Sunday, 26 June 2016

June's Photo Scavenger Hunt Challenge:

Hi - I had never intended to have a blog having been quite content to just follow other blogs, especially Hawthorn's.  Some of you more eagle eyed bloggers may have noticed from my comments that I am her very proud mother.  She persuaded me to enter the first Scavenger Photo Hunt in April and then I was hooked! We were going on holiday in May so I sent my photographs in nice and early but unfortunately I did something to them and Hawthorn could not download them to her blog.  By the time we got home and I re-sent them it was really too late.  (Anyone who may be interested in seeing my interpretation on last month's titles can see them by scrolling down below June's entries.)  

Saturday June 26 2016

June Photo Scavenger Hunt



We normally go on holiday to Northumberland in autumn but this year were there in spring so it was a pleasant surprise to see this familiar view of  the fields approaching  Bamburgh Castle a brilliant yellow of flowering rape. 



My daughter-in-law is a geologist and has the most beautiful stones around her home. I was spoilt for choice but eventually settled for this  huge purple fluorite standing on a coaster on her coffee table. 


Where we live we are lucky enough to see the most spectacular skies from our lounge window.  I had a job selecting one from my vast collection.


This photograph was taken just below The Strid on the River Wharf at Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire,  one hot July afternoon.


I  have a file on my desktop labelled 'Favourites' and this is from that file.  This is a picture of our youngest grandchild playing with Roxy, our son and daughter-in-law's dog, taken about eight years ago.  I love the colour of the trees reflecting on the water and the contrast with the blonde hair and fair skin of 'Youngest'. (He is a taller and older now having just finished writing his GCSE's!! Today Roxy is a dignified 9 year old Chocolate Lab.) 


Not your usual type of dwelling place, I grant you, but different and colourful!  Taken from our lounge window. 


I have a strange garden, mostly on a tarred drive.  We are the end flat of four and so are able to use the driveway without blocking other residents.  The area is large enough to hold a greenhouse and shed as well as masses of pots, some with small shrubs or herbs, others filled with colourful annuals.  I have a frame holding troughs where I grow cut and come again vegetables and some annuals for colour.  I battle with the squirrels and blackbirds, the former digging up my plants to bury their peanuts and the latter digging for worms.  It is one constant battle of wits between them and myself.   We have also made a lower shade garden, accessed through the gate with the garden sign.  It is down a six step ladder to a cool selections of ferns and other shade plants with a path winding through them.


I found this gate and archway almost hidden by an overgrown climbing rose in the garden of the owner of the farm cottage where we always stay at Lowick, Northumberland. .


Am I alone is remembering that as a child I believed that fairies washed their faces in the dew drop in the centre of a leaf?

Own choice

This is the original Jak, our beloved old cat who lived till the age of 11.  In this photograph he is sleeping in one of his favourite places, on top of the shed roof. 

Sunday, 5 June 2016

May Scavenger Photo Hunt

Path into my secret garden.

Instead of the hirsute meaning of hairy, I thought I would use its other meaning of scary.  Very scary!!

Some years ago we went to Kariba to stay with my brother-in-law and his wife Ena.   The temperatures in Kariba are up in the 40’s and we had been out fishing for a few days.  This particular day Ena and I decided to let the boys go off on their own and we would have a restful day in the shade of the cool veranda.
There had been an elephant wandering around between the lodges for a while when suddenly she decided to come into our garden.  My sister-in-law, full of nonsense as ever, threw an orange towards the eli who picked the orange up in her trunk and ate it, obviously enjoying it.  So Ena threw another, then another each time a bit nearer to us.  The elephant then came closer and closer, towards the source of the delicious oranges, which she could no doubt smell.  She walked right up to the end of the raised veranda, which thankfully had a wooden rail.  I got behind the kitchen unit and took one more picture just in case she got in and trampled on us, that would give proof as to what had happened to us!!!  I have never been so frightened!!  The open door in the photograph is a double door, which gives an idea of the size of the elephants head. 

Add caption
Can you see him? Look hard and you will see a little tiny elf standing in the shadows. The picture was taken 11 years ago and now that little elf has grown up into a wonderful 18 year old young man, just successfully finished his A levels and about to set off on the next chapter of his life.


I love using fresh flowers in salads and as decorations on special cakes.  I decided to look up what other plants were edible besides the few I usually use and was astounded to see the long, long list.
I particularly love using nasturtiums too – both the flowers and the leaves.  As children we would bite off the end of the flower and having checked there were no ants inside, suck out the honey – delicious.


This poem is not the most beautiful or inspiring but it does bring back memories.  As a child I had a war time edition of Cecily Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies.  It had the most beautiful plates, each picture a full page size.  I can’t remember why I needed a fancy dress costume but my mother and a friend made this Daisy Fairy costume for me.  I know I learnt the little poem that went with it.
Sadly I no longer have the original book as I lent it to Hawthorns’ ballet teacher to use for ideas for ballet costumes.  She died rather suddenly and when I went to collect my book her sister insisted that they had never had it and as I had trustingly lent it to the teacher I had no way of getting it back.  My mother knew how upset I was losing the book so bought me a modern version for a birthday present.
With the daisies out now in the grass outside our flat, I felt it appropriate to use this little poem and gorgeous illustration for May.


I thought I would do a different kind of 'hand' for my entry in this category; banana hands.  I have often wondered how much people know about how a banana grows.  It starts off with a wonderful long purple/green 'flower' or inflorescence which  contains many bracts between rows of flowers.  As each bract opens a row of tiny green banana shaped fruit with a flower on the tip is exposed,  They  start off facing upwards, not down as one would think. Eventually the whole bunch has developed, dropped its bracts and the bananas have started to turn downwards.  The bunch is wrapped in plastic to protect it from the wind and insects.  When fully grown it is cut off and the whole 'trunk' which is made up of the bases of leaves tightly packed together, is cut right down to the ground with a machete and a sucker allowed to grow in its place.   This photograph was taken just down the road from our house in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

As children we used to play  around with the bracts that fell off by putting them on our heads, but thinking about it now, I have no idea why we did that!!  Maybe because they fitted like caps.  We also tore off squares of the leaves and scratched secret messages on them for friends in 'our gang'. Very Famous Five!!! 


We came across this lovely and well loved Austin 7 one day whilst walking in Bamburgh, Northumberland in September 2009.  My husband would dearly love this car!!


This is a wintry view outside our window taken in February 2009.  I love the long shadows at this time of the year.

                                                                   View from a window

Although this is the same view as my 'shadows' picture, this was taken in October of the same year and I love the warm sunshine and autumn colours just starting to show. Although we live on a main road, if we just look up a little higher than the passing traffic we have this gorgeous view.  We are lucky.

My Own Choice

We went into Barnoldswick a few days after May Day and to our surprise there was this display of maypole dancing by local school girls.  We stopped to enjoy it in the morning sunshine and I took a couple of pictures on my phone. It was only when we got home that I realised that if we had been on the other side of the square we would have been able to see the May Queen who was seated on the other side of the May Pole with her princesses standing on either side of her.  It was lovely to see local traditions being carried on by these young girls and their teacher.