News from Australia
My niece Kathy in Australia sent me this adorable photo of her twin girls, Katelyn and Heidi. They were flower girls at a wedding. How beautiful they look.I bet they felt just like princesses for the day. I last saw them a year ago and they have certainly grown. I do hope they'll be able to come to Ireland and see us before too long.
News From Wakefield, UK
Jim sent me this lovely photo of his trip 'up North' to see his sister Val, who is over from New Zealand and two of her Grandsons, twins Thomas and George. How odd its that. Two sets of twins in one day!I am hopeless at knowing which twin is which! So it's Thomas and George on the outside and Jim and Val in the middle (Jim's the one with the beard)..... The 2 boys are 6'4" tall. They're huge and, like their older brothers Sam and Luke, they play rugby league and are already training with the 'big' teams. Sam and Luke (Burgess) are both on the television regularly and we often watch them play. I can see it won't be too long before we're watching these two. Aren't they lovely? All four are delightful boys. Sadly their father died last year but Mum Julie (Jim's niece) watches them play all over the country and used to play herself!
I had a wander around the meadow yesterday and as well as taking 2 panoramas I took some photos of the bluebells. It's still early days and they are not fully out yet. We have hares all over the place and they eat the bulbs and make huge holes everywhere but some do survive thankfully.
You have to enlarge it to see them properly among the long grass
They are such a gorgeous colour
A hole left by a hare, and below
More hare holes! They also dig for pignut bulbs.
This is the entrance to the bluebell walk. It's all a bit wild at the moment.
When I first decided to make this little walk through the dense blackthorn, I said, jokingly, 'lets call it bluebell walk', having no idea that any bluebells really grew there! It was so funny when the following spring, up popped all the bluebells. I must have known.
There are lots of ferns in there too
and hundreds of sycamore trees
Inside bluebell walk, looking back to the far end. On a hot summer's day (ha ha) it's lovely and cool in here
It's dark in there, so I had to use flash
This is where you pop out, back onto the meadow.
Turn right and it's a short walk through willow trees to: The Rootery
What was a style, now a bit broken, but you can just step over it. This takes you straight ahead to the mini wood area, or rootery, or left to the arboretum (see below). You can see the extension through the trees.
This is where you pop out
This delicate little fern is growing under the trees there
We saw a 'rootery' at Prince Charles's garden and thought how wonderful it was. Now, whenever we have some interesting bits of chopped trees or ivy, we put them there. Below are some of the pieces we have.
This is actually ivy!
Looks like an alien creature
An old hollow log props up a rather spindly hazel tree
The edge of the rootery (left) onto the arboretum. I like the way Jim mows along the edge and leaves the other part long
I just turned round and BlackJack was sitting on Kitty's newly washed quilt!! AAAH!
I promised Mildred Nalley (from Nalley Valley), who loves butterflies and dragonflies, that I would post a photo of the dragonfly on our kitchen wall, so here it is. It's not the best photo, sadly:
The row of taller trees and shrubs is our boundary, the meadow is actually 3+ acres.
I had another go at this one but had to shrink it rather a lot. Please click on it to enlarge. This is taken standing at the 'crossroads' of Jim's mown paths in the meadow. I had my back to the house. I hope you can make it out as it was rather dull.
I'm off into Jim's cubby hole now to try and clean it up a bit. I told him a while ago it looked like a teenager's room and he rather sheepishly brought down a pile of mugs! See you all later maybe.
5pm. Oh well, the best laid plans of mice and men and all that.... It's absolutely pouring down, blowing sideways so my plans to go and tidy the bluebell walk have been scuppered. I did, however, clean Jim's den. Cat hair free floor now. Better do Kitty's quilt instead...