Sunday, 18 October 2020

October Miscellany

 Since we were unable to leave Dublin county in September (or at least, after we were both free to take a day off), we were unable to go sloe gathering in our normal location this year, and the one place I knew to try nearer home was fruitless. So we are trying raspberry gin this year instead of sloe gin. Today was the day for straining and bottling it - we had a pavlova with some of the gin-infused berries. I don't think it's a patch on sloe gin, and I'm glad I found one last jar of that hiding away so we are not totally destitute, but I'm sure we'll enjoy drinking it. I was surprised to see how much colour the lemon slices had picked up.

C went for his more or less customary walk after work on Thursday, and came back saying he had something to show me. He had seen a little hedgehog while walking across the green area near us - he had a couple of photos on his camera and he asked me did I want to go and see if it was still there. With perfect timing, I had about twenty minutes before it was time to add the eggs on top of my layered tomato, pepper and onion dish, so we went back. He was still there - an odd time for him to be out. Apparently he lives in one of the houses across the road. As he was being very slow crossing, and it was a moderately busy time of day, someone put on some work gloves and gave him a helping hand. It was certainly an unusual time of day for him to be out, so I hope he wasn't ill. It's a few years since we last saw a live one. From the size, I think it was a young one. It's probably almost hibernation time - temperatures last night fell to near freezing.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Utility Boxes

 A couple more utility boxes - one from Cork, when we were down a few weekends ago before we were, once again, limited to travel within Dublin. No expedition to the Galway/Clare border to look for sloes this year: when the park where we have gathered them before proved fruitless, I bought some raspberries and we will try raspberry gin instead. This utility box is one of a series, but by the time I passed some more, I was fully laden and less inclined to stop.

The other one is on the main road outside the Botanic Gardens, and I've always wanted to take a picture of it. Last weekend C went back to the car, and I went out the front gate and walked back along the road.

And just a couple more photos from the Botanic Gardens, since I'm revisiting it...

Thursday, 1 October 2020

September Favourites

 September's creativity was sort of shoe-horned in here and there whenever I had a little spare time. I find the dark evenings less conducive to stamping and colouring, but bought another lamp for my desk which has helped.

It appears I didn't take one single photograph last October. If I did, I can't find them - so my header photo is from Monet's garden in Giverny the previous October, 2018. Those seed heads just made me think of the fantasy florals from Lavinia Stamps. 

I was very relieved that the lighthouse arrived at its destination, as soon as I had dropped it into the letterbox I realised that I hadn't added a stamp. Perhaps it helped that it was staying in Ireland. The Time Flies card uses a watch that C was about to throw out. I asked him to give me the dial, and I thought I'd better use it before I lost the hands, which came off.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Botanic Sunshine

 We woke in good time on Saturday morning and enjoyed a breakfast of cinnamon buns. I need to translate and write out the recipe because I have lost my original translated version; though it's tagged as "American", it's from a long-ago French magazine, let's hazard a guess at 40 years or so. I still have the original file card from the magazine. Plenty of maple syrup along with the butter, sugar and cinnamon. We'll be finishing them off for breakfast or morning coffee tomorrow. 

And since it was a beautiful clear blue sky with sunshine, and we were still early enough to get to the Botanic Gardens before the car park was full, we made the effort and were glad we did. The greenhouses are still all closed, but there was plenty to see and enjoy. 

Loved seeing all the little treasures some boy had found it worthwhile collection in the back of his bicycle.

One particularly fearless squirrel scrambled up C's legs in the hope of finding some food, but unfortunately he considers them to be rodents and shook it off before I could take a photo. 

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

August Favourites

 ...are very thin on the ground! But I loved how the "watered garden" card came together - I had coloured the umbrella girl a couple of months ago whilst talking on the phone, and she always needs a bigger card. Choosing the verse to use with her prompted me to add the outsize flowers behind her. And I also love how the Paris canvas (it's about 10" x 8") came together. I'd originally started it last year.

The header photo is Chinese Lanterns from the garden - and this year's crop is just about ready to harvest,

Saturday, 1 August 2020

July Favourites

Are very thin on the ground, for various reasons including the week away in Clare. 

I had pulled a card from my stash for my brother-in-law's birthday, but when his gift was a book on Japanese architecture, I thought I'd make a card to go to with it. 

This month's header photo was taken in the Arboretum in Fota last August, when I  spent a night with my sister and we took a trip there. It was a toss-up between this photo and one of a butterfly on some yellow kniphofia.

I've had to turn on comment moderation due to an increase in spam comments - sorry about that! But I have found out how to receive email notifications, so I can approve comments quickly. 

Monday, 27 July 2020

One Sunny Day

When we were driving home from Coole, the skies cleared to a lovely blue. And the next morning we had another window of good-weather opportunity. It hadn't been in the forecast, so we weren't prepared for a longer drive but we took an outing to a lake that was not too far away. With the sun out, it was quite warm on the limestone once we were out of the wind. We saw plenty of wagtails, a female chaffinch and some unidentified small brown birds.

Sunday, 26 July 2020

More of Clare

Our second outing was to Coole, one of our regular places to visit. I still remember the time we went over a New Year, when there had been heavy flooding in the locality followed by some freezing weather. Some of the paths were inaccessible, and some had a layer of ice over shallow water. That was a much abbreviated but memorable and enjoyable walk. 

The first two photos are part of a series, a facsimile copy of one of Yeats' poems. 
No swans (or hares, we've seen those here before) to be seen - all I found was three swan feathers. And despite the fact that apparently it has been a very dry summer down there, the lake was quite full, and towards the end of it there were parts where the narrow trail was submerged. 

There was an amazing thicket of wild raspberries - ripe, juicy, sweet. I wished I'd had something to collect some in. As it was, we just enjoyed a passing snack. 
Plenty of assorted fungi - and a young frog who still seemed to have part of his tail.