Thursday 29 June 2023

This Is Getting Ridiculous Now

Hello Friends!

First, I must apologise for how photo heavy my last entry was. I hadn't realised until after I had posted it just how many photos of the garden flowers I had put in. It's a good job I didn't enlarge them which I normally do.  Mind I have a feeling this one's going to be fairly photo heavy too.

This is getting ridiculous. In a good way, though.  They've got only gone and picked another photo of mine to put in the local paper. I'm losing count now. This must be number five, or possibly even 6?  Only difference is this time, I'm getting a slot as photo of the day next Wednesday. So I've stepped up a notch LoL If they stop putting me in print, I'm sure I'll get withdrawal symptoms. More LoL.
Here's the selected photo of a female Common Blue, but it's such a pretty blue I don't think there's anything common about it, do you? The male, which I've yet to see, is a very pretty blue all over.  Stunning!  It's on mint flowers.

Here's a little montage I made of different shots.

Female under wing

I recently found thousands of photos stored on old laptops, old. USB sticks, and CD's, you name it, probably. around 8000 photos.  So it took me a couple of days to do it all but I slowly managed to upload them all onto one computer. Since then, I've been sorting them out. It's a long task. I've probably done just a couple of thousand so there's a long way to go with them. and I know I've got a few thousand more stored on some other old laptops. I've been having to store these laptops while I make the time to get the photos off them.  So as we're on a theme of butterflies, here's a few more different butterfly photos that I've uploaded recently.

Large White

Meadow Brown

Plume Moth

Orange Tip Butterfly Male


Brown Plume Moth

Cabbage White

Ermine Moth

Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Red Admiral

Brown Angle Shades Moth

Not sure of this one

Comma Butterfly

Is it any wonder they call the Buddleia the butterfly tree?

I have done my best to identify the butterflies and moths correctly. However, if you can see anything that I have given the incorrect information, please don't. please don't hesitate to correct it in the comments.

Continuing my theme of flavoured breakfast oats. I've added a few more to my repertoire.. One is Peanut butter and raisin oatmeal cookies, which I do enjoy served warm because that's the best way to eat a cookie fresh out of the oven. I'm still wrestling with how to do a lemon drizzle cake. I think the natural addition would be lemon curd, but I don't want to have to buy a whole jar to keep in the fridge just for the occasional bowl of. bowl of porridge.  On the other hand. putting real lemon juice in it's going to make everything pucker up. Why you're probably puckering now with a watering mouth, just thinking. about lemon juice aren't you?  Blueberry Pecan Muffin is another, with frozen blueberries, toasted pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup.  Hungry yet?

Until next time
Stay safe stay well
Debbie xx 

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Welcome to the Summer Garden

Hello Friends!

What a mixed bag of weather we are having!   Very little rain here in West Wales. I'm wondering how long it's going to be before they tell us we've had one of the driest spells since records began. Like me., do  you ever wonder when records began? It's a bit like time immemorial. Apparently there's a fixed date when time immemorial happened. According to Wikipedia it began in 1139 a.d. 

You will see in the first couple of photographs here that my lawn is almost dead. You will also see that since I had it cut last, I've left a swathe than the middle to grow, as a continuation of No Mow May. I'm not particularly worried about the parlous state of the lawn. As soon as we get the rains, it will recover. And in next no time, it will be green again. And no doubt, needing another cut.  It always does.

Anyway, you can see in the first couple of images that I have bought a rollator. There are so many on offer. It was a job to choose, however, I wrote down a list of things that I would require from it. And this is the one that I picked.  My primary concern is. that I wanted something that would be a bit tougher than the usual ones you see about town. I call those "shopping" or "about town" rollators.  I wanted something that would be up to distance walking. In a way, I'm comparing them to pretty sandals versus hiking boots.  I know I'm never going to get back up to doing the 5 miles a day that I used to do, and I understand that I will have to be very careful over the terrain I choose. I do think that this particular model is perfect. It's got pneumatic tyres and is a very sturdy construction.  I have been housebound now for so long, I have become weak. So I am going to have to take my time and rebuild my stamina.

In the last few weeks my back has started to improve.  Things are not as bleak as they were a month ago and I've been off my painkillers now for about a month. I'm still waiting to find out what caused the problem but I'm now reading a couple of new books on Pilates and back care for the over 50s.  As soon as I have the confidence that I will be able to get back up off the floor without help, I can start doing the exercises in earnest. I am taking control of how this is dealt with and I think many of us are going to find ourselves in a similar situation that we are going to start having to take responsibility for our own care and self treatment because the NHS is just so short staffed and overstretched.

As you can see, it's a little bit more rugged and not particularly dainty. But then again, I'm not a particularly dainty kind of gal, I'm more of a hiking boots and jeans kind of person.

Here are a few photos of things that are currently popping up all over the garden. There have been one or two surprises. These mallows for instance, I haven't seen in the garden for donkey's years, yet all of a sudden here they are putting in an unexpected and very welcome appearance! There used to be pink ones too.

You can see my No Mow May/Thigh High July patch of grass in the back of this photo

Here are some oriental poppies.  The delightfully pink one is a Lauren's Lilac, I believe.

and some roses full of delightful fragrance

The teazels, a gift from a friend's garden are coming along nicely, some are very tall indeed!

Due to difficulties managing it, I had my rockery dismantled a few years ago. However, I never got round to properly clearing the space and. putting something different in situ. So now with me being indisposed it's overgrown completely with brambles and honeysuckle. I think I can look forward to a jolly good crop of brambles this autumn provided we have some decent rain to swell the fruits.  There's always a positive to when something isn't going right and blackberries could be this year's positive from an unkempt rockery!

Some other things helping to bolster up the summer garden are the honeysuckle, ferns, verbena bonariensis, crocosmia Lucifer and lavender

No photos for this, you'll just have to use your imaginations.  My latest culinary passion is overnight oats. Very simple just put your oats with your choice of milk in a bowl and soak them overnight I've been experimenting with flavours and to be honest, there seems to be a theme developing. I don't think there'll be any surprises when I tell you the theme is cake.  Here are my ideas so far:

    1.  Cherry Bakewell oats soaked overnight  in Greek yogurt, with a tablespoon of ground almonds and a dash of vanilla extract and almond extract.  Top with frozen cherries and flaked almonds.
    2.  Victoria Sponge oats and yogurt with a splash of vanilla, and macerated fresh raspberries.
    3.  Banana cake. oats and yoghurt. with sliced bananas. Chopped dried dates. Walnut pieces and some cinnamon.
    4.  Apple Crumble, with dried or fresh apple slices, cinnamon, possibly tinned custard instead of yogurt, and topped with toasted oats right upon serving.
    5.  Welsh Cake with currants and mixed spice

I hope you have enjoyed our little tour of my summer garden.   Do come back soon, won't you?

Until next time
Stay safe, Stay well.
Debbie. xx