Tag Archives: frost

The Geese Take Flight

It was a generally average Saturday. Nippy enough to tell you it was autumn but not cold enough for a coat. Moderate amount of activity in the shop and time enough to increase my knowledge of eBay. I have decided I need to become a better eBay user, both for my work and for myself. I really can’t put it off much longer as I need to reduce my collection and generate some cash.

The photographs are more from the visit to the gardens earlier in the week. There is a threat of frost this weekend and I thought I’d get a few final shots of the nasturtiums before the frost flattens them. The first frost and the devastated nasturtiums is, for me, the saddest sight of the year.

The header picture shows a skein of geese flying south. During the summer they fly in to the Trent every morning, where they gather on the river to feed and mug passers-by. AS winter moves on, they start flying away instead. It can be tricky taking a picture of geese in the sky with just a scratched screen for a viewing aid. I just pointed the camera at the honking and pressed the button every time the green square indicated I was focussed on something. It seemed to work.

 

I will close now as I need to get on with a few jobs.

The Post I Meant to Write…

Just before I opened my email from the Royal Agricultural Society, this is the post I meant to write. The last post was merely a Jacobin rant, this one is about nature. It’s better for me than politics.

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A model of me in the garden

There’s not much to say as it’s late and the pictures can do the talking.

The pop-bottle poppies are still looking good after two years – Julia was going to take them down last year but everyone asked for them to stay up.

This is the “hedge” between the Mencap plot and the school plot. It’s willow clippings with ivy planted to grow through it.

And finally – some birds. There would have been more but a sparrowhawk swooped by and scared them all away.

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Great tits on feeder – Nottingham

Winter Came

We had a touch of winter this morning. It had been frosty last night so I covered the windscreen and went to bed. It turned out to be a good decision and saved a lot of scraping this morning.

It was about minus 4 degrees Centigrade this morning or minus 7 for Number Two Son when he left work out in the countryside). That’s 25 and 19 for those of you working in Fahrenheit – nippy, but a long way from being a polar vortex. So far, despite the gloomy hysteria of the newspapers, it’s been quite a reasonable winter. It’s often like that – newspapers never like the facts to get in the way of a good story.

It’s the same with our exit from Europe – all all gloom and doom with tales of starvation and shortage. We probably will suffer shortages, but mainly because of panic-buyers, not true shortages. I remember this back in the 1970’s – shortages of bread, sugar and toilet rolls come to mind.

I’m going to buy an extra pack of toilet rolls and some tins of beans and corned beef. That, I expect, will see us through.

Anyway, back to the weather – have a look at the photos. It was a good morning for photographs.

These four show variations in colour as I used the camera to pep up the colour. The enhanced photos aren’t too far from the truth, though the greyer ones are probably closer to the truth.

And here are a couple of birds – one Great Tit flying off as I tried to picture it feeding, and one Blackbird assuming an air of mystery in the frosty grass.

Clumber Park

We had 13 packages to send off this morning, including two very expensive bank notes and two very cheap football cards (my labours of last week bearing fruit!).

Then I took Julia to lunch and decided to get some use out of our National Trust membership. Last year, we didn’t get a lot of use out of them. We went to Clumber Park, which isn’t far from the spot where I took the bluebell pictures yesterday.

It’s home to a number of things including a lake, which I photographed a few times last year, and a chapel which featured in a few photos.

This time we decided to visit the kitchen garden. It’s an excellent place, and very well designed. There’s a massive lean-to greenhouse up against a south-facing wall and a gentle slope to let the cold air flow away downhill. I didn’t walk all the way down, but I’m pretty sure there will be holes in the wall to let the cold air flow away. They designed things better in those days.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Hopefully they won’t say something bad.

 

And finally.

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Cream Tea at Clumber Park

It’s a hard life, but I’m coping…

Flowers in the Frost

It was a bit cold this morning – minus 3.5 degrees C according to my car. With a bit of a breeze and the proximity of the River Trent it felt even colder. I started taking photos and twenty minutes later, when my hands could no longer feel the button, I called it a day and sat in the car with the heater on. Julia continued her inspection, declared the garden closed for the day and started ringing round to reorganise things.

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Frozen solid and minus three and a half degrees, though the moles are still active

I think it’s fair to say that they enjoyed themselves more in the main building than they would have done in the garden.

