Wednesday, 2 August 2017

In the garden July 2017


It's been a while since I last posted here but I intend to rectify that and blog at least once a month from now on. So advance warning - this a photo heavy post.
To be honest I have been sad about some of the things that have been happening locally which have affected the wildlife here and that means less to show.  My garden was once busy with birds, butterflies, insects and all sorts during the day and hedgehogs and the odd sighting of bats at night.
But one of the things that happen as you get older or maybe busy with other life things is that it can become hard to maintain a garden and changes then happen to make it easier to look after but sadly it has a knock on effect to wildlife too.

the first problem goes back to 2013 you can read about it here if you would like to see how the garden went .....from this
 to this
The after photo showing the same view with the new fencing.
But last year, those shrubs and trees at the border over the fence in the neighbours garden that you can see above (and the whole border of their big garden that you cannot see here) were completely removed leaving no tall trees for the birds.
We are still trying to make our garden both easy to maintain but also have things to encourage wildlife too - an ongoing project.
 These are our 2 Nispero trees  (Loquat) which are now probably about 10-12 feet high and somewhere for the birds too sit and hide.

 Aren't Sunflowers lovely cheerful flowers..
One Sunny afternoon I sat doing a little sketching in the garden
 with my water colours and watching the birds
I wasn't pleased with my result that day ..
so another day I painted the Sunflower again.
yes... not brilliant ... but I quite like this Sunflower
and while I was sitting outside one of my friendly Woodpigeons was sitting right by me eating... he stayed for about 40 minutes.


I recognise him by his light feather on his wing
When we first moved here I had never seen so many butterflies all at once in a garden; the Buddleias were covered with them.
 Over the years butterfly and bee numbers have dwindled considerably, but this year I have seen quite a lot, so hopefully that is a good sign of things getting better. 

  I love Tagettes/Marigolds and have them everywhere.
And there's Tomatoes over the back too.

These are my 'Rike' Tagette seeds that Rike sent me..
you can just see it says that on the label :)
Some birds still visit which makes me very happy

And there are vegetables growing everywhere

We ate our first tomato today
but have been eating lots of French beans,
courgette and chard and the rest is in the freezer.
and we discovered Tromboncini this year

The Tromboncini squash can grow up to a metre long

If you like courgettes you will love Tromboncini as
its a bit like courgette but much better.
We have ours diced and steamed and I could eat a plate full..
nice with a little grated cheese on or in a pizza we found too.

 Help yourself to a slice of pizza if you like :)
all for this time.. 
Thanks for stopping by
Gill x

Saturday, 9 July 2016

5 in 5 photos

 I really love photography but I'm not good at it, anything half decent is purely just pot luck!  
Sandies idea is that on (or after) the 5th of the Month to take as many photos as you can in 5  minutes and share the best 5 of them with her at Itchifingers 
So here are my 5  - on a walk by the sea 

 There's nothing quite like the fresh sea air and a lovely blue sky

love the soft pastel colours of these beach huts

 part of a fabulous cool artsy painted wall
Sandie had taken beautiful photos of her wonderful sailing adventure,
if you would like to see more about this please pop over to Itchingers to see this post

Thank you for visting
 any comments are much appreciated.
Gill xx

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Sky Watching

 Hi.. Happy Sunday, hope your weekend going well and if you're out and about that the weather is being kind for you.
For a couple of weeks now we've had some wonderful skies here on the UK East Coast and (unusually?) it's been quite warm for October. I've been trying to snap some photos of sunrises in particular, albeit a lot of the time through a window for a better angle, but better than nothing.
I knew the bright star this time of the year in the morning is Venus but wasn't certain what the other bright star showing near it and the moon was. After a little searching, it would seem that there were a few days last week with Venus, Jupiter and Mars in alignment. I think Mars has a reddish look and not sure if visible with naked eye, so I have a feeling the other spot of light which doesn't really show as the sky was getting brighter anyway, was more likely to be Jupiter.

