Tuesday 31 May 2016

Farm Maintenance

There is always something that needs doing on a farm. They have been busy the last few weeks with fencing. We have several new fields that need entirely fencing to keep sheep, cattle and horses on the correct side of the hedge. It also prevents the hedge from being eaten into. Today I got a chance to walk up and see how they were getting on. Monty enjoyed the outing too.

Although he didn't seem too keen to play with Sky. A bit hot for that kind of thing.

Meanwhile the workers kept at it.

I did hear a bit of a father/daughter dispute as to which way up the fence went but the more experienced hand was right and the younger farmer conceded her mistake!

Under one of the trees the cattle were resting quietly. 

Much quieter and more settled than on the day of their arrival in the field from the shed.

No rampaging today!

Monday 30 May 2016

Memorandum Monday: A New Home

Good morning!

What a lovely weekend it has been for wandering amongst the buttercups.

Sending a wave from a very sunny farm to Sian and all the other Monday folks! So what's new this week? Well the garden is beginning to flourish although I still have a lot of weeding and planting to do but this photo gives a taste of what is hopefully to come.

Back to the title though and don't worry we are not on the move but two small visitors have been vey busy over the last week home making.

A pair of swallows have made this nest on the tiniest of ledges in the stables at the back of our house. They are still busy constructing and I managed to catch them at work by hiding in the corner. Look carefully to see the collection of mud on it's beak.

Hopefully they are far enough up to be safe from this little monkey.

I promise to keep you posted on their progress. Have a great week!

Sunday 29 May 2016

A Walk Amongst the Sea of Bluebells

I mentioned in my last post that there is common land close by which is covered in bluebells. Yesterday I walked there to see the bluebells for myself. Felton Common covers about 100 acres on the other side of the A38 from Bristol Airport. It is owned by the parish council and as well as being a designated nature reserve it is a popular place for dog walking.

It is common land and as such many local farmers had grazing rights for their animals to be grazed on it. There is still a cattle grid as you come off the A38 by Felton church but it is no longer practical for farmers to use this entitlement. This means that where animals used to keep the bracken and trees under control the area now has to be managed to control the growth of noxious plants such as ragwort and to control the bracken. The result in late spring is a fabulous carpet of bluebells.

It does indeed make a lovely place for a walk which Monty also appreciated.

He does not normally see a lot of dogs as I normally walk him on the farm. He enjoyed the opportunity to find a few playmates along the way.

One thing that is clear as you walk is the proximity to the airport as the planes either take off or land right above.

This can be a distinct advantage. We have in the past viewed aircraft displays including the Red Arrows over the airport and Bristol from the common. 
In stark contrast to this modern intruder there is evidence on the common of a Neolithic civilisation. There are the remains of burial chambers that have been cleared of scrub.

When I make the effort to walk up there it is always worthwhile and in fact a lot of people park on the edge and walk from there. Should you ever be in the area you can park by the church or at the top of Felton St and walk on up. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday 28 May 2016

A Peep in the Woods

I actually took these photos a week or so ago. The bluebells are mainly over now although I have been told that they are at their best on some open common land near us. I hope to get up to see them over the weekend.
The woods are a mixture of wild garlic, bluebells and other flowers. 

Monty loves going for walks in the woods but he stays strictly on the lead. 

Like the quarry it is a wildlife haven. One of the first things we achieved on acquiring the woods was to stop bikers from riding round them. More recently we have done a lot of clearing of dead wood and coppicing.

You may have spotted a black box on one of the trees. These and some wooden ones have been placed on the trees in the hope of attracting nesting dormice.

Dormice live up in trees. The hole on these boxes is on the trunk side for ease of use. So far they have only been used by blue this to make their nests. Still a worthy use!

Friday 27 May 2016

Six Word Story

On a Friday it is time to join Miriam in her one photo and six words. Today the word is wide. We live in close proximity to Bristol Airport. We are lucky that we do not live under the flight path but we do hear the planes coming and going. Well we kind of hear them but most of the time we are switched off to the noise. The noise is worse if they are taking off out are way although this is more unusual. However yesterday while I was out gardening there was a constant flow which makes you wonder where they are all going and of the people setting off on their holiday.



Thursday 26 May 2016

Through the Long Window

I was amused yesterday by a couple of comments that my pictures reminded them of Blue Peter or Playschool looking through the arch. It made me think of our outlook from our lounge at the moment.

The clematis is dangling right over the window which looks lovely with the light behind.

It does obstruct the light rather so there will be a bit of pruning to be done soon!

The two clematis in mum's garden are very spectacular. They reach right up into the trees.

This white one is certainly what one might call established!

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Snap: Under the Arch

My photos for this week's Snap follows on from last week taken between pillars. Today I am giving you a glimpse through the arches at Highclere Castle.
1. Gives a peep through the hedge arch into Monks Garden.

2. Looks back from the opposite end.

3. A sneaky look back through another arch in the wall.

4. Looking on through the gate to what we will see next.

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Looking Out My Window

I know I am very lucky to have such a nice outlook when I am stood at my kitchen sink but has looked particularly like a rural idyll while the cherry blossom was out. This is a rather zoomed in view.

Sadly the blossom is now over. I was however amused the other day by this rather different rainbow created by my brother in law flushing out the sprayer.

What a shame it's not symmetrical!
Then if I look out the other way Margot is happily grazing with a bit of company.

Monday 23 May 2016

Memorandum Monday: Young Chefs

Good Morning to all on this Monday morning and a big wave to Sian and all the other Monday bloggers. I have chosen to stretch the last weekend to include Thursday evening. I joined some friends for a first for me. A trip to a new to me and very special restaurant.
 The daughter of a friend has been studying a BTEC in hospitality for the last two years at The City of Bristol College. I was asked if I would like to attend one of their themed evenings at their restaurant which was on this occasion Italian.
 Half of the students are behind the scenes in the kitchen with one of them in charge of cooking. The other half are front of house with my friend's daughter in charge. They had created a delicious tasting cocktail to start us off. Unfortunately as I was driving so a taster sip was all I dared try.
We were presented with a very promising menu along with some rosemary or garlic bread to start us off.

The starters all looked and tasted delicious. I was a bit more organised by the main course and had my phone at the ready. I chose the lamb

The other two options looked equally good.

I regretted again having my car when we were presented with a shot of limoncello. This was another first for me but again had to be passed to my neighbour after a sip or two. We then had a taster of two desserts.

What a lovely evening being served scrumptious food by delightful students all at a reasonable price. Not to mention the company of some wonderful friends. Anything to criticise? Perhaps the lack of support to the Potato farmer and I have one regret which is that I did not discover these evenings until nearly the end of term!

Sunday 22 May 2016

Beautiful Blossom

Today has been one of those days when it just doesn't stop raining. A real indoor day which is not always an option for farmers although they have managed to find a few jobs in the dry.
I thought it would be a good day to show some pictures I took a week or so ago when the sun was shining and the apple blossom was looking it's best. The Bramley apple tree in our garden.

Then we have a couple of miniature trees. 

The Katy apple is always covered in blossom.

Let's hope for a good crop of apples again this year.