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    Weather Redux

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    chris c
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    Weather Redux

    Post by chris c on Wed May 11 2016, 20:20

    Suddenly it's spring - with a turbocharger. 

    I've been on a succession of walks in numerous places, and given the garden a damn good thrashing. Most of it has been done on a breakfast of a buttered oatcake with smoked salmon, sometimes with nuts or salad but often without, plus a few cups of coffee, and one main meal some 6 - 10 hours later, and a later snack, though on some days I have actually had two meals. 

    One day I walked in an ancient woodland full of bluebells. The walk was only about two miles and took hours because I sat on several seats and treetrunks listening to and watching the birds, and deer. I met a couple taking their mother/mother-in-law round, she was 89. This was poignant as the last time I took my mother (she was 93) she managed to walk down the lane from the car park and across a field but by the time we reached the wood she was exhausted and we had to abandon the mission and turn back.

    I walked in another bluebell wood, and over various commons, but nightingales were conspicuous by their absence, as were willow warblers. The first individuals arrived early, then a load of other migrants arrived about three weeks later, except for the nightingales and willow warblers, maybe due to some weather/climate event over Europe or Africa.

    Today I went to a reedbed near the local estuary and watched a pair of hobbies and several marsh harriers, and heard a bittern booming, while talking to several folks, some local, some from elsewhere in the country, including places I knew. 

    After all the warmth and sunshine we had continuous rain for about 24 hours. Now the lawn is back almost up to my armpits again Sad I should have mown it again but instead I stuffed my face with a Bolognese type sauce with broccoli topped with melted cheese again. plus a couple of glasses of wine, and am about to crash out for a while. The lawn (and my shower) will damn well have to wait until tomorrow.

    Also demolished over the last few days, more lamb chops, Gloucester Old Spot sausages, asparagus, broccoli, salmon with toasted almonds and spinach, prawn curry and a bunch of cheese.

    It's a hard life, I don't know how I put up with the deprivation!
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by graham64 on Wed May 11 2016, 21:24

    I've been trying to catch up on my garden, well behind this year due to the atrocious weather earlier this month thanks to a pleasant few days last week the hard graft is almost done just some pruning and general tidy up and pot up the bedding plants just as long as there's no frost forecast though cooler weather is expected later in the week


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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by chris c on Fri May 20 2016, 23:31

    Bedding plants? I can only DREAM of bedding plants!

    When we bought the place there was a lot of ground cover, which takes a lot of editing every year. I've added a bunch of perennials, some of which have survived and some of which have taken over. The last few weeks have been "good growing weather" so every time I turn around there's more stuff to demolish.

    I'll probably put some bedding plants into the tubs in the front yard, but even they are being taken over. Some of the muscari will definitely have to go. Hopefully next week I can put in my runner beans, though there's stuff a few feet high growing all over what used to be the bean trench.

    Oh well, the more excess stuff this year, the more compost for next year.
     
    Wild flowers are having a magnificent season too.
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by Jan1 on Sun May 22 2016, 14:01

    Visiting a garden centre recently for a cup of tea!
    Yes, I do sometimes meet up in a garden centre with family/friends for a chat and a cuppa ... there is always so much going on. You can look at (and buy) plants of course, but many now have clothes, books, cards, gifts in fact all sorts on offer for sale ... and their cafes usually offer a cup of tea or coffee and perhaps a nice cheese salad (or similar) you can tell I quite like visiting them Smile  

    Traditionally we never put bedding plants in the garden until the late May Bank Holiday - buy them - but do not plant them. Or if you plant them then do take heed of any frost warnings!

    Many folks now include wildflower areas in their gardens or plant flowers that may attract butterfly's etc.

    Gardens are lovely but hard work - the reward often comes when sitting out in them on a nice summer day ... or as the grandchildren do ... play games sunny

    Mind you BBQ's are fun too aren't they? Has anyone had one yet?

