Thursday, 10 July 2014

It seems such a short time ago that we were still shivering and looking out on dark bare trees. Now the garden is at the height of life and colour and already I'm making jam from the blackcurrants and harvesting the first early potatoes. The blackbirds pulled holes in the netting covering the blackcurrants and were flapping around and sounding ever so sad when I was picking the fruit so I've left them the rest to go ripe; I've got 8 jars of jam and I'm worried about our teeth if we have any more.

Borage looks beautiful in the early morning sun

I think this is a Meadow Brown one of the few butterflies I have seen up here

The Corn Marigolds all turn to face the sun

Ox-eye Daisy, Cornflower, Corn Marigold and Dames Violet
I got eight jars of jam and left the rest for the blackbirds 

First potatoes of the year

One of many teasels 

Monday, 7 July 2014

We've had a lovely spell of sunny weather recently, the hedgerows are full of wildflowers and fledgling birds and the trees are all starting to have berries, keys and cones on them. Last year was a good year for oaks and this year looks like it will be good for beech as they seem to be covered in mast. I spotted a strange gall growing on the alder "cones" its caused by a fungus and only came into this country in the 1940's and has been spreading since. It doesn't seem to be harmful. The pheasant breeding season seems to have fizzled out and most of the males now look really tatty so I think they must be moulting. The tame pheasant had disappeared for a while then turned up with two chicks, sadly they were probably the last of a large brood and over the weekend they too seem to have gone.  I think the squirrels must have young too, judging by the photo below. There are lots of nettles in the garden and on the lane and we saw this mass of Peacock caterpillars on an evening walk.

Alder tongue gall

Pheasant and chicks

Peacock caterpillars
Female squirrel