Saturday, 7 November 2015

the copper beech in november




As I approached the copper beech tree, I was shocked to see that it was completely bare... all the leaves had gone. Surrounding trees are still holding on to most of their leaves, but not the copper beech. There was a thick carpet of curled copper leaves covering the grass under the tree. The husks of the few nuts the tree produced this year remain on the branches.

Friday, 6 November 2015




Woodland walks and bike rides during a very misty and murky half term holiday. We got wet and our boots heavy with mud but there were many smiles... especially with a spontaneous crabapple throwing/kicking/rolling contest.

The autumn landscape where otherworldly realms seem to merge with our own.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

the copper beech in october



October is the month when this tree really comes into it's own. Standing in the warm sun gazing up at the thousands of shades of copper. Just how lovely...

Tuesday, 15 September 2015



As summer slips into autumn, it is a time of picking and preserving... and picking some more. 
My favourite wild damson tree in a hedgerow a few fields away was laden with fruit. A carrier bag full was promptly turned into damson chutney, followed by a batch of damson jam.



The plum tree in the allotment has had a wonderful year, with more fruit than ever before. The boys have been climbing up it to reach the sweetest fruits up in the top of the tree. We have picked and picked - eaten lots straight from the tree, given boxfulls away, made plum jam and plum chutney and even sold some in punnets on the doorstep with an honesty jar - and the tree is still laden! 


 In recent years I have made a small batch of elderberry syrup which is particularly good for those winter colds (a little with mixed with some hot water is very soothing).

 I do love hedgerow foraging...

Saturday, 12 September 2015

the copper beech in september


The copper beech is beginning to take on darker tones as the season begins to slip into autumn. The light is hazy in the misty mornings.

The first of the leaves are falling, and the beech nuts are growing.

Joining in with Loose and Leafy's 'Tree Following'

Previous Tree Following posts here

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

the last summer adventure - Cadair Idris







Making the most of the last few days of the summer holidays;
Up in the mountains;
Carpets of heather;
Big skies;
Rolling clouds enveloping the craggy summit;
Time with friends.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

to the source of the river wye




It was the perfect weather to explore the wild lands of Plynlimon to see the source of the River Wye (thank goodness as to be up here in less than perfect conditions would not be nice).
The route we took was from the south side of Plynlimon following the track up into the hills until it ended where the terrain became too impassible. The source is above the 'V' in the picture above. How beautiful the infant Wye is. It was quite something to see it as a babbling stream beginning a very long journey.

My favourite upland flower 'Devil's-bit Scabious

Sunday, 16 August 2015

show day!


One of our favourite summertime activities is to go to a village show, and even better is to take part in in it! 
It's such fun to just have a go and it's something I try and encourage to boys to do too.
This year we tried our luck with flower art, photography, art, jam, marmalade and a homemade drink.


The exciting part is loading the car with our entries (the boys clutching their flower arrangements on their laps to keep them from falling apart!), driving onto the show field and setting them up in the marquee. It's great to see how many others have entered and the different interpretations of the themes. 

Once we were set up, we have a little look around the other classes and marvel at the giant cabbages and long parsnips! On leaving the marquee we had a wander around the show field. We paused by the sheep section as we were captivated by the serious business of judging. The boys were very intrigued as to how you could possibly judge between the sheep.



The 'longest nettle' class - one of my favourites which I should enter one day with the amount of nettles I have at the allotment. 

The poultry section is always interesting too to look around... the wonderfully coloured eggs and the different chickens and ducks.



We went home during the judging and returned later in the afternoon. The boys were very excited to get back into the marquee to see how they had got on. This was Victor's first time in entering and even though he didn't get any coloured cards he really enjoyed filling his jam jar with flowers from the garden (and I thought it was the best!).

My art, photography and marmalade entries did surprising well, as I was up against some stiff competition! I was prompted by the show to do this pencil sketch of the garden, which I really enjoyed doing and needed the deadline to sit and do it, so I'm grateful for that.

And Fred did particularly well in the children's photography by gaining two First prizes and therefore winning a trophy (in fact he reclaimed this trophy as he had won it in 2013!). He was very pleased!


But really the best bit is just to be there, soaking up the 'country living' atmosphere, of seeing friends, having fun with the activities such as 'tug of war' (not me I hasten to add!), being part of the community and supporting the hard work and effort of the organisers of the village show.


Guilsfield Show is held every second Thursday in August. 
Our previous visit to Guilsfield Show is here