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by graham64 on Sun May 22 2016, 21:55

    Got all my bedding plants potted and hanging baskets filled not had to water them yet the weather's taken care of that Crying or Very sad just hope the frost keeps away it's forecast to be a cold night tonight brrr Still plenty of work to do weather permitting fingers crossed for a decent week as the following week the kids are on holiday girls just a week but my grandson has an extra week so my services are required the garden may get neglected


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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by Jan1 on Mon May 23 2016, 19:09

    Sitting at the computer and enjoying an early evening cuppa the rain is beating heavily against the window! Gardeners may be pleased that the gardens are getting a good drink of water, but then if it's sunny tomorrow ... the growing cycle will seem to go into overdrive and I think many may then spend the coming bank holiday weekend doing some grass cutting

    Oh well ....

    All the best Jan

    cuppa
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by chris c on Tue May 24 2016, 23:46

    While I was pulling more weeds and Things That Have Taken Over today I swear the lawn grew another three inches.

    Yes mother and her friends were fans of various garden centres and used to meet up for tea. My father preferred the old fashioned plant nurseries. Here we have several of each, I do the rounds most years. I was going to visit one today, maybe tomorrow.

    When I took out some decking I sowed a load of wildflowers and "green manure" crops, intending to dig them in to rejuvenate the covered soil. Actually it turned out to be one of the most floriferous bits of the entire garden so I left them. Currently it's a sea of red campion, plus some white ones and other things, and there's a forest of oxeye daisies just ready to start flowering, and some clumps of pink and violet dame's violet with a gorgeous scent. Wild poppies are out in the wild and I have a few, not flowering yet, in the garden, plus some other things will probably come through later.

    I'll probably put some half-hardies into the tubs and the runner beans into the now cleared trench and sow a few seeds, hoping the slugs won't eat all of them. Then sit back and wait for the snow (I remember a snowstorm in June one years when I was young, and a serious frost one May which killed the flower buds on everyone's hydrangeas, the way things have been recently anything could happen).

    Went out about 9 o clock one night to listen for nightjars. Didn't hear any but there was a nightingale in just about every other bush, they seem to have finally arrived late and not necessarily in their usual haunts. Went back about a week later and heard one nightjar churring - they sound a bit like a moped in a jam jar. Another birdwatcher said they'd been in for weeks but were mostly feeding and not churring or breeding yet. He'd noticed the same as me - a comparative lack of nightingales and willow warblers, and a big gap between the early arrivals and the main crop, and extra numbers of some things along with the dearth of others. He'd spotted some rarities I hadn't, and vice versa. We live in interesting times.

    Currently I'm throwing out mealworms for the blackbirds and starlings who have young, and the robins who haven't fledged yet. I think the first brood of great tits left the box this afternoon just up the road, and I've heard a baby chaffinch, so at least some things are on time.
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by Jan1 on Sun Jun 05 2016, 09:34

    We've had so many grey days recently, it would be lovely to see a blue sky.

    It can be so annoying to watch the weather forecast and see lovely pictiures from BBC viewers who have sent in some wonderful photo's of blue skies ...

    Having said that perhaps grey skies but dry is a lot better than some folk on the continent are suffering

    Saw this yesterday

    Rock Am Ring Festival Sees More Than 70 Injured In Lightning Strike

    At least 71 people have been injured after lightening struck at a music festival.

    Stormy weather struck at the Rock am Ring festival on Friday night, injuring scores of people.

    Police said that 71 people were hospitalised after lightening struck at the music festival in Mendig, western Germany.

    Story here:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/rock-am-ring-festival-injured-lightning-strike_uk_5752df20e4b040e3e81999e0?edition=uk

    Then of course the River levels in Paris are very high ...

    Whatever the weather where you are today - have a good Sunday

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by Derek on Sun Jun 05 2016, 11:58

    Been great in north Cumbria for ages. Was watching Pied Flycatchers and Wood Warblers in Borrowdale two days ago. Also Cuckoos, Redstarts, Tree Pipit and incredible views over Derwentwater from Surprise View woods.
    Best wishes
    Derek
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by graham64 on Sun Jun 05 2016, 21:45

    @Derek wrote:Been great in north Cumbria for ages. Was watching Pied Flycatchers and Wood Warblers in Borrowdale two days ago. Also Cuckoos, Redstarts, Tree Pipit and incredible views over Derwentwater from Surprise View woods.
    Best wishes
    Derek

