Wednesday, 31 August 2016


For the last few summers I have spent hours picking my way through the nettle patches on our land and finding a rich and varied stock of insects but this year they are barren.  Perhaps the ducks who spend a lot of time grazing there have eaten them all?

This summer I will have to make do with  a nettle leaf.......



I was surprised to find this Germander Speedwell on our little meadow yesterday, quite late in the summer.....


Sunday, 28 August 2016

Little and Large...?

Our Muscovy ducks lay large eggs.

But every now and again they excel themselves and lay a whopper.  On the right is a standard Cream Legbar egg, medium to large I guess.  On the left is a very large Muscovy egg, probably a double yolker............


Friday, 26 August 2016

Thursday, 25 August 2016


My Mother planted a greengage tree around twenty years ago in her little orchard here at the cottage. In the intervening years it has never produced more than half a dozen edible fruit in total despite being laden with blossom every spring. This year the tree is absolutely laden with fruit....!!


Sunday, 21 August 2016

Saturday, 20 August 2016


We are quite blessed living here at the cottage for many reasons, not least of which is the regular, magnificent sunsets.....


Friday, 19 August 2016

Bufo Bufo

This little toad is one of our regular evening visitors.



We have a little patch of Harebells nestling on the old bridge abutments beside the burn where they are protected from the grazing horses.


Broom Seed Pods

Broom Pods - Holly Cottage


Autumn is approaching, some of the bramble leaves are turning and the fruit not yet ripening.....


Thursday, 18 August 2016

Worcester Pearmain Apples

One of the twenty odd fruit trees we planted in the new orchard above the burn last spring, looking very promising.....



One of the many Hawkbit plants in our field, numerous in both quantity and variety but I have no idea which this is, the intricacies of Hawkbit id is baffling....

Hawkbit - Holly Cottage

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Elder Leaves

These young Elder leaves have appeared quite late in the year and are starting to fade already in the warm weather of the last few days.DSC_0020

Tuesday, 16 August 2016


A few weeks ago we had this dramatic, moody sunset..


Malus sylvestra - Native Crab Apple

I planted some native crabs at the cottage about eight years ago when my Mother still lived here, planted just because I love them and with no intention of ever living here let alone being about to harvest the fruit!  This is the first year of fruiting and wonderful they look too.....


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Lesser Stitchwort

Lesser Stitchwort nestling in a bracken frond on the banks above the burn today.


Dock Leaf

The time of year when leaves start to change colour is rapidly arriving. This dock leaf is one of the first.

Dock Leaf - Holly Cottage

Solanum tuberosum L.

Every year we have potatoes growing in the compost bays, none of them planted but growing from some which must have been waste from the kitchen years ago.  No idea what it's companion is called, a hoverfly of some sort.