Thursday, 25 April 2013

Green mist, white froth

After it stopped raining today I walked down to post some letters and pick up a couple of things from the greengrocer. I could really see a green mist on a lot of the trees now, and the cherry blossom is finally out in strength. And a lot easier to photograph than the green haze on the trees, though I like this photo as it still has  a totally bare tree in the foreground. The third picture is a chestnut tree.

The remaining photos were taken on the way to work on of the brighter mornings. I discovered it's a bit hard to feed the gulls and take photos at the same time!

The coffee sign is outside the same restaurant which had the Spring sign way back in February! (last photo in the post). I hope they're more accurate in their description of their coffee than in their weather forecasting.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Don't Bug Me

It's getting warmer, it most definitely is. Last time C visited his parents they'd been sitting in the sun at the end of their garden, and yesterday he did the same.
After he came in he felt something in his hair, and when he put his hand up to feel it, this Hawthorn Shield Bug (I think) hopped off and landed on the floor. Luckily (because I had something under the grill and couldn't spare much time) the macro lens was on the camera, so I took a couple of quick shots after bringing it outside.

We haven't had any long-tailed tits for a week now. I miss them, scruffy little things that they are, but I hope it's a good sign that they're now finding plenty of insects in the wild. Certainly I've seen bumblebees and even butterflies flying around. We still have a bunch of redpolls and goldfinches, thoough.

A redpoll, and two long-tailed tits from last week.

Hot news - I think there are little robins in the hedgerow. I hear the cheeping, and I see an adult flying back with food in its mouth. Maybe that inept male robin wasn't totally ineffective in his courtship. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for some baby robins!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Mixed Bag

A couple of photos from an alternative route to work that I've recently started walking occasionally. It helps that I pass the HSQ Superquinn where they have one of the best yoghurts I've tasted outside France. C is pretty fond of them too.

First photo is, I assume, an extractor hood on the roof of Heuston station.
Second photo is the Brunel building in HSQ (Heuston South Quarter) - the curved one on the right. See that blue sky!! It's been pretty windy (enough to get hand-washed Aran sweaters dry yesterday), but a lot milder and how lovely to see some more blue skies. I know Brunel worked on the railway line from Dublin down to Greystones, including the tunnels between Bray and Greystones, so I know for sure there's a railway link with him. I haven't looked at what any of the other buildings are called.

Shadows on a fence

The robins are still squaring off any time I put food out. The one on the wall is the less dominant male, the one on the log has puffed himself up to look big and intimidating.

I had to order a large bag of nyjer seed online recently; between the goldfinches, the redpolls who are back in force and the siskins it's going down pretty fast, and it's hard to find reliably in any of the shops here - and expensive! More blue sky and a goldfinch. I think some time C is going to get me a better zoom lens!!

Friday, 12 April 2013

April Showers

C was pretty wet when he got home too. He'd put on all his waterproof gear in the morning and didn't really need it, so he decided to take a chance on the way home. I saw this little robin just when C drove his bike into the back yard.
But at last we have a little warmth! I've taken a gamble and planted a few seeds...

Sunday, 7 April 2013


One quick photo from a visit to Farmleigh yesterday, because this one needs no editing.
It was cold enough, I don't think temperatures rose much above 8C (46, 27 F), but in the sunshine it was WARM.
And it was sunny! We woke up early, so I cooked the German Apple Pancake for breakfast and still had time to potter around a little before we went to Farmleigh (which doesn't open till ten). There is a Japanese Festival tomorrow, and I felt so sad for them because all the cherry trees behind the Boathouse CafĂ© and along the edge of the lawn where they had sited some marquees were as bare as bare could be. And the magnolias are still all tightly cased in their fuzzy  - what do you call them?
There weren't even as many daffodils as usual, but the scilla was out all over.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

March cards

Two of my favourite cards for March are Christmas cards, so I won't post them here...
It felt like an unproductive month, especially when there was a week that I didn't make any cards at all while we were dog-sitting, but I find I have quite a few favourites.
The first one is Serendipity Squares - a messy technique from way back but always fun. The third one is done with Couleur d'Art pencils, which I've had for years. How did it take me this long to learn that they acat as a resist with inks, so I can colour and then sponge the background without worrying about masking?  I got a set of 24 a long time ago when I worked in import and distribution of fine art supplies - the box of 48 was never in stock when I wanted it. 24 is limiting, though - so a large box of pencils is coming my way later this month.

Monday, 1 April 2013


Well, Easter has been and gone, along with one of the coldest Marches on record.
Not too much chocolate here for Easter - but an eggy surprise when I was doing fried eggs for a bunch and found two double-yolkers. Not much time for fancy photography because I like my yolks runny!

A male siskin has joined the female at the feeders - and his colours are so vibrant. My book says they are the same size as the goldfinches, but this one looks slightly smaller to me. C is still lamenting that he hasn't managed to spot a waxwing anywhere, but the siskin is a good runner-up consolation prize.

The redpolls are also back, although not in as large numbers as a couple of years ago. Hopefully more will be along - they're fun to watch.

And the squirrel is up to his usual acrobatics. When I spotted him using the bracket for holding the water dish to balance on, I moved it further down the pole, but of course that didn't deter him!

I had to put some poison down when I saw a rat under the feeder. While I could do without the squirrel, I'm quite glad that he hasn't gone the same way as the rat(s).