April Sunday

The weather has settled to a typical April one, still chilly, with sunshine and showers.
This morning's walk took us across the sunny fields, with definite signs of spring. We know that spring has arrived when blackthorn is in full flower.

This is an owl nesting box. Due to the decline of the traditional farming and many farm barns being converted to homes or holiday cottages, the barn owl's natural nesting places have disappeared.
Now the country people are being encouraged to put up owl nesting boxes, where possible.

If we are lucky, sometimes we can see this beautiful bird after dark, caught in the car headlights, as it glides gracefully across the fields.

The first flowers of the cuckoo flower or lady's smock; or as my grandmother called it - Tears of Virgin Mary.

You can also see more of this pretty spring flower here.

Our walk took us to the "secret pond", as I call it, as not many people know it is there.

The rather ugly spikes of the field horsetail are everywhere.

The garden is also waking up, although a long way to go yet to looking full.

A crab apple tree, planted in the autumn, is now in full bloom.

And inside, this beautiful fuchsia blossom.

Have a wonderful week!

Happy Easter

The wonderful sunny and warm early spring weather has been followed all this week by very cold days and frosty nights, with some rain (enough to spoil the the day, but not enough to make any difference to farmers or our garden), which came as a bit of a shock, say the least. Easter turnout  to be cold and dull, but the scheme inside is bright and sunny,

with the smell of freshly baked Easter bread.

I wish you all a very Happy Easter!

end of March

and summer has returned to spring. Today is gloomy and cold, but still no rain, which we badly need.
I have made most of the wonderful summer weather we enjoyed until yesterday, stitching in the garden as much as I could. The light is so much better outside then any artificial light inside.

I finished another block of the indigo quilt, with more practice of stitching shishas. I enjoy this relaxed style of embroidery,

which is very different from the more controlled style of my silk project.
Still some more work to be done here.

I also managed to knit few more rows of the lace scarf,

and some more hand quilting of the Summer quilt.

Despite the shortage of water, the garden is slowly waking up and there are more and more signs of life.

Even first plum blossoms.

Enjoy your weekend!

March Saturday

Spring? We have summer!
Today's early morning walk, in a lovely warm sunshine, took us past the smell of freshly cut logs

to Parkhill Camp, an Iron Age settlement, about which I wrote before here.

There had been a lot of activity here during the winter, some of the large beech trees have been cut down.

It is all still looking very bare here, but in the few weeks time the floor here will look like this, a carpet of bluebells.

For now we are happy to see some wild primroses.

Back at home, while working in the garden, not a meter from the hedge, I realised there was a pair of little eyes watching me.

A mum blackbird, sitting on the nest, in March! She did not mind while I went to get my camera and took a picture.

In the balmy 18C we took some garden furniture out of the winter storage and spent the afternoon relaxing in the sunshine.

A good time to start the next stage of my Indigo quilt.

More of the same tomorrow? I hope so!

I wish you also a wonderful weekend!

Frosty nights, but definitive signs of SPRING in the garden.

happy Mother's Day!

All this and a wonderful lunch yesterday.
Thank you!