Godwits Galore

This morning we drove to Ferndene Farm Shop for three bags of all Purpose compost.

Jackie explored the rows of plants on sale as she also bought some trailing lobelias, and

found time to encourage one of the resident pigs, which was labouring somewhat, to step up to the trough for a drink.

On our way home we took a short diversion through the forest. Like the New Forest itself it has been some time since the title ‘new’ was applicable to the first of these lanes; the second avoids the problem of nomenclature by not having any.

Ponies dotted around the moors en route to Burley.

As in the lanes above the foliage of Holmsley Passage bore an almost luminescent glow.

Late this afternoon Giles picked me up at home and drove me to the bird hide at Milford on Sea where we spent a pleasant hour in a very crowded cabin watching the birds.

One black headed gull was fascinated by his reflection in the shallow water;

others shared Hurst Pond with shelducks and swans.

For serious birders the highlight was 31 black tailed godwits, their long legs beneath the surface.

We think this might be a snipe, but it had its back to us so we could not discern the length of its beak.

A pied wagtail trotted along much nearer the hide.

Giles stayed on for dinner which consisted of roast lamb; mashed potato and swede; Yorkshire pudding; crunchy carrots; firm cauliflower; and tender runner beans, with rich gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and our friend and I chose Mora Vista Merlot Bonarda 2018.

Spot the Bees

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN THE GROUP TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL EXAMPLES OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

Jackie continued watering the garden this morning. This afternoon we both carried out an extensive dead-heading session.

After this, I wandered among the flitting butterflies and the laden bees, occasionally sitting down, and photographing the still colourful range of flowers. The day lilies have been struggling, but some still survive. Look for the bees in some of the blooms. Captions to the gallery pictures offer identification.

This evening the three of us, including Elizabeth, dined on Jackie’s marinaded chicken fillets, pork rack of ribs, Plentiful vegetable rice, and ratatouille. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and Elizabeth and I drank Casillero del Diablo reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017.

 

Bees Beat Crab Apple Blossom

Jackie, with token assistance from me, continued with planting and watering today. I mostly rambled around, carting a few items along the paths.

MarigoldMarigolds

We have a selection of marigolds;

Ajuga and pulmonaria

ajugas, such as this one blending with pulmonaria, are popping up everywhere;

Bluebells Spanish

and our monstrous Spanish bluebells are thriving on the enriched soil.

Among the recent plantings along the back drive are

Osteospermums 1Osteospermums 2Osteospermums 3

three different osteospermums.

My friend Julie at https://ramblingsfromjewels.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/blushing-rosy/ has displayed a fine crop of crab apple blossom. This alerted us to the fact that we are  a little behind her part of USA.

Crab apple blossom

Ours still look like this.

Not prepared to wait for their nectar, bees have already arrived in Downton, and restlessly search such as

Bee and honesty

humble honesty,

Bee and lithodora

and little lithodora, also on the back drive.

No one plant satisfies, so the insects rapidly flit about from one to another and my lens must catch them on the wing.

This evening we dined on pork rib rack in barbecue sauce, somewhat charred because we rather overextended our drinks session in the rose garden, and Jackie’s lovely vegetable rice. I drank more of the Margaret River cabernet sauvignon and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.

Just as I was about to publish this, Matthew telephoned with a story I might like. He had watched a courier ringing the doorbell of his neighbours across the road. Several times. He thought it a bit strange that they did not answer because he knew they were in. Eventually the deliveryman asked Mat to take in the parcel, which he willingly did. When he gave it to the neighbour she said ‘Oh. That will be my new doorbell!’

When I’d finished cackling, I had to pass the phone to Jackie for him to repeat the tale.