    Same in Lancs too, gardens are bone dry needed a lot of watering over the last few days. I live on a small cul-de-sac just seven homes, the road is unadopted and is made up of stone chippings it's turned into a dust bowl it's a waste of time washing the car Sad  not complaining though after the cold and rain of a crap spring I'm enjoying the recent weather sunny

    Will be in Cumbria staying with friends in Haverigg no not HMP Laughing  either at the end of the month or early July hoping for good weather then

    Cheers
    Graham


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    Not all cherubs are Angels  Wink nor all diabetics Bonkers  Rolling Eyes
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by chris c on Sun Jun 05 2016, 22:52

    @Derek wrote:Been great in north Cumbria for ages. Was watching Pied Flycatchers and Wood Warblers in Borrowdale two days ago. Also Cuckoos, Redstarts, Tree Pipit and incredible views over Derwentwater from Surprise View woods.
    Best wishes
    Derek
    Ah that takes me back!

    We used to have a few Redstarts here but they have pretty much gone now, except on migration. One of my all time favourite birds. There are a few Black Redstarts at Sizewell.

    Used to have the occasional Wood Warbler in Surrey, once it was singing from the local golf course in the background of A Round With Allis. Mostly they were from the New Forest west.

    When we first moved here we could hear cuckoos from the back window, but all the farmland and woodland ones seem to have gone, still a few mainly near rivers and reedbeds but I've missed them so far this year.

    We used to have Spotted Flycatchers in the garden when I was young, and when we moved here there were a few in other gardens and the churchyard, now also gone. Last few years I've seen more Pied, only on migration though.

    Some things that were predominantly northern and western have moved in, like Buzzards and Peregrines, and I think I saw a Raven in spring from my back window, but my bins were in the car. I'll swap some of your Redstarts and Pied Fly's for a couple of Bitterns and Marsh Harriers, we got loads of them now . . .
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by Jan1 on Mon Jun 06 2016, 19:49

    Well I have to say the birds you are all talking about sound brilliant ...
    Wouldn't it be nice to see some pictures of them Smile

    As for me, I'm just going to say that Hoorah! ... we had some sun today ... sunny  

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by graham64 on Mon Jun 06 2016, 22:31

    @Jan1 wrote:Well I have to say the birds you are all talking about sound brilliant ...
    Wouldn't it be nice to see some pictures of them Smile ,
    As for me, I'm just going to say that Hoorah! ... we had some sun today ... sunny  

    All the best Jan

    Another sunny day here too but I believe a change is coming later on in the week  Sad , can't complain though we have had a good couple of weeks sunny

    Agreed the birds Derek and Chris are seeing are brilliant, as for me inundated with bloody wood pigeons they've been nesting in the hedgerow across the road multiplying their numbers even more crap to be deposited on my car Evil or Very Mad With them dominating the area I'm seeing far less of other species the pair of doves that were around have gone, get the odd blackbird and a pair of water hens but not much else apart from another pest magpies

    Reckon I should invest in an air rifle guns


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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by Jan1 on Tue Jun 07 2016, 18:48

    The clouds were getting darker and darker, very ominous looking.
    Cars had headlights on ... and then suddenly ... the skies opened and down came the rain.

    Parts of South London were badly affected as this picture shows.


    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/flash-floods-in-london-caused-by-torrential-rain_uk_5756d823e4b0790bc54e5f53
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by graham64 on Tue Jun 07 2016, 21:21

    @Jan1 wrote:The clouds were getting darker and darker, very ominous looking.
    Cars had headlights on ... and then suddenly ... the skies opened and down came the rain.

    Parts of South London were badly affected as this picture shows.


    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/flash-floods-in-london-caused-by-torrential-rain_uk_5756d823e4b0790bc54e5f53

    We had a thunderstorm this evening heavy rain but nothing compared with that Jan rain

    It's the first rain we've had for a couple of weeks the gardens needed it. not had to water the bedding plants tonight Very Happy


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    Not all cherubs are Angels  Wink nor all diabetics Bonkers  Rolling Eyes
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by chris c on Wed Jun 08 2016, 19:55

    If it doesn't rain tonight I'm going to have to get the hose out. The latest bunch of storms seem to have bypassed us.

