Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Miscellaneous June

Here is an odds and sods collection of photos I like from June. Some have sunshine in them, just to prove it hasn't rained all month. In fact, looking at these photos makes me realise that June hasn't been bad at all. It's a busy month though, two birthdays, concert, gala day, agricultural show, sports day, garden party, end of term, etc. Speaking of which, the school holidays start at 1pm today, happy days...

 During the month N and I have been able to have many lunches outside (no need to clean up the dropped crumbs and spills!). One lunchtime we were joined by a little mouse who kept darting out from the bushes beside the steps to try and nibble N's melon slice.

 The grass in the field across the road has been cut...

 ...and collected.

 Black on black. Jackdaws against the slates.

A butterfly from a friends garden. We've yet to see any real butterflies here the summer, soon though, I hope.

MollyTheCat checks out some snails. Going on a snail hunt every second or third evening has become a regular activity for me.

This is a fairly typical haul. I'm now putting them in the field across the road. If they want to cross the road to get back to my hostas then that's up to them. If they make it I'll just be after them again. I have to say they're winning the battle at the moment. Some hostas are practically non-existant and there just seem to be more and more snails.

 On clearing some dead looking "everlasting" cornflowers I discovered where all the pretty spiral shelled snails were residing. They're now across the road too.

At least the snails don't eat roses. I planted this one in a pot last year and forgot all about it so didn't prune it earlier in the year, but it doesn't seem to have done it any harm. The blooms are beautiful, I love the streaky colours, and they also have a lovely perfume, though it would be better if it were stonger and not quite so "delicate".

 An osteospermum flower from earlier in the month, they're looking a little tired now.

Garden view. It's looking overgrown already, usually it doesn't look this way till July. I think all the recent rain after the warm spell at the end of May has just made the greenery go mad.

 This year's lupins.

 Honeysuckle, smelling wonderful just now.

 The "sand" pit. It's permanently full of water. The slabs around it are dry though!

Fantastic cloud formation spotted while hanging out the washing, I rushed in to get the camera.

During this little spell of nice weather the school had their third attempt at holding the annual sports day...

...A looked like she was going to win her egg and spoon race for the second year running...

...then disaster struck, she dropped her egg and was caught by her classmates, so joint second place this year.

N had a little go once all the school children had headed back to their classrooms.

Back to the garden, a geranium flower with bee.

Beautiful pale pink paeony.

Rusting bird and lantern.

Some village views, heading down the main street to visit a friend after school.

Blue skies!

Alleyway peek.

Back in the garden for another look at the paeonies. the pale pinks ones are at their peak at the moment. The dark cerise ones are long gone, and the white ones are still tightly budded.

Drippy hawthorn leaf.

I've not got round to making any elderflower champagne this year. Instead I've bought this and have been drinking it mixed with sparkling water. It's lovely! It also takes up a lot less room and is easy to buy all year round. You don't get that smug "I made this" feeling on drinking it though.

A has a flipping good time when we try out another pankcake (drop scone) recipe. Still looking for "the one".

The mixed water colour paint puddle left in the tin lid reminded me of a map of the world.

Helicopter hovering.

I finally got round to putting some flowers from the garden in a vase and bringing them into the house.

This is how it look with us this morning. Even the jackdaws on the chimneys are looking fed up with the weather. However, it's warmer than it has been and it's not actually raining, at the moment...

Monday, 25 June 2012


Some catching up - these photos are from the nursery trip which took place over a week ago. We went to Finlaystone. N and I enjoyed ourselves though there were a few Mums who didn't like it at all, not one bit, and have been grumbling about it ever since - apparently it was too expensive (the trip was unsubsidised as it's a community nursery, money is scarce and coach hire is expensive), there were too many midges (like we can fix that!), it was too cold, the coach journey wasn't long enough(!), there wasn't enough to do (though their children seemed to be enjoying themselves and were able to find plenty of entertainment). We had some time with a Ranger which I think was pitched for older children and we could easily have done without, but we'll know better next time.

