Snow at last.

Snow on this Beech Hedge and down the Lanes behind our village of New Longton. As someone who enjoys taking outdoor photos the pro...

Monday, 21 February 2011

Just Swanning Around

Birds on the feeders at Whinlatter

Snowdrops at Martin Mere

Whooper Swans

Geese and lapwings

Eider ducks

Such a grey cold day but we ventured out to Martin Mere for an hour or so ,had a nice light lunch in the new restaurant there and then went to view the swans and other wildfowl from the Swanlink Hide.Luckily we also had a good view of some Ruff as a few were scratching around at the edge of the mere.There are still around 2,000 geese there and 1,000 whopper swans. In just a few weeks they will all have left to fly to their summer breeding grounds.
As nice as it was it was just too cold to hang around so we set off for home and a good warm fire.
The other photos were taken when we were at Whinlatter Forest Park up near Keswick and although it was raining the birds were singing from the high tree tops and then venturing down to the feeders where we took these photos.
If only the spring sun would shine for a few days as my Daffodils are just waiting for that burst of warmth to flower.
In my nature diary for 2009 it reveals that we were laying a new base for the greenhouse when we heard a "mewing cry" and above us 2 buzzards were circling - flying low and calling to each other then soared off over the houses. I remember it was a lovely blue sky day in February.

At this time of year it is good to indulge in eating a little of what you fancy and I love this recipe for Bara Brith which I found in The Lakes.
450grams sf flour
450grams mixed dried fruit
2 tblsp of warm marmalade and 1 egg beaten
6 tblsp of brown sugar
1/2 pint warm strained tea
1 teaspoon mixed spice
Soak the fruit, sugar in the tea overnight
Sieve flour and mixed spice and warm the marmalade.
Add flour ,warm marmalade and egg to soaked fruit
Stir all well
Pour into tin ,greased
Bake 1hr 30 mins mark 4, electric 180c 350f cool on rack
Slice and serve with best butter.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Spring cleaning the garden!

Gales,wind,rain it does not exactly make me want to venture out yet and begin the big garden clear up but I have been in the greenhouse and sowed Sweet peas and dianthus, Gazinias, Lettuce ,Lobelia and French Marigold so at least I've made a start and it did feel good to get out there with the plants.
In the garden a few snowdrops are just coming into flower and the Crocus and Daffodils are in bud so will not be far behind.

Before its painting!

The muddy garden.
The Mill house
Old Lace

The front door pot

Lettuce and marigolds

Hello Mum!

I have had the little Mill house statue for 30 odd years and it has probably lasted that long because every couple of years I bring it in and give it a complete clean and repaint . I quite like it all mossy and green but it soons gets like it again after the weather does it's work. It was made by a disabled son of of one of my neighbours back when we lived over on the Wirral in our first house .
Today the sun shines and the wind has dropped, such a difference from the wildness of yesterday, so I have just taken a walk with my camera around the garden . Over near the greenhouse I was looking at the pots of bulbs that I planted back in the autumn when Ginger appeared from his perch on the shed roof and came over to say hello. Before he could disappear I snapped him as well as the pots. He is getting on in years and likes a nice quiet life,  as when he appeared in our garden in 2001 he was at least 2 or 3 years old.
As you can see from the pictures the garden is a wet and muddy mess and yet in a few weeks the spring flowers will transform it all and the dreary winter days will seem a dull memory.
For the front door I put some spring bulbs in a large yellow pot , if I remember correctly the primula is called
Old Lace and I once grew a lot from seed and had them all over the garden.

The evenings have been spent knitting , I found a nice pattern for a  Cowl  and in a lovely soft shade of taupe in merino wool made one and then another in a grey from some wool I had lying around .

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