Sunday, 27 September 2015

Apple Picking With Red Admirals, Rescuing A Lesser Stag Beetle & A Long-Winged Cone Head Calls....

My concussion is at long last receding. I plan a run later to prove it, and also because my husband has cut through my prevaricating and entered us both for a five mile race in October.

A nice, gentle, flat race? I asked, hopefully.  
It's a bit lumpy, he said.
Lumpy....? 
There are a few hills, he admitted. But you're tough: you'll be fine. 
I checked the map. It is more a question of all hills with a token flat thrown in to prevent complete and utter despair taking hold. And this is my first five mile race. My husband believes in a Baptism Of Fire. I believe in walking the bits I need to.

Sunny and warm here. The apples have been flying out of the box by the gate and I have been replacing them, aided by three beautiful Red Admirals who have been fluttering about my ears and settling on the fruit and gorging themselves....

 




They were joined by a Comma...



I found a Lesser Stag Beetle on the carpet covered in fluff (says a lot for my house keeping skills, eh?) yesterday. They tend to be Autumn People and are becoming increasingly rare (largely because of the lack of dead wood- we're all too tidy in our gardens and park managers are only just realising that leaving dead wood is crucial for beetles. The big Stag Beetles have lost something like 95% of their population over the last hundred years). Anyway, I know we have a population of Lesser Stags here because I usually find at least one a year in the house. I picked him up and put him in the wildflower patch which has a pile of wood and a couple of old tree stumps hidden away at the back by the nettles. Lovely, no?





After Beetle Rescue had occurred, we popped into Romsey and went to the market for cheese. I came back with a bag of greengages and spent the afternoon baking. I made a pie with the wild plums we picked last weekend and the damsons Lucy brought over and threw a few of the greengages from the market in for Good Measure....






I made meringues with the egg whites left over from making the custard for the pie and raspberry jam tarts with the pastry edges, a Dorset apple and sultana cake with some of the apples from our garden, and a chocolate pudding out of a cake base drizzled with brandy, a meringue in the middle and a chocolate mousse on the top (the top is dead easy- melt some choc in a bowl and add to whipped cream)...


We ate some of it while watching the rugby last night. It was a Bit Yum :o) Pop was allowed on the sofa while the rugby was on because she got cold out running round the stubble fields and sat looking all miserable and shivery. Under the velvet shawl she soon warmed up, stopped shivering and wagged her tail when I looked at her... 



Sofa-and-shawl-medicine obviously did the trick because she's right as rain this morning....


The Admirals were back up feasting on the apples this morning, in between giving the seal of approval to my new dish clothes :o)


As I was wandering around the pond I heard a cricket whirring and for once managed to find him quite easily. He's a long-winged Cone Head- marvellous name!



They used to be quite rare, but have expanded their range since the 1970s and are doing well. They'll be out in gardens and damp places now so keep an ear out and you might hear them. The wings vibrate to make the soft churring sound.

I'll leave you with a pic of the hounds enjoying a warm spot of sunlight on the carpet yesterday....

And wish you all a pleasant Sunday.

CT :o)

34 comments:

  1. Aaaah,Poppy got the shawl after all xxx
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have me wrapped round their paws, my furry children.... :o) X

      Delete
  2. I have left some windfall apples for the insects, they are in my wild garden area, there are plenty of nettles and wild foxgloves up there and piles of wood, slowly rotting. One of my first jobs in the garden after moving was to get an area fenced off for this purpose, I have made a hedgehog house and hope to get a resident. Next on the agenda is a small pond and bog area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds a wonderful set-up. A pond/ boggy area will make a huge difference to the wildlife near you- you'll get all sorts appearing :o)

      Delete
  3. I do love the butterflies, I have to say I am a bit nervous of any bugs, I don't like anything crawling on me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of people share that feeling. I'm OK with everything except spiders, so I know how you feel!

      Delete
  4. Your photographs of your baking are almost too good to look at. It is interesting too to see how the butterflies are gorging on that almost rotten fruit. As for holding that stag beetle on your hand - no thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love an afternoon cooking when I'm in the right mood. Have been making profiteroles today...which have all disappeared!