Then the week before that was the Lunar eclipse/Blood moon.
On the night/morning of the eclipse I kept looking for hours waiting to see something happen. The moon looked more red in the early evening than midnight so I was pleased I got one reasonable photo.
I gave up looking about 1.30am as I couldn't see any sign of an eclipse and the moon was just very bright so I went to bed. However I woke up about 4.30am (a bit reluctantly got up) and went and had a look. Lights outside etc. and me leaning over table in my craft room full of pastels made taking a photo awkward, but I got something at least. (see photos top left showing both photos together)
I'd missed the main event and the shadow was half way but again it was better than missing the whole thing - and I managed in the dark not to even get any pastel dust on me - a good result!

My digital diary pages made using some digital kits by Algera Designs

Thanks so much for stopping by
Gill x

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Holding on to Summer and Lunar Eclipse/Blood moon


I can't believe it is almost October already. The evenings have suddenly become noticeably darker much earlier and the hedgehogs are coming around earlier too.
All of a sudden this year seems to be flying by and though I hate to mention the 'C' word - I am thinking of Christmas already.
I have a few cards made and have even ordered some presents last week to try and get ahead of the delivery chaos that is sure to happen.
But you don't want to think of that yet do you - we want to try and hold on to our Summer days as long as possible before having to turn our heating on.

Here on the Essex coast we seem to get a fair amount of sunshine when others seem to have bad weather - so I'm told :) and I'm hoping it will be a warm and clear night tonight so as I can go out in the garden and hopefully see the Lunar eclipse/Blood moon as its suppose to be quite spectacular.
From what I can find, in the UK it should kick off properly about with the eclipse lasting till approx. 2.20am-ish....  I just hope I haven't doomed things now with cloud and rain.

What ever you're doing this weekend have fun
and thanks for stopping by
 Gill x

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A Blackbird called 'Ruffles'

For a while there has been at least four male Blackbirds in my garden, maybe five and two or three females.
It's hard to sometimes tell one male from another, but after a while you see different things and sometimes they have little quirks which help to identify them too.
I like to give my birds a name, it helps when keeping notes about them and I swear that over the years some have responded when I call their name.
The Blackbird above is called 'Ruffles' as named by my friend Mary over at Daisytrail. Its a great name considering how ruffled his feathers are from lots of nest activity.
Several weeks ago he had a bad leg but that seems to be OK now.
'Ruffles' has a little mark on his face by his beak on his right side, which I hope stays after he moults.
He is not as confident as two of the other males but like them he  will come looking for food and look in the window/door until I go out to feed him.
Made using one of the fabulous kits from Digifiddle Designs called 'Summer Secrets'.
thanks for stopping by x

Thursday, 4 June 2015

The Busy Robin

It was easy to get a photo as this is the Robin that will often come up on to my pot of fat pellets while I am holding it.
When I spotted him waiting outside the back door I knew what he wanted but the pot was empty. I had to run off and quickly get some and tell him to wait - which he did - must be the way I whistled at him or maybe I've learnt to speak Robin at last :)
So he was very obliging and posed nicely for me just before my camera battery ran out and then flew off very happy with a mouthful of moth and fat.
The digi kit used to make this scrap page was 'One fine day' by G&T Designs
thanks for looking x

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Garden Diary 23rd to 30th May 2015

 So these are a few things that caught my attention this week....

The Weigela always puts on a spectacular show.
Just love the way the light shows through the starlings wings

Pretending not to notice each other for now,
 but any minute now they will be
pushing and shoving like Sumo-wrestlers - they are so funny!

'Nick' the yellow-necked mouse

He's just got to be called 'Nick' with that lump
 missing out of one of his ears.
And boy can he move fast - it was dusk, photo taken through 2 panes of glass and a 'Yellow-necked mouse' that is there one minute and the next a streak of blur!

thanks for stopping by ...I'll be back regularly now x