Thursday, 21 February 2013

My Sky Series

Taking this photograph on Christmas Day during our festive walk, inspired me to take more photos of the sky. I love how it constantly changes and can be so dramatic.

Earlier this week the sky was completely blue with a lovely half moon. In fact you can see where I was standing when I took Christmas Day picture. It was taken from the two areas of wood on the horizon with a little notch between them.

Today the day started with a very grey, cold sky but soon the sun began to break through, creating some lovely sunbeams.

I shall call this my Sky Series and will post more as I capture them.


Sunday, 17 February 2013

Beginning of my allotment year

Welcome to my allotment! It is long and narrow and on a north facing slope, shaded by neighbouring tall trees, but it is somewhere to attempt to grow some of our fruit and vegetables and I love it.



We must have had the allotment for about 8 years now and it was a neglected overgrown tip when we acquired it.
Over the years I have discovered that this shady bit of ground is good for beans and courgettes, but not so good for cabbages, onions and (the supposedly easy to grow) beetroot. Now I know what works well here, I can try different varieties that aren't so readily available in the shops. It's such a precious space to me as I love sowing seeds in the greenhouse and growing what I can to supplement our dinner table with some tasty organic produce. The boys love it too and have their own little patch.

This weekend it was good to start cutting back and clearing in preparation for the season to come. It felt good too to be outside for a few hours with sons #1 and #3 working alongside me... and with the birds singing. Spring doesn't seem too far away, especially seeing things beginning to grow.


The garlic I planted last October, is starting to show itself  ...thank goodness as I was beginning to worry that nothing was happening


These early signs of growth are quite beautiful. 


Monday, 11 February 2013

A rather muddy walk...




Yesterday was a dripping and squelching sort of day. I don't think it stopped raining all day. It was our Steel Anniversary (11 years!) and we were determined to go out for a walk, exploring out in the countryside, to celebrate our togetherness, even if it was just for one wet soggy hour!

We went to a nearby nature reserve, Dolydd Hafren which is on a natural flood plain of the River Severn. It a couple of bird hides there so we knew we could at least get some shelter. We didn't spot many birds as I think it was too rainy even for them, but the highlights were a Little Egret and a flock of Linnets. It was nice to sit out of the rain to eat our jelly beans (our staple on any walk!)

Even on the greyest days there were still touches of colour. The zingy lime of the catkins, the lichen on the tree trunks and my favourite, the crimson brambles against the dried out remains of last years cleavers. Was amazed at how red those brambles are! It was too wet to take my beloved DSLR out, so these pictures were taken with my phone and I'm really pleased with how they turned out.

It was a lovely hour, sliding through the mud. In the evening the celebrations continued with a warming Mexican themed meal. K's favourite... I think I did good!


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Time indoors

The weather has thrown everything at us over the past few days, so it's definitely time to do some indoor activities. I have been sorting, filing and vainly trying to get on top of clutter. It feels good to be doing these things before the garden and allotment divert my attention. 
My littlest one is pretty good at playing along side me, but loves it best when we make something together. We have made a tractor out of a large box, much to his delight...  and we've been doing a little baking.

I was inspired by Laura's recent post on making 'Ginger Snaps' on her wonderful blog Circle of Pine Trees and true to her word, they were very straight forward to make and absolutely delicious. After reading her inspirational words, you will be digging out your mixing bowl and dusting off your apron. Her blog is really worth a look, as her photography and writing is beautiful. 

Friday, 1 February 2013

Peering through the hedge

Every week day, on our way to school, we walk (sometimes run!) down this footpath.

Behind the hedge on the left is a neglected overgrown orchard.

It's a real haven for wildlife and I always peep over the hedge to see what birds I can see. Since childhood I've always kept half an eye out for birds and flowers whenever I'm walking. I recently saw a flock of Waxwings here, feasting on the apples which were still on the trees. It was the first time I'd ever seen any so it was a real delight.

This week, I spotted this lovely sight through the hedge... a glimpse of spring!

I love this little forgotten area.
After the rush of getting to school on time, I let my little one out of the pushchair and we saunter back up the path and peer through the hedge.
I'll let you know what else we spot...