Maud and Stephen fought each other during the twelfth century for the throne of England and the quarrel was only settled when Maud's son (who was to become Henry II) was made Stephen's heir. It is a period of history I love, made famous by the wonderful Brother Cadfael Chronicles penned by Ellis Peters, which are worth checking out if you don't already know of them. L and I have them on our Ipods and listen to them constantly.
Anyway, we had the muttlies with us and once we'd got beyond the town and out into the meadows proper we let them off their leads so they could have a good scamper about. Now, there are ribbons of bog running across this landscape and my family are the type of people who don't walk around a bog when jumping over one is more fun....
Cue Poppy Disaster.
She forgets that she is tiddly widdly and remembers only that she is a Fearless Jack Russell who takes no prisoners, and when we all leapt over the bog, so did she. Only her little tiddly widdly legs can't leap as far as ours and she nose-dived straight into it, and sank. Right up to her chin. As she wiggled to get out she sunk further.
I screamed an impressively high-pitched terrified scream and M jumped back in the bog and yanked her out. Was she bothered? No. Did she do it again on the way home? Yes. Did Teddy learn by her mistake and sensibly go round the bog? No.
|Oh Dear Ted.|
|Nice Stockings, Teddy!|
|Yes, well. The less said the better I feel.|
This Jumping Over Things that normal people would walk sensibly around also extends to rivers. F has a graceful, athletic style, which he has most certainly not inherited from his father.....
I sometimes wonder exactly how old my husband is. But then, his father (in his mid 80s) still boings about on a pogo stick, so you get a sense of what I have ahead of me. But at least he's enjoying himself :-)
After all that excitement, I needed the peacefulness of our garden (and a stiff gin) to recover. The sun was still shining when we got home and the flowers all looked beautiful.....
|Field Scabious by the pond|
|Honesty grown from seed last year|
|Apple Blossom about to burst|
|Apple blossom bursted|
|Red Campion (new purchase last week)|
|Saxifrage (also new last week)|
We have a Pond Algae problem, and last week I paid £5.99 for two socks stuffed with barley straw which you sink in the pond and after a month it reduces the algae. Bearing in mind that you can pick up a bale of barley straw here for less than that, I thought this was a bit of a rip off, and today I made my own, which I am sharing with you:
1. Get a pair of old tights.
2. Cut into sections about a foot long (ish).
3. Stuff with barley straw.
4. Tie off ends with a knot.
5. Attach a piece of string and sink in pond.
Approx cost? Oh, about 10p?
This next bit is Rather Disgusting, so feel free to skip it....
L found a tick on Pops and as I removed it yesterday as well as thinking 'urgh, aren't they disgusting?' I also found myself thinking: 'and actually quite impressive, in a horrid blood-sucking parasite sort of a way'. So I took a picture (close up, of course). Here it is....
We've been really busy in the garden this week and the soon-to-be-wildflower-patch has really come on. I'll stick some photos in another time, but in the mean time, what d'you think of my extremely elegant means of encouraging the clematis in the front garden to actually climb up and through the pergola it was bought for, instead of straggling itself across everything but....?
When you grow up in the countryside you find that baler twine gets used for everything from holding car boots shut, to encouraging plants to grow the right way to keeping up ancient farmer's trousers....
While Pop was helping me garden (mostly by chasing away the insects I was trying to photograph as well as pulling weeds out of the pond and making a mess), I am pretty certain I spotted my Tree Bee. Even though he has a vaguely Stripy Bottom, I can't think who else he can be. Unless he's a Carder Bee, but he has too much black on his bum for that I think? Caroline, help!
He visits the Bugle every day, which fits in nicely with what I was reading about bumblebees (or beeblebums as I accidentally called them when I was trying to engage L on the subject this morning) leaving an electric trace on their flowers so other bees know not to feed from them.
I'll leave you with a pic of a Red Kite who has just flown over, as well as the Tantalising Promise of the Moth Box being out tonight, with all that that means for Mothy Folk Pictures on the blog tomorrow....
Have a lovely evening all,