Anyway, it was damp and cold to start off with, and the midges were indeed bad (just looking at the woodland photos again starts to make me feel itchy!), but later on the sun came out, we all moved up to the gardens and overall it was a good day.

Leafy canopy.

Owl motif from climbing equipment.


I took a photo but forgot to actually look at the plants, they look nice and healthy and I do still have a few empty spots in the garden that need something other than buttercups to fill them (the buttercups are taking over)

Lovely old estate buildings.

Bee and poppy, love the colour combinations here.

More garden views:-

Then time to get on the bus and head home.

Just a quick post as we have sunshine this morning, so I'm off to do a bit of gardening and fill up the organic wheelie bin with some of those pesky weeds before the bin collection later today...

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

On waking I can hear the rain outside. However, I feel I need the exercise, my bike ride opportunities have been a little erratic recently as it's a busy time of year for us. If the rain's really heavy I can always cut my route short, let's see how we get on...

Off at about 8am, leaving the village behind.

Hawthorn tree, gate and tumbledown dyke.

I am struck by just how many wild flowers there are on the road verges, it makes me realise how long it is since I've been out in the countryside. Already I'm glad I've made the effort today as there's so much I would have missed otherwise.

Did you notice that both the wild roses I photographed have a little beastie resting on them?

Gate and posts.
A favourite photogenic post. The rain's quite heavy at this point and I'm having to shelter the camera lens with my hand to take photos.

Here is the reason I decided to set off in this direction. I remembered there was a little patch of poppies here, If I didn't catch them this week they'd likely be gone by the next time I make it out. Farm buildings are in the distance.

Shortly after this point I head onto a B road. Not terribly busy but the cars travel quickly and I usually find I quicken my pace too, just so I can get off it sooner. However, today I am rather enjoying it and decide to modify my route to stay on it a little longer. I'm fairly bombing along! When I do eventually turn off onto a side road I realise why, blooming wind! Fine when it's behind you, but not so good from the side or from the front which I'll no doubt need to face later on. Never mind, the rain has stopped and I'm enjoying being out and about.

Cows sitting out the rain.

Ox-eye daisy.

Sections of the road I'm on now can be quite bad for fly tipping. It's actually pretty clear today, until I spot quite an unusual rubbish pile...

...the biggest scallops I've ever seen. I wonder why they've been dumped, they'd cost a fortune. Anyway, the road improves a little further on...

Looking behind, love the foxgloves lining the road on the right.

Looking ahead. Lots of poles.

And to the side. Bramble blossom in the foreground, threatening clouds above.

A few miles further on and I'm back on another B road. I don't usually take many photos from B roads as I feel I need to get off the road if I'm stopping, unlike on the quiet twisty back roads where you can drift along in the middle of the road for miles without the worry of meeting a car. I always stop here though, there's a little spot on the verge where it's easy to pull off the road and I do like the view. Today it's very green and there are a couple of swallows diving around after insects, too fast for me to capture them on camera.

I have been along this lane before, but I remember it being full of huge puddles so I don't bother today. Another (drier) time...

A close-up of one of the many foxgloves I passed. Also of note were the abundance of wild roses, the elderflower trees in full bloom, the ox-eye daisies and patches of red campion.

A view of patchwork fields. The lighter fields are where the grass has been cut (not ripening wheat!)

There's a little white cottage in the distance through these fence posts.

A favourite tree on the skyline. New, bright bramble leaves in the foreground.

On a bit further. The rain has started again. I don't mind too much, I'm about to join one of the nearby cycle paths and it's a gentle eight miles or so downhill to home (apart from the last mile where there are three steep hills, but I'll deal with them when I get to them)

I pause in the rain for a photograph of these sheep and the yellow poppies.

The tree at the corner, just before I leave the cycle path and tackle those hills, then home.


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