    "Well I have to say the birds you are all talking about sound brilliant ... 
    Wouldn't it be nice to see some pictures of them  "


    Quite a good resource here - the RSPB

    For more technical information The BTO

    For bird songs and other sounds Xeno Canto

    Nightjars  I heard some the other evening and saw them flying around wing-clapping and chomping down on moths

    We don't get these yet but I find their song quite hysterical.

    Sympathies on the woodpigeons, we have far too many here. Would be good if some restaurateur would champion woodpigeon stuffed with rape, the farmers would be delighted. Fat bastards. Sometimes in winter when I drive past a rapefield I sound my horn and a veritable carpet of pigeons ascends, looking for all the world like a thousand bomber raid.
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by graham64 on Wed Jun 08 2016, 21:59

    @chris c wrote:Sympathies on the woodpigeons, we have far too many here. Would be good if some restaurateur would champion woodpigeon stuffed with rape, the farmers would be delighted. Fat bastards. Sometimes in winter when I drive past a rapefield I sound my horn and a veritable carpet of pigeons ascends, looking for all the world like a thousand bomber raid.

    I've been doing some work on the lawn reseeding bald patches after killing off the moss, even though I used  grass seed that supposedly has a bird deterrent it doesn't stop the bloody woodpigeons, I'm trying a different method to scare them off set up the sprinkler on the lawn it's got a rotating head, turned off the water at the indoor stopcock and opened the outside tap on full waited a short time and sure enough a pair of them arrived switched water back on and they shot off. I'm leaving the sprinkler on the lawn hoping they will be put off by it, I doubt it will stop them though.


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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by Jan1 on Fri Jun 10 2016, 18:56

    @chris c wrote:If it doesn't rain tonight I'm going to have to get the hose out. The latest bunch of storms seem to have bypassed us.

    "Well I have to say the birds you are all talking about sound brilliant ... 
    Wouldn't it be nice to see some pictures of them  "


    Quite a good resource here - the RSPB

    For more technical information The BTO

    For bird songs and other sounds Xeno Canto

    Nightjars  I heard some the other evening and saw them flying around wing-clapping and chomping down on moths

    We don't get these yet but I find their song quite hysterical.

    Sympathies on the woodpigeons, we have far too many here. Would be good if some restaurateur would champion woodpigeon stuffed with rape, the farmers would be delighted. Fat bastards. Sometimes in winter when I drive past a rapefield I sound my horn and a veritable carpet of pigeons ascends, looking for all the world like a thousand bomber raid.

    Thanks for all the links ...

    My favourite is the RSPB one, full of fabulous photo's and information  Smile

    http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by Jan1 on Fri Jun 10 2016, 19:03

    @graham64 wrote:
    @chris c wrote:Sympathies on the woodpigeons, we have far too many here. Would be good if some restaurateur would champion woodpigeon stuffed with rape, the farmers would be delighted. Fat bastards. Sometimes in winter when I drive past a rapefield I sound my horn and a veritable carpet of pigeons ascends, looking for all the world like a thousand bomber raid.

    I've been doing some work on the lawn reseeding bald patches after killing off the moss, even though I used  grass seed that supposedly has a bird deterrent it doesn't stop the bloody woodpigeons, I'm trying a different method to scare them off set up the sprinkler on the lawn it's got a rotating head, turned off the water at the indoor stopcock and opened the outside tap on full waited a short time and sure enough a pair of them arrived switched water back on and they shot off. I'm leaving the sprinkler on the lawn hoping they will be put off by it, I doubt it will stop them though.

    ... yes, one of our sons has also been complaining about 'pesky pigeons'.
    He too had a few bald patches on the lawn, and I have a feeling that despite putting some seed down the bald patches may still be there affraid

    Our car recently had a visit from pesky pigeons ... well it may have been another type of bird I'm not sure - I only saw the after event.
    Instead of a red car it was a red car dotted with plenty of white stuff UGH ... the joys Evil or Very Mad

    All cleaned up ok though Smile

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by graham64 on Fri Jun 10 2016, 21:24

    @Jan1 wrote:
    @graham64 wrote:
    @chris c wrote:Sympathies on the woodpigeons, we have far too many here. Would be good if some restaurateur would champion woodpigeon stuffed with rape, the farmers would be delighted. Fat bastards. Sometimes in winter when I drive past a rapefield I sound my horn and a veritable carpet of pigeons ascends, looking for all the world like a thousand bomber raid.

