As she toured the garden this morning Jackie was struck by the contrast between the number of survivors from spring and summer still blooming –
including clematis Niobe;
fuchsias Delta’s Sarah
and Mrs. Popple;
and roses in the Rose Garden –
and the harbingers of spring to come, such as the budding rhododendrons;
the new shoots of Michaelmas daisies;
and the burgeoning mimuluses.
One of Aaron’s tasks was to clear dragons, hanging baskets, and other vulnerable artefacts from beneath the
rather brittle cypress that continually sheds dead branches and therefore has to go. It will be removed later in the week.
As we were planning to venture into the forest this afternoon the skies darkened, the previously still air produced gusts of more than fifty miles an hour, torrential rains fell, and the birds left the front garden feeders. Within half an hour tranquility returned.
Blue tits returned to the suet balls.This bird tried to masquerade as one;
and Ron, as we have named the front garden robin, was able to head for his seed feeder before the sparrows returned to dispossess him. It is almost impossible to distinguish between male and female robins. Should Ron turn out to be a female I guess she will be a Ronette. https://youtu.be/FXlsWB1UMcE
We then did drive into to forest.
Ponies at Norleywood had calmly weathered the storm that had added to
the pool at the corner of St. Leonards Road,
along which, like cannon-shot, clouds sped across the sky,
against which oak tree branches groped gnarled fingers.
It was not yet sunset when we passed St Leonards Grange and the ruins of its ancient grain barn.
Another winterbourne pool on which oak leaves floated reflected the tree limbs and trunks;
a cheerful young girl running down the road was overtaken by a passing car;
and a pheasant was framed by a Star of David.
We drove on past Bucklers Hard, then retuned along St Leonards Road to catch
sunset both at the Grange
and a little further along the road.
This evening we dined on fish pie with Jackie’s succulent ratatouille; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; and tender cabbage, with which we both drank Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc 2016.