 

There was still plenty to see, though it was mostly droopy and covered in frost crystals. I tried to get some sun into the pictures but it was a bit low in the sky, and concealed behind trees.

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A cold-looking garden gnome

The poppies, meanwhile, are standing up to the cold weather better than the real flowers.

 

From there I dropped Julia at the main building and went to the jewellers to get a safety chain fitted to one of her Christmas presents. I will say no more…

I managed to do some shopping before my return home and a session of writing Christmas cards and blogging before starting to cook tea.

This is the street, complete with frozen snow. Despite the forecast of higher temperatures I fear it may last a week or more, and continue to be a hazard underfoot.

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A wintry scene

Down at the (Cold) Garden

The Sedums were looking good with a covering of frost. From a  distance the effect was jewel-like and sparkling. Close up, I didn’t quite get the focus right.  Apart from the vagaries of the camera system, which seemed to struggle, it was tricky as my hands were frozen. After half an hour screwing nest boxes together the cold had got to my hands and I was having trouble finding the button when I wanted to take the shot. Time to sort my gloves out.

With five boxes done yesterday and five again today I have now exhausted the supply of parts. We may do some more next year, if we can find more free timber, but as a lot of customers have been staff and parents we may have exhausted our customer base.

 

As you can see, there is a lot of creative effort going into the the paintwork. It is also clear that drill design has improved over the last ten years, particularly in the area of battery size.

This is the “roof” of the polytunnel, showing the bird damage. It’s actually quite tricky working out where the roof is, when you consider it’s one continuous piece but I decided that if it’s at the top and has holes in, I will call it a roof.

I include it, not because it’s a fascinating shot, but simply to show why we’re making the nest boxes – every £5 we take is £5 towards the new plastic sheet.

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Holes in the roof

Finally, there’s an artistic shot of a leaf sticking to the outside of the plastic. When you’re filling a blog you have to take your shots where you find them.

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Lime Leaf through plastic

 

A Weekend of …er…nothing much

Got home just after 6am (after dropping Julia off at work, not after a night on the tiles!) and after a few Amazon reviews, a trawl of the internet for birthday presents (I have no idea, she won’t give me a clue and the day is looming), looking at the blogs of a couple of my new followers and a diversion into Avro Lancasters, I now find it’s 9am. Where does the time go?

Yesterday started with breakfast, dropping Julia off at work, taking stuff to the charity shop and going to a meeting. I’m helping someone launch a range of Jamaican seasoning, and this involved having another breakfast to test the recipe for his new omlette. It includes chilli, and has a definite wake-you-up quality.

Home for lunch. This was a cup of tea and a mournful look at the fridge as I decided that two breakfasts meant no lunch. I am dieting, and not enjoying the experience.

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Nice cup of tea

In the afternoon I compiled a list of Farmers’Markets in a 40 mile radius and may, possibly, have drifted off for a few minutes due to the sheer thrill of listing. The defining features of Farmers’ Markets seem to be that the website must be out of date and the contact details unavailable.

Then I picked Julia up from work, shopped, moaned about the price of things, fitted a cover to the car windscreen to ward off frost, made tea and toasted crumpets. It’s autumn after all, and you need to keep yourself warm and cheerful.

We re-heated a beef casserole I’d prepared earlier in the week and served it with red cabbage and kalettes. I like kalettes, they don’t take much cooking. they taste good and they are bursting with goodness, or so the website claims.

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Picture of kalettes from last year. I do have a beef casserole photo but it shows brussels, not kalettes, and potatoes, which I’m no longer eating.

After that I blogged, watched poor quality TV (including Strictly Come Dancing), suggested that we should go to tango lessons (I’ve always fancied myself as a smouldering Latin tango dancer, despite all the evidence to the contrary – lack of rhythm, two left feet and suspiciously Anglo-Saxon colouring),  made more tea, ate a supermarket panna cotta that was crammed with sugar and additives, downloaded Kindle books and, finally, went to bed.

There was, as you can probably guess from my anti-frost precautions, no frost.

I hate it when that happens.

And that brings us back to the top of the post. It’s 10 am now and an hour has gone into writing, and re-writing, a post about where my time goes.

After looking for a couple of stock photos to illustrate this post I’ve decided to do another post about my favourite photos, but first I’ll probably do one about Armistice day.

After that I’ll heat up the beef casserole for lunch and cook most of the food for next week.

Then I’ll wash up.

I do hope all this excitement doesn’t wear me out.