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After at least 9 years wi’ my trust fuji finepix have upgraded to 16million pixels and a 22x wide zoom… not got the hang of it all yet but here a few starters.

sunlight and beech leaves, soaring cow parsley/hemlock, fuzzy young blue tit, some o’ the gang (last count 21), happy duck in the river, wee cock sparra, scavenging dunnock and lastly a jaunty chiffchaff

sunlight through beech leavessoaring sprig of of dried cowparsley or hemlockfuzzy young bluetit on the peanut feederhappy duck sitting on a submerged stone in the riverthe gang on a  wall - last count 21a wee cock sparra in his denwee dunnock scavenging under the bird feederchiffchaff captured on a twig of philadelphus

So where on earth did all that time go? Happy new 2013 to one and all!

Went off up the hill this morning to take a photy of  the bleak owing to the dull light and foggy conditions.  Nothing too exciting to see however but found a wee bit of colour and an unexpected primrose. In fact it looks like there will be a super bank of them later on. Cheers!

The Bleak!

Decaying Hips - January

Unexpected Primrose - January

After treating myself to a nice book (100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet) I found it difficult to stop. But I also had to get a wee encyclopedia of crochet  since I’m still a novice with the single needle. I have tied the primroses into a wee posy that sits neatly inside a new Ikea shot glass, the shamrock and thistle are single testers and I did already have some appropriate colours handy. Overall pretty pleased with making flowers and can sit watching telly whilst getting on with a few leaves.
The hinged frame is covered with a set of floral stamps, I really should give it an other coat or two of varnish but one will do for now I think. Patience is not my strong suit when it comes to watching paint dry!

primrosesknitted thistle and shamrockfloral stamp frame
floral stamp frame back

Here are the latest six goodies planetaye has put onto the wee Folksy shop. Pretty peg faeries all got up in their party wings and lotsa jolly pens to practise the old snail-mail thank-you letters, hope you like…

pegFaeriespinkyPensdottyredsblueyPensfloweryPenleafyPens

Speckled Wood butterfly, behaving exactly as described here.
Very fluttery and quick but I stalked them till they sat still for a moment. The male could be chasing another male or a female, either way they make a wee walk more fun., ‘specially the bit where you lean too far over the edge of the path and nearly slide downhill into the undergrowth… eek!

Speckled Wood Butterfly Speckled Wood Butterfly
May Blossom Bluebells

Another spring, and despite the “smog” took a set of photys around the top of the hill. Comparing them with those from last year (about a fortnights difference), the same plants are out but there might be a bit of cross over with the primroses still in flower.
After ten years I have finally caught the fabled Duke of Argyle’s Teaplant, the winter conditions and the warm dry spring must have prompted it into flower. Or I have just wandered past it for all those years? Nahh!
The number of orange tailed bumblebees took me by surprise too. At first I was sure that only one was following me around till I came to the whins – there were more than a dozen of them! but would they sit still for me, of course not.

I have included the sign describing the castle, click on it for a large, readable version.

And here is the song Another Spring performed by Nina Simone… enjoy

Duke of Argyll's Teaplant lilac
may blossom - hawthorn wallflower
ivy flowers fern furl
Orange Tailed bumblebee bluebells
red dead nettle and primrose Halton Castle signage
buttercup dandylion

I have to admit that last years photys were brighter and more colourful. Sunnier day, or sunnier photygraffer?

  1. Duke of Argyll’s Teaplant
  2. light colourd lilacs
  3. may blossom (hawthorn)
  4. dark orange wallflower
  5. sinister ivy flowering
  6. fern furl
  7. annoyed Orange Tailed bumblebee
  8. english bluebells
  9. primrose, goosegrass (stickywullie), red deadnettle
  10. Halton Castle sign, click to read
  11. buttercup
  12. dandylion

Quite unnoticed by me the forgotten pot and bucket of grape hyacynth (muscari) had grown, multiplied and bloomed! So jolly and springy. And today it promises to be warm again. The daffs are out in the street too so here’s hoping they are left alone for us all to enjoy.

A bit straggly I know but has made me feel more optimistic about restoring the wee flower bed and rejigging the space in the coming months.

bucket o flowrs

The deep glowing blue of the flowers is not represented accurately, my wee camera does tend to freak out with some colours but I didn’t want to fiddle with the pic.

grape hyacynth

Also awake is the first wee violet, these lettle devils are impossible to move so I’m just letting them grow wherever unless they are a nuisance.

violet

forsythia – pruned last year to get rid of the longest straggly branches, this has forced the flowers in nearer the base.

forsythia

Spring’s Near a few pics taken whilst stumbling about the locality in the past couple of days… will caption them later 🙂

crocus clump primrose spring fungi Aminata Fulva
crocus crocus clump spring fungi

Mooching though my photos I had a closer look at some from last year, sunny and bright, nice hibiscus flower. But viewed full size, which I don’t normally do, I saw the little spheres of pollen. Wow! my camera behaves better than I gave it credit for. …and I’ll have to have a closer look through the archives for any more hidden goodies.

(click the thumbnails for larger versions)

close up pollen on hibiscus stamen pollen on hibiscus stamen hibiscus flower stamen

Another nice day and I remembered to toddle to the top of the hill armed with a plastic box. My objective was a gathering of brambles and sure enough the nice big bush I had already photy’d was still covered with good sized fruit. I soon had at least a punnet full and a hand full of scratches/nettle stings and some purple fingers. Later in the day I decided to turn my hand to jam making instead of scoffing the lot in one go. Although not a great jam eater I am still pretty chuffed with the result – only one small pot but that’ll do fine. mmm…. sticky.

bramble - bramble - jam

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