Seeking The Shot

A chill wind belied the sunny periods today.

This morning Jackie continued with her general garden maintenance, including pruning, while I dug more weeds out of the Gazebo path gravel.

I can just about manage this for half an hour, but imagine the exercise is doing me good. Crouching is now possible; it is rising from the crouch that has me thinking I might not make it. So, after the pain barrier had been reached, with the gait of a man on stilts, I stumbled indoors for my camera and recovered my questionable flexibility wandering around with it.

Various Japanese maples are exhibiting their vibrant colours;

The crab apples at the front are blossoming, and the Amanogawa cherry is having a second flush. The blossoms of this Japanese tree that I photographed more than a month ago were on the lower branches; those higher ones, reaching to the skies, have now burgeoned at a more usual time.

Shadows fell across the lawn and across mosses and ornamental grasses.

Variously hued heuchera leaves join forget-me-nots and bluebells waiting for roses to bloom in the Rose Garden.

Although the sun was clearly taking a long siesta we took a drive into the forest this afternoon.

We stopped to admire the new crown to the thatch on the Woolpack Inn at Sopley with its attendant peacock.

Overlooking both the pub and Mill Lane stands

the 13th Century grade II listed St Michael & All Angels Church around which graveyard atop a steep hill I wandered.

The inscriptions on most gravestones and sarcophagi are largely obscured by colourful lichen.

Although some of the images above display the drop down to Mill Lane, this view from very close to a corner of the building demonstrates the vertiginous nature of this ancient place of worship.

Two woolly schoolchildren seem to have been left inside this currently Covid-locked church, which will definitely be worth a further visit when it is possible for visitors to enter once more. Services are held following strict regulations.

From the churchyard I could hear the rush of the mill race to what is now a wedding venue. Maybe the people in this photograph were checking it out for such an event.

It has recently been necessary to cut down a tree.

When we spotted a small herd of deer on nearby hillside,

Jackie parked on Rockford Lane,

along which I walked in search of the final shot.

For dinner this evening Jackie produced succulent baked gammon; piquant cauliflower cheese; stir-fried leeks with pre-boiled cauliflower leaves; and crunchy carrots with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

A Paint Job

This morning, before dawn’s light had penetrated neighbouring trees, I photographed

the wakening garden from above.

Aurora first fingered the wisteria;

the crab apple

and the Amanogawa blossoms.

 

 

Aaron of A.P. Maintenance gave the shed two coats of paint,

then drank a mug of tea while, at a suitable distance, I admired his work and we came to the conclusion that we should have a crack at running the country together.

Afterwards I made him prints of this set of photographs and those of “Where’s Aaron?”.

This evening we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks on the decking and watched tiny airborne hoverflies floating around

red and gold Japanese maples;

flecked laurel leaves;

 

Brown Turkey ficus fingers;

and deep magenta rhododendrons – all kissed by the evening sun which

pencilled patterns around the Copper Beech bole,

and imparted a gentle glow to Florence’s sculpted cheek.

Our subsequent meal consisted of Jackie’s perfect pork paprika, cayenne and three chillis speciality, with which I drank more of the Bordeaux, her Peroni having been consumed on the decking.

 

“Some Wet Things”

Throughout the day the promised rain fell steadily.

Early this evening we experienced a power cut for a couple of hours. The meat was in the oven; nothing worked; because of lockdown no alternative eating establishments were open; I had not prepared a post.

Fortunately the Culinary Queen had stocked up yesterday on salads and cold meats and had hard boiled a couple of eggs this morning. We therefore dined comfortably on an uncooked meal while watching Nugget swooping onto his feeder and making off with mouthfuls.

I finished reading Anthony Trollope’s “Framley Parsonage”, and will report on that tomorrow.

Also fortunately the Assistant Photographer had toured the garden earlier in the day to “photograph some wet things”.

Here they are. Notice all the raindrops. I trust the pictures can speak for themselves because I am knackered.