    I've been doing some work on the lawn reseeding bald patches after killing off the moss, even though I used  grass seed that supposedly has a bird deterrent it doesn't stop the bloody woodpigeons, I'm trying a different method to scare them off set up the sprinkler on the lawn it's got a rotating head, turned off the water at the indoor stopcock and opened the outside tap on full waited a short time and sure enough a pair of them arrived switched water back on and they shot off. I'm leaving the sprinkler on the lawn hoping they will be put off by it, I doubt it will stop them though.

    ... yes, one of our sons has also been complaining about 'pesky pigeons'.
    He too had a few bald patches on the lawn, and I have a feeling that despite putting some seed down the bald patches may still be there affraid

    Our car recently had a visit from pesky pigeons ... well it may have been another type of bird I'm not sure - I only saw the after event.
    Instead of a red car it was a red car dotted with plenty of white stuff UGH ... the joys Evil or Very Mad

    All cleaned up ok though Smile

    All the best Jan

    Jan  woodpigeons don't do dotted they do large splatters  Shocked

    Last two days have been spent looking after my grandson so I expect the woodpigeons have been feasting on my grass seed Twisted Evil Complete turnaround with the weather today it's been cloudy with really heavy downpours staying quite warm for now though


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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by chris c on Sat Jun 11 2016, 18:15

    I've been alternating walks with gardening. I seem to keep meeting really interesting people and staying out far too long. 

    Yesterday after I bought some more Gloucester Old Spot sausages and asparagus from the farm shop I went for a brief walk but it was aborted by the rain.

    On the way home it cleared up so I went on a much longer walk over the farmland, hoping but failing to hear the Turtle Doves that are still around in smaller quantities than before.

    Ended up meeting a retired farmer, who was out with his rifle after rabbits, and we spent hours reminiscing about tractors, combines and birds from our youth. Like so many people while he wasn't exactly a low carber he was a great fan of Real Food. Slightly perversely he preferred barley fed beef to grass fed, but then he pointed out that the grain-fed cows were killed much younger, which may be why they were more tender.

    Some of the sausages and asparagus met their maker when I finally got home.

    Today was another gardening day, I got several more buckets of weeds and forgetmenots added to the compost pile before the rains started again. Actually we only had a trace of drizzle, but there was a thunderstorm not far away, so I might have to go round with the hose after all.

    My car has been splattered too. Fat bastards! Meanwhile the robins, blackbirds and starlings are harassing me to keep throwing out handfuls of mealworms.

    I have the distinct impression that the weather is not only going from extreme to extreme but doing so on a smaller geographical scale.
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by graham64 on Sat Jun 11 2016, 23:51


    Good low carb wood pigeon recipe from the BBC Smile

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/wood_pigeon
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by Jan1 on Sun Jun 12 2016, 08:13

    @graham64 wrote:

    Good low carb wood pigeon recipe from the BBC Smile

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/wood_pigeon


    I don't think I have ever eaten pigeon ... but it does look a tasty recipe idea, with those leeks and wild mushrooms ...

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by Derek on Sun Jun 12 2016, 19:07

    The beef up here is something special. My eldest took us out for my birthday meal last week.  I had a 13oz sirloin and wife and daughter had fillet steak it was about the best steak I have tasted.
    They post at the restaurant which local farm the (grass fed!) beef comes from.
    Derek
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    Re: Weather Redux

    Post by graham64 on Sun Jun 12 2016, 21:46

    @Jan1 wrote:I don't think I have ever eaten pigeon ... but it does look a tasty recipe idea, with those leeks and wild mushrooms ...

    Feel free to come and bag yourself a brace Jan Very Happy


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    Proving the LowCarb sceptics wrong for over nine years,

    Not all cherubs are Angels  Wink nor all diabetics Bonkers  Rolling Eyes

      Current date/time is Sat Aug 19 2017, 23:12