners of fields or yards covered in nettles until they are needed for some particular function. They are then returned ‘to some out-of-the-way corner, to be a sleeping Gulliver for the grass again’.
These are the boys – male sheep, tups. A bit stinky – sleeping and snoring in the sun. Wandering about having something to eat now and then – not a care in the world.
Common comfrey. In medieval times the roots of this plant were dug up in the spring and grated to produce a sludge which was packed round broken limbs. It hardened to a consistency similar to that of Plaster of Paris.
A view over the fields.
Herb-Robert. In the Middle Ages they believed that a plant showed how it could be used through its colour or shape – the doctrine of signatures. This plant turns a fiery red in autumn so they thought it should be used in the treatment of blood disorders. It has a strange odour and in some places it is known as ‘Stinking Bob’.
Daisies and Germander Speedwell.
A female orange-tip butterfly. Note the lovely green-marbled underwing.
The signpost at the end of our lane.
A male orange-tip butterfly. I have been trying for over a week to photograph these fast flying butterflies!
Lords and Ladies. This is specially for Heather! At last these strange plants are flowering here. I have some in my garden but they are hidden by tall grass and difficult to photograph.
Cow and calves.
This is the pond at the side of the lane. I’m not sure what the fish are – perhaps perch? – but we have the same fish in our big pond.
The pond next to the lane.
Field maple leaves and flowers.
A St Mark’s fly. They usually appear about the same time of year as the Feast of St Mark – 25th April.
R and I went out for a walk across the fields when he returned home from his trip to Gloucestershire that evening.
Red Campion and cow-parsley growing at the end of our lane.
A Red Campion flower.
Ribwort flowers – Turkish Caps,
A ‘fairy ring’ caused by toadstools.
A bird-scarer cannon.
St Peter’s Washes.
I’ll end with some photos of birds seen in my garden during the past week.
A female Greater-Spotted Woodpecker.
Male and female Greenfinches