More Than She Could Chew

Aaron works in all weathers. This morning, however warm enough, was even too wet for him. He visited anyway and we enjoyed a pleasant conversation over tea, coffee, and biscuits.

Afterwards I watched England’s World Cup Rugby match against Tonga.

Although this afternoon the skies remained overcast, the steady rain let up; Jackie worked on cuttings in the greenhouse; and I tried to photograph

Nugget without his getting too much under my feet as he darted back and forth after prey.

“Where’s Nugget?” (28)

Rosa Glauca hips and pelargoniums are just two examples of wearers of glistening pearls;

Virginia creeper perspired precipitation,

which weighed down one solitary bedraggled wasp’s antennae.

We have never before had so many nuts dropping from our copper beech. They have to be swept up daily, the husks making good mulch.

Later, with the sun made fairly regular appearances, we drove out into the forest.

One flock of sheep occupied the green at Bramshaw

while another streamed out onto a side lane.

A lone pony was carrying out lawn mowing duties at Nomansland.

Pigs, such as these at Landford, sought out mast;

we wondered what this one at Fritham had caught. soon we realised that

she had trapped a rat

and that she had bitten off more than she could chew. Jackie exclaimed that this sight had permanently put her off pannage pork.

We took the lane leading from Fritham down to Eyeworth Pond where

small birds flitted to and from the trees and the peanuts birders had left on the posts.

An inquisitive cow raised its head in the woodland,

and ponies enhanced the moorland landscape.

This evening we dined on fish pie and a medley of carrots, cauliflower, greens, and runner beans, all perfectly cooked al dente. We both drank Albarino 2017.

Bembridge

Jackie rose early this morning and sat in a chair on the patio with a cup of instant coffee.

In an instant Nugget was on a paving stone peering hopefully up at the rim of the cup.

Now, “Where’s Nugget?” (16).

Today’s weather was blustery and damp. The Test Match was delayed until after lunch. I spent the afternoon listening to the BBC Sport broadcast and scanning the first batch of a set of prints from negatives I have lost from a holiday with friends in August 2000. This was at the home of Sarah and Howard at Bembridge. Although we live so near the Isle of Wight this was the last time I visited it.

Jessica and Heidi towed Emily and Oliver in our dinghy;

Howard wandered

along the shore

and helped Jessica into their small yacht,

while Michael took over dinghy duties.

The skies had brightened a bit by the end of the afternoon when we visited Otter Nurseries to buy two more bags of compost and somehow came away with four more phlox plants and another bag of tulip bulbs. We continued on for a short forest drive.

Many of the verges, like these along Sandy Down, are already carpeted with cyclamen.

This gnarled fungus has more right to be there than

this shiny drink can.

Moody skies glowered over Sway Tower.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy chicken jalfrezi and boiled rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank El Zumbido Garnacha Syrah 2017.

Ice Cream Delivery

Jackie swept liberally scattered beech nuts from the Rose Garden this morning.

Scoobie kept her company. On the Back Drive he found a fossilised rat which I opted not to photograph.

We have a liberal supply of petunias,

begonias,

and Japanese anemones.

Bees busied themselves gathering pollen, ignoring the fact that some plants remained dog-eared;

and competing for occupation of others.

Some clematises,

fuchsias,

cosmoses, and sweet peas remain in bloom.

Rose Doris Tysteman thrives in the Back Drive border.

Rosa Glauca hips hang over the colourful patio beds.

The hibiscus beside the Brick Path is really flourishing this year.

This afternoon the four of us visited the Beachcomber Café at Barton on Sea.

Gulls hung on the thermals overhead;

crows on the clifftop blinked and pecked at tissues which were eventually shredded;

children wandered;

and a fisherman angled on a breakwater

in view of the Isle of Wight and Christchurch Bay.

This was a day for ice creams.

We had become a little concerned on noticing an elderly woman alone in a wheelchair. After some time a younger woman made her way across the garden with two ice creams. She presented one to the person we then assumed to be her mother, and they sat and enjoyed them together.

After we returned home Ian and I listened to the BBC sport broadcast of the Ashes Test match first day; and watched the second half of the highlights after dinner.

Our dinner consisted of thick pork chops with mustard, brown sugar, and toasted almonds; creamy mashed potato; crisp carrots and broccoli; tender runner beans; and roasted peppers, onions and mushrooms. I drank more of the Garnacha Syrah while the others drank Wairu Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2017.

Mellow Fruitfulness

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

As we were both up before dawn this morning we took a trip to the coast to catch sight of the dawn over the Isle of Wight. There was nothing to see. It was raining and the sky was covered in grey cloud.

John Keats famously described autumn as “a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. We haven’t had any mists yet in this delayed waning of the year. So I guess we must be patient.

Many flowers, such as

nicotiana

nicotiana

nasturtium

and nasturtiums continue to bloom.

There is, however, a certain amount of “mellow fruitfulness” in the form of

Crab apples

crab apples,

Rosa glauca hips

rosa glauca hips,

apple

just a few apples on a tree that was laden last year,

nicotiana sylvestris seed pods

and the seed clusters of six foot tall nicotiana sylvestris,

nicotiana sylvestris seeds

just one pod of which produced this cappuccino  chocolate cloud of minute seeds on the poppy tray.

I cannot remember how to calibrate my scanner to the laptop, so the last two photographs I e-mailed to Emily were produced by

EmilyEmily

photographing the prints and uploading them.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spiky pasta beef arrabiata and runner beans with which I drank more of the malbec.

A Topsy-Turvy Season

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A wander round the garden in this balmy morning’s light diffused by wandering clouds above raised questions about what season we are enjoying.

Spider

An industrious web constructing spider, seeking camouflage in the spent marigold seedpods

Marigolds

must have been confused by the plants’ fresh blooms.

Spider 2

By early evening the predator had moved house and wrapped its dinner.

Bidens

Like many of our bidens, these have self seeded from hanging baskets and tubs.

Small white butterfly on bidens

The Small White butterflies still light on them and many other plants.

Lace Cap Hydrangea

Some of the clusters on this lace cap hydrangea have turned blue.

Hibiscus

Several hibiscuses are filled with flowers.

Petunias

Petunias,
Phlox

phlox,

Fuchsia

fuchsias,

Begonia

and begonias go on forever.

Weeping Birch Bed 2

Others, like these antirrhinums in the Weeping Birch Bed

Antirrhinum

and alongside the Brick Path, are having a new growth surge.

Autumn crocuses and geraniums

Pansies and geraniums refuse to cede ground to the autumn crocuses,

Poppy

and the little orange poppies and persistent lobelias really do think it is spring.

Digitalis

Digitalis cavorts with gaura,

RobinRosa Glauca hips and robin

and robins and other little birds swing along with rosa glauca’s hips.

Weeping Birch Bed 2

It is difficult at this time to find a view that does not include Japanese anemones. Even here, one glows like a coal in the background shadows beyond the Weeping Birch.

Most of the roses are budding again.

Ballerina rose

Ballerinas are back on stage,

Rose Mum in a Million

as are Mum in a Million,

Rose Gloriana

Gloriana,

Rose Flower Power Flower Power, and many more.

Urn at southern end of Brick Path

When admiring the view through the urn at the southern end of the Brick Path

Grizelinia branches

I did my best to ignore the fresh pile of cut branches produced yesterday by Aaron, Sean, and Rory while cutting down the grizelinias.

Later this afternoon, Jackie drove us to Steamer Point, between Highcliffe and Mudeford. I will publish photographs tomorrow, because I think I have enough on this post today, and because, for reasons that will become apparent, we plan to return in the morning.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalfrezi, and omelette-topped onion rice, with samosas and onion bhajis. I drank more of the Fleurie and Jackie drank Le Héron Gros Manseng 2015.