Friday, 19 May 2017

Stand off

This afternoon, we had a visitor using the garden facilities for rest and relaxation.  This lady is suckling cubs and looking a bit ragged around the edges, so she takes every opportunity to rest away from the den.
She spotted one of our bird food thieves and decided to do a bit of worrying.  Foxes will eat squirrels if they get the chance.
We have a stand off.  A fox that cannot climb a metal post and a squirrel that is trapped with a good food supply.  Oh Hum!
After a while, this well fed fox lost interest and decided to investigate something else.
A good stretch and off to the brood again...

PS. The squirrel ran of in the other direction.  It has since returned to eat more bird food and pinch stones from the path to bury in  the lawns.

Sunday, 7 May 2017


 This evening I cleared the debris and excess duckweed from the pond.  With the dry weather it also needed topping up to keep the amphibians happy.  There are several newts present including some young ones, but it is the frogs that are easy to spot.  I counted 5 today and here are some photos.

Sunday, 30 April 2017


 The other day we had some mozzarella cheese slices in a sandwich for lunch.  Rosie suggested it would be a good idea to use them up on a pizza, so here it is.  The remaining slices were cut into short shreds using a pizza cutter and a few left over olives were also sliced in half.
 We had some tomato pulp frozen from last years crop, so that was cooked down into a sauce.  A part bag of Canadian flour was used to make the base and the whole thing was put together.  The bases were cut out using a large pan lid, I usually leave rough edges.
Fresh out of the oven are two pizzas - Mozzarella, cheddar and Parmesan on one and Kallamata and Black olives on the other.  It's basically left overs - Yum!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Bread for breakfast

Yesterday I made carrot soup for lunch.  Just before we were going to eat it I took a phone call from a family friend and the bread mix which I was working on was left in the bowl.  We had our usual wholemeal bread with the soup and it was good.

Left with the mix for flat bread this morning, I threw in a few currants and fried it in the pan.  It was a treat for breakfast with a spread of butter and home made blackcurrant jam.

Take a good amount of self raising flour and add a little sugar and mixed spice.  Throw in a few currants and mix to a stiff dough with milk.  Heat some oil in a moderately warm frying pan.  Divide the dough and flatten to less than a centimetre.  Bake in the pan on both sides until firm.  Cool for a few minutes.
This is almost Canadian trail bread or a giant Welsh cake.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Warming Weather

 Today we strolled around Trentham Lake.  It was a pleasantly warm day, not as warm as yesterday though.  The warmer weather has brought out the macaques on the Trentham Estate.  This one was high in the pines, sheltering from the breeze and looking down on everyone.
 The sheep are also lambing and many of the newborn are suckling in the meadow.  There was a lone lamb last week and that is much larger than the latest additions now.
The two new sculptures of sheep by the lakeside are looking fine in the sun.  These benches form a focal point for children at the moment.  Ergh! Easter Hols.......and the crowds about town.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Cromford Canal

 Yesterday we were entertained along the Cromford Canal by a Dunnock chirping melodiously away in the trees.The weather was fine and the temperature reached 20 degrees C, which required the removal of jackets.
 We had ventured out to see the Dabchicks which return to the river every spring.  These Little Grebes have the most distinctive raucous warble when they are signalling to each other.
 We did not see as many as I expected, but the joy of the encounter was worth the trip.  If you walk along the canal from Cromford Mill to the railway junction, almost a mile, then the chances of seeing the Dabchicks is high at this time of year.  We were also informed that the Water Voles had been seen on the riverbank, but we did not see them on this occasion.  I did photograph one some years ago.
Keep an eye out in the woods by the canal.  You may see some unusual stuff in this part of Derbyshire.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Gardeners Spring has arrived

The days have been warm and dry enough to dry out the lawns,  so they have had their first cut of the year.
The scruffy and patchy growth of grass is again banished from the garden.  It is fast approaching the weekly ritual of the cut.  On a good day, I can do the job in 80 minutes.  This cut was a little longer and in two parts.  I have now 3/4 filled the garden bin with grass cuttings
When this weeks cool weather has passed, the garden table and chairs will come out onto the patio and as the weather warms, we shall start to dine "al fresco" again.
Even the grass between the raised beds is tidied and the Rhubarb is close to picking - Yum!  Things in the garden are starting to look better.