      Delete
  5. I'm glad you're feeling much better now. Take it easy on your run. I would love to be able to go out and run five miles just now. Lovely Poppy photos. Perfect visual therapy. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did my usual 1.5 miles with Pop earlier and all was well. Phew! x

      Delete
  6. Your baking is lovely. Remember if you need to walk on that run it is o.k. tough or not you were injured. Love, love that you put apples out for others to take. You are a kind person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :o) I will walk if I can't run, I'm not proud like that :o) Giving the apples away at the gate has been a lovely experience, from being up in the tree picking them to waving at people collecting them :o)

      Delete
  7. Oh my, your baking sounds utterly delicious. If there's any left I'll be round. The beetle is fantastic. I have a little dead wood in my garden, so hopefully some beasties in there. Love the cone-headed chap as well. How sweet your little doggie looks in your gorgeous luxury shawl. You do look after her so very nicely. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll save you some :o) You're bound to have beetles if you have dead wood. Some take 7 years in the larval state in old wood before they emerge. Amazing! Pop has had her eye on that shawl for ages. L hates the feel of it being velvet but Pop seemed unconcerned last night :o) XX

      Delete
  8. Plum pie looks yummy...I must make one! Pop does look "plum" tuckered out. I always look forward to reading your posts! If you ever write a book, I'd buy it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plum pie is so easy to make and so tasty. I love how you can just throw the plums in with the custard, sprinkle on some sugar and it comes out warm and hearty. You are very kind about the book. One day I shall :o) x

      Delete
  9. Those deserts look very yummy. I can almost smell the plum pie and the chocolate mousse. I love those pics of the cricket and the stag, beautiful creatures they are. Good luck on your run, you will be brilliant I'm sure. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to get back to running to justify all the puds! Hope all's well xx

      Delete
  10. My furbabies like to find spots of sunshine too, but that time of the year is gone now here in Sweden...:) It is much easier to find cold spots now...
    Your baking sounds wonderful - your family must be very happy and full-up:))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh poor doggies, bet they miss the sun! Hope they are keeping warm. The food doesn't last long in this house- the current fave is chocolate eclairs. I seem to be making a batch every day and they all mysteriously disappear... :o) XX

      Delete
  11. the Admiral are gorgeous and the dogs looks content. I do hope you are not over doing it with the concusssuin you had.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am trying to be good. It is getting better though x

      Delete
  12. Lovely Red Admiral photos - so many around at the moment :) Have put a few rotting apples on sticks round the garden and they are attracting butterflies :) Love the Lesser Stag Beetle. Glad to hear you a feeling better.

    Sorry for lack of comments recently - had several days out last week followed by a few days away and am really struggling to keep up with everyone's posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so lovely seeing so many Admirals. A final flutter of summer :o) Great idea about the apple sticks- I have shamelessly copied you in the garden here :o) Please don't worry re comments- as you know, I have days when I don't get round all the blogs I'd like to too. Hope you had a lovely few days away x

      Delete
  13. Glad you and Poppy are on the mend.I don't envy you on your five mile race I find it bad enough walking up hills! All your baking looks and sounds wonderful and the chocolate pudding looks so easy, just the sort of recipe I like! Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do like a challenge Sarah :o)

      I agree with easy puds- can't be doing with fiddly ones- too much to go wrong and I'm not sure they taste any better either! xx

      Delete
  14. Five Miles!!!! Rather you than me. I still trying to get motivated to use my cycling machine thingamabob....I walk for around an hour daily with our two dogs, but this healthy cycling marlarky isn't really my thing.
    Much more my thing is the photos of your cooking!
    Love anything like that. Seeing the variety of goodies took me back to Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, where my grandmother lived. Her Sunday roast desserts always were a selection. Yes I tell you, a selection of around 3 puds! Yummo I used to have all three!!!!
    The thought if eating those 'tasties' while watching any TV sounds pretty damn good to me.
    Bliss.
    Happy Days.
    Cake and Puddings Rule!
    Take care, glad you are on the mend.
    But seriously.... 5 miles....nah!
    I think you should consider a relapse!!!!!!!
    Great photos....great blog.
    Love from the Land Downunder!!!!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the sound of your Grannie :o) I would have had a bit of all three too!
      I'm not a great cyclist either- I get neck ache. Running is much easier! Hope all's well xx

      Delete
    2. ps- meant to ask, do you have a blog? Can't find it so if you do leave me the address xx

      Delete
    3. Hi there,
      No I don't have one... Though I should .. My friends keep nagging me to!
      I have one on FB called Vintage, flowers, coffee and everything in between!
      It's just photos and a few cheeky things!
      Thanks for asking! X

      Delete
    4. You definitely should! I always enjoy your comments and take on life so I'd be your first follower :o) x

      Delete
    5. Thankyou... I'm off back to Uni soon to do a Cert in Education as I am rather passionate about tutoring early secondary kids to get them in the zone for understanding, keeping motivated and experiencing that light bulb moment.
      I will defo let you know if I do start a blog....abit of Aussie for you!!!!
      xx

      Delete
  15. Hey CT,
    What a wonderful beetle. Olly and I have noticed lots of dead for beetles this past week. After reading this, I have chucked all the old wood piled for a tip run behind some huge shrubs at the bottom of the garden. All for the creepy crawlies. Don't know why I didn't think of it before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you already know this but just in case- dead wood left in the garden should be au natural and not treated. Apols if I'm teaching you to suck eggs :o) Olly will be spotting beetly folk in your log pile like mad next spring I'm sure XX

      Delete

Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x