Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Saturday, 26 July 2014

An Early Harvest

It's been a bit of an all sorts week with a prom, climbing the Cathedral again, walking in the countryside, intense heat and occasional rain.  I am trying to embrace this 'good' weather but finding it a bit hard to have any energy, so looking at the deck chair in the garden makes me want to stop any work and just sleep away this weather.
But where do I start?  I think a mosaic starting top left and working clockwise to begin with...
Firstly, Mr Teen had his prom at the end of last week and thoroughly enjoyed saying goodbye to his school.  He is so ready to start college life.  Secondly, was a nice walk I had today with Mr Teen (in the scorching heat I may add - you would be so proud of me) - more on that later.  Thirdly, this wonderful sun parasol which is being my saving grace at the moment if I dare venture outside.  My garden is south facing so it is a nightmare for someone who likes to hide away from it.  Fourthly, the rain last weekend.  It was torrential but not refreshing.  How I longed for more air, but it was all too brief.  Fifthly, back up the Cathedral.  I took Miss Teen to about half way this time but then she had to meet her mates (we were a little late)!  So, I took shots of my colleague who you can see just about in the centre of the photo.  I am so proud of her as she was facing her fears.  So, I haven't been as busy as these little furry bundles, but in this heat, I sure felt like it!
The stone masons have certainly been busy with replacing stones.  If you remember from my last climb, the bottom left stone was missing.  Here it is in its brand new glory (complete with brush!).
During my drives to and from work this week, I have noticed how early the combine harvesters have been working.  It's not even August and already there are blocks of harvested wheat ready.  This is more like one of my autumn shots.
Both me and Mr Teen decided to take a walk down one of our usual trails to Four Mile Bar.  This is a quiet walk surrounded by flat open countryside in Lincolnshire.  A bit of a nightmare when we are surrounded by uncut wheat which is full of millions of thrips!
There was a breeze, but as soon as that gave way you certainly felt the intense heat from the sun.
Crossing the water on this bridge of planks reminded me of the time we came here in the cold winter with the wind howling around our ears (this post is here).  We were cold, but it blew the cobwebs away.  This time we were being bitten to pieces!
It was so lovely to see and hear the wildlife in its full abundance though, as well as the plants growing in the river. 
 And so we carried on through the fields and I started enjoying being bitten while getting up close to the wheat.
And then seeing little gems such as these everywhere I looked.  There is such an abundance of butterflies this year, have you noticed? 
 And obviously with butterflies, comes the catapillar.  Mr Teen found this one who was rather aggressive.  Any ideas?
 Above us the planes were taking off from the glider club and towing along the elegant and graceful gliders.
The views down the little winding river were so familiar, and so green.  It was a real pleasure to re-visit them.
And seeing little seed heads all around with fluffy tendrils.  Nature at one of its best times.
Next time I am here I will bring a bag to collect some of these little treasures for some elderflower wine (or champagne)!
We eventually got to the River Welland with the bridge going over, this is known as Four Mile Bar, and is one of the many flood defences for the Fens.
The bridge was in the distance with the beautiful cloud dotted sky.  However we noticed two figures on the top of the bridge...
Now, I'm not condoning it, but they had the right idea!  It was hot, sultry hot, and by this time there was no breeze and we were desperate to get back home.
As we walked, we saw one of them jump in and then I focused the camera so I could catch the next one.  With a little hesitation, he jumped!
By the time they had swam to the side we were level with them.  I asked if they had hurt themselves but they were full of smiles and said it was cool and they would be happy for me to join them!  I said I would make a much bigger splash and carried on walking!!

And so, it was another walk back past the fields...
And past the tempting wildlife.
Then through the freshly harvested fields back home.
Home to a new picnic table under my pergola with my attempt at patchwork and a very large drink!  The swing with crocheted blanket can wait until the evening.!
 So, the dandelion clock is now ticking for that evening when I return here to see Summer end and Autumn begin.  I've been brave venturing out in this heat and now sit here tapping away with camomile lotion dotted all over me with the bites to prove it! 
Thank you dear Readers for your comments last week.  I have been truly terrible this past week with visiting everyone but when I haven't the energy my brain frazzles to nothing!  I will try to be a good blogger this week (I think it may rain tomorrow - which is good!).

Have a wonderful week as we enter into August.

Take care.

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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Too Much Heat!

Now that the middle of July is here, the humidity levels have started to rise and the heat is beginning to make me a very grumpy Sweetbriar Dreams.  The rain has fallen with a very cheery hello from me to freshen the air, but unfortunately, this raised the humidity even more.  The positive side is the joy to see the watery pools on the plants before they evaporate.
So, with this in mind dear Readers, please forgive me because I haven't been out and about as usual this week as summer and me are not the best of friends.  Once this oppressive heat and humidity lift, and I have put together my planned trips for the summer holidays, I am sure normal service will be resumed.

Take care, and keep cool.

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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Enjoying the Colours of the Season

After last week's post, I've had to come back down to earth.  Believe me, I could have stayed up that scaffolding probably forever, but life goes on and, to be perfectly frank, there wasn't a toilet!  So, with camera in hand it was time to capture some things that were closer to the ground, closer to earth, and to see how the hard work of autumn and spring was faring in the garden.  It was time to have a little 'down' time and recharge the batteries, time for some gardening eye candy.

This had to start with my annual love of the bounty that can be cut from my Grandma's lavender bush accompanied by the gorgeous summer scent of sweetpeas.  I only wish you could bury your nose into this shot as the smell is intoxicating.
A little while ago I reviewed The Cut Flower Patch by Louise Curley (my post is here).  I bought lots of seeds to revamp two small beds and then to be patient before I could cut the flowers that would be produced for my containers in the house.  Slowly, but surely these little seeds have started to now produce enough flowers each week to fill my house with the vibrant colours of summer.  
Quite a few are still to blossom and bloom but the beauty in these little patches of garden are giving us so much enjoyment.  The cornflowers are happily bursting with their firework displays of all different colours, however the cornflower blue has to be my favourite.
The cosmos is just starting to unfurl its fingers to show off its purple pigment.
The Nigella is such an unusual flower, looking more like an alien being or a creepy green bug sitting on the white petals.
In amongst the new flowers, there are the grand old ones that come back year after year to say 'remember me?', such as the Shasta Daisy.
Giving the white focal point to the cut flower patches.
The pink petals of the roses gently sway in the humid air.
The sweetpeas have wrapped their tendrils up to the top of the white iron frame and the pastel tinged flowers really make us happy with the continual cutting and filling the vases.
All with a little help of these buzzing furry friends.
The lilies wave their stain provoking pollen for any passers by. 
Some old friends had popped up through the ground from the herb bed that was.  Feverfew, so useful for someone who has headaches like me.
So, outside the two cut flower patches are growing and the greenery will soon become a burst of colour.
But inside, the constant stream of cut flowers will be ever changing in the containers by day...
... and by night.
For now though, I will sink my nose back into this cloud of colour and scent.
Thank you all for your lovely comments last week on my ascent to the top of the Cathedral.  I have asked to have just one more look, so hope to be back up again soon.

Have a wonderful weekend and week, hopefully spending time relaxing in your gardens or out and about enjoying the new colours of the season.

Take care.

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