Monday, 13 November 2017

Kicking through the autumn leaves

Our walks this week seem to have taken us towards the woods....

There is still a patchwork of autumn colours to be found.

I'm afraid I do revert to childhood and can't resist kicking through a pile of leaves just for the fun of it!

It's amazing how one side of the wood there are still plenty of leaves on the trees whereas on the other side they have already fallen, both sides have a different beauty to portray.

I had a number of queries following my previous post expressing surprise that anyone can pick up fossils along the beach so I thought I would show you some that we have found over the years, most of them have been found wandering along the beach at Charmouth.

Round Ammonites and cylinder shape Belemnites, are the most common  they are both extinct type of Mollusc, which creatures today would include octupus, cuttlefish, snails and slugs.

Top picture marine worms, bottom picture fossil wood.

As I mention in my previous post in the comments, if the fossils are loose on the beach the public can take them away, the reason behind this if they aren't picked up they will be eventually washed out to sea and lost. For further information see Charmouth Fossil hunting and there is a very good historical novel  called Amazing Creatures by Tracey Chevalier which tells the story of the famous fossil hunter Mary Anning and is  well worth reading.

Hope you are all having a good week, thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Along the Jurassic Coast

As we head towards the end of the year time seems to fly by even faster .......

This week the weather seems to have been quite good and instead of sitting inside working on a project to encourage everyone to explore more, we followed our own advice and managed lots of walks along the Jurassic coast.

The rock formations vary in each location and provide a completely different feeling and walk along the seashore - from the golden honeycomb cliffs at West Bay, which were a starring part in Broadchurch.

To the white chalk cliffs on the border of Devon.

To the black  clay fossil filled cliffs at Charmouth.

I always find the black clay rocks quite magnificent but quite forbidding. Can you see the West Bay cliffs in the distance?

There is always something different to discover on the beaches especially at low tide from fresh water, to ship wrecks and unusual rocks the one above made me think of Vienetta Ice-cream!

Fossils discovered are dug out and taken away. lucky some are just too large and they can be enjoyed and marvelled at in their natural surroundings.

 I was also surprised to discover a fallen leaf amongst the pebbles, