A Little Autumn Colour

For the last couple of days marauding rooks have raided Nugget’s robin feeder, ripped it off the Japanese maple, and robbed him of his food.

Jackie has baffled the thieves with a pair of hanging basket frames.

In contrast to yesterday’s dismal weather, today was clear, bright, and cold, taking every opportunity to display a little autumn colour.

Here is Margery’s Bed seen from the Cryptomeria Bed,

and sculpture Florence’s view of the house.

Weeping Birch leaves still linger

and the white solanum goes on forever.

 

Some Japanese maples have retained their leaves,

others have carpeted the lawn and paths with them.

The last scene above can be seen from the Fiveways end of the Phantom Path.

Jackie focussed on the grasses in the Palm Bed named for

the Cordeline Australis which is in fact evergreen.

Mrs Popple is one of the hardier fuchsias,

another of which, Delta’s Sarah, still attracts no doubt confused bees.

A number of pelargoniums still look down from hanging baskets, like this overlooking the Dragon bed in which

Ivy twines herself around one of the eponymous mythological figures.

Jackie spent much of the morning trying not to tread on Nugget while they were cobbling together a winter cold frame.

“Where’s Nugget?” (44a and 44b)

Wherever she moved to another location he was there first. Fortunately she took her camera.

“Where’s Nugget?” (44c and 44d)

Jackie also focussed on a sparrow with,

a pied wagtail,

and a white wagtail on the rooftop. I trust one of our birder readers will correct any errors in identification.

Late this afternoon Elizabeth visited to gather up bags of files that had remained in our single spare room since she moved out last year. She stayed for dinner which consisted of chicken marinaded in mango and chilli sauce; savoury rice topped with an omelette; and tender runner beans. My sister finished the Cotes du Rhone and I drank Chateau Berdillot Cotes de  Bourg 2018, while Jackie abstained.

 

 

 

 

The Kiss

Today I invite you to take the perimeter walk with me. When I did this three days ago, I undertook to repeat it in a photo shoot. This is it:

Footpath - wide

At first the path looks wide and safe enough.

House through wire fence

The house can be seen through the occasional gap in the fence on our left.

Forest

To the right we can look down further into the forest.

Slope, fence & house

Slope around houseSoon we reach the more precarious sections, where the fence makes a handy grab rail.

Track made by animals

Fence and track

The animal tracks largely follow the contour lines.

Tree shadows

Whilst clinging to the fence don’t forget to enjoy the forest views in the sunlight.

Trunk shadows

We have long shadows,

Dappled fallen tree

dappled fallen trees,

Animal track

 animal tracks,

Dappled bank

and leafy banks.

Sloping trackTrack, slope & fence

We are getting near the dicey bit,

Slope I slid down

and managing to pass the slope I slid down until I reached that tree on the left.

Robin in forest

That bird flitting about is a robin. It has come to rest. Can you see it now?

Eleanor's abandoned den

As we take a left bend alongside Running Hill, Eleanor’s abandoned den comes into view,

House through rhododendrons

as does the house itself, seen through the rhododendrons in which she built it. Backtracking, I see there is a section of the fallen fence that we can step over.

Shadows on leaves

So, taking a last look at the downward sloping bank outside,

Fence from inside

let’s go inside, and grapple with the the ancient rhododendrons

Rhododendron branches

until we return to the garden via John’s compost heaps.

After bidding you farewell the day continued with a drive to Nomansland , around which Jackie and I wandered for a while.

Wagtail & reflectionWagtails waded in the car park puddles. What is it with wagtails and car parks? Even town car parks often host them. Certainly the one in Ringwood does.

Stretched out on the ground, breathing strongly, a possibly pregnant mare alarmed me a little. It is not a position in which ponies are often seen.  We are supposed to report sick or injured animals. Was this one in trouble, or was she just having a siesta? How would I know? She had a companion who stood in the usual motionless stance not batting an eyelid. Until she, maybe the midwife, turned, bent her head, and nuzzled the prone animal. By the time Jackie and I had returned up the slope from the edge of the green, both creatures had disappeared. Their places had been taken by donkeys.

Ponies nuzzling

This evening Jackie fed us on lamb steaks with crisp vegetables, including cauliflower and broccoli in a gentle cheese sauce. I finished the Languedoc.