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..... We make
..... We explore
..... We nuture

Three children *** Two dogs *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That's us!

We've been blogging since January 2010.

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Just a thought….

"A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe."

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Life

Thank you….

  • Briony I loved these large poppies when we had our allotment, you just never knew where they were going to pop up each year as they... 25 Jun
  • Jade @ Captured By Jade Beautiful capture! #MySundayPhoto 25 Jun
  • Carol Poppies are so pretty - funny they like to go in when closed. 25 Jun
  • Helen B Stunning photos, I love poppies. 25 Jun
  • Emma Raphael That is one determined bee! What gorgeous shots! 🙂 #sundayphoto 25 Jun
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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

Debs Random Writings

I’ve been featured by

Bee-wise, I may need to rethink

(bumble bee on scorpion weed or tansy)

I think I’ve finally clicked why bee suits tend not to come in the colour purple, or other bright, vibrant colours. I assumed they were white to reflect the heat. Having worn one of the hottest day of the year once, I can testify that they are not the coolest attire.

Bees, I have read, are most likely to be attracted to purple, along with violet and blue.

(damsel fly)

So why do I keep making dresses in bright, purple fabric?

Yesterday, I was up in my room sorting out clean washing. Putting them in piles before distribution to each member of the family. It was a nice evening. I had the windows open. There was a gentle breeze. Birds were tweeting in the nearby tree, keeping me company. I was trying to remember the call of each bird.

Then I heard it. That deep drone just behind me. The unmistakable sound of a hornet. In the room with me. Turning round, I found her flying at my head level, an arm’s length away, looking straight into my eyes.

(Have you noticed dragonflies do that too? I think they are as curious about us as we are of them. Although in their case, they are probably sizing up to see if we are a threat.)

Back to the hornet. It’s not the first time. I once woke up from an afternoon rest, to find I had been sleeping with a hornet on my dress. Not that I noticed at first. I wandered round the house for a few minutes before my daughter pointed it out.

Hornets don’t panic me. Not anymore. They often visit our garden and our home. So long as you are not threatening their nest, they are usually quite docile. I opened another window and she flew out. Closing the window, I went on hanging up my dress for the next day and thought no more.

This morning, I came down for breakfast, wearing my dress. The new one, I made a couple of weeks ago. It has lots of purple and pink flowers on it. Looking down to check the neckline, I spotted a bee. Looking back at me.

Sigh.

I hadn’t even been outside by that stage. She must have been there since I brought the dress in from the drying line. She must have clung tightly as I threw the dress on. Thank goodness I’d skipped ironing it!

I may need to rethink.

So note to self: maybe think twice before buying any more bright, purple fabric, or vibrant colours, for summer dresses. No matter how good it looks in the shop.

Ah! Who am I kidding? I know I won’t be able to resist, but maybe I need to be more bee aware when I wear it. I’ll still be wearing my new dress this summer. It is far too comfortable to miss out on.

Oh, and if you catch me checking myself out in a mirror, bear in mind, it’s not vanity. I’ll be checking for bees or similar wee beasties. You might want to check too before you hug me!

PoCoLo
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Violet the Slug Slayer

Meet Violet. She eats slugs for a living. Not just any old beetle.

To top it all, she has the most amazing colourful sheen that only reveals itself if you look closely. She is a Violet Ground beetle.

Fortunately, Violet is not an uncommon beetle in the UK. Some of her kin could easily be living in your garden already, chomping their way through your slugs and other garden pests. They start young. Devouring pests even in their larvae state.

How often do we look? How often do we lump black ground beetles into the same category?

Violet’s an easy garden guest. She’ll find her own food. Nothing special. She likes to rest under leaf cover, stones and logs. Also happy to sign-in to conveniently positioned bug hotels, if provided. So if you would like one, like her, to move into your garden, you know what to do.

Joining in #30DaysWild with the Wildlife Trust

Photalife

 

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Out

Sometimes you just need to take the bull by the horns and go for it. I guess that’s why so many people have the childhood memory of sitting on a seafront promenade, eating soaked fish and chips in the rain. Hood up. As they look out over the sea, they promise themselves that they will never ever put their own children through the experience. (But of course they do. We all do.)

Life cannot be put on hold just because the weather’s not ideal. We’d never get anything done.

This week has been wet and windy, with a splattering of sunshine for us, but when I look back, we’ve spent more time out than inside feeling sorry for ourselves.

We went to the Bath and West show, which everyone enjoyed. There was a short burst of rain, but on the whole, we were lucky.

Seeking more time outside, at home we put up our garden shelter and had a fabulous evening sitting out and toasting marshmallows over the fire bowl. There is nothing more wonderful than being outside with my family in an evening. Joined by our resident bats swerving in their evening flight, to investigate what their mad humans are doing, this time. They are curious like creatures, and so wonderful.

The children put on a light show. It became a competition on who could make the clearest image. I captured a few on my camera by changing the ISO setting to 6400. No-one went to bed early. I think this may become a family favourite.

Unfortunately, the wind picked up the garden shelter, a few days later, and impaled it on our oak tree. It took the whole family to retrieve it. The oak tree won. I’m afraid we won’t be using the shelter again, but at least it’s no longer in the branches.

Sigh

There is no doubt, however, simple playthings are the best. I’m so impressed by how the children can have fun with the most basic of objects. Give a child a tree, a rope and a piece of wood and they will play for ages.

My parent’s dug out the tree swing when we visited and the children set it up. Taking turns to swing. Higher each time.

They really did have fun. It was quite a wrench to see them back in their uniforms on Monday and heading off to school. Although I did bring youngest back home again, when I realised that they had an Inset day. Oops! He tagged along for the day with me instead. We popped in to see my parents again, and he stayed with them while I went to the dentist, so the day was good. Apart from maybe the dentist part.

We’ve been out noting all the changes in our garden and local area. We took a detour on our morning dog walk, through a local meadow which was splattered with common spotted orchids, as far as you could see, and more wild flowers than I could identify. Photos taken and we’ll research them soon.

Back home in our wild areas in the garden, it was noticeable how the the insects started buzzing as soon as the rain stopped. Waiting at the bottom of the stalks and under leaves to avoid the raindrops. There was a cloud of blue damsel flies triggered by the sun coming out.

These bugs are new to me, but are currently on my awesome list. I know they don’t look much and I would hate to meet one scaled up, but they are amazing little critters. This is the larvae of the dock leaf beetle. I included a photo of adult beetle last week. If ever a bug was a good reason not to spray an area with herbicides and insecticides, I’d put these ones forward as candidates. These guys annihilate dock. We are talking shredding it. Amazing. (Understandably, farmers don’t want dock in their silage as it reduces fermentation and quality, but hopefully you can see where I’m going with this.)

(Bowl of beauty peony)

During the week, I visited a friend who has recently moved, to see her new house. We had lunch at the local lavender farm. The flowers weren’t quite out, giving us an excuse to go back in a few weeks. It was still a relaxing lunch alfresco, overlooking the purple fields.

Looking back through the photos, it is amazing how much time we do spend outside. My youngest summed it up so perfectly. He reminded me that we’d never see all the interesting nature if we were in the car. You have to get out and look.

 

The Reading Residence

 

Country Kids

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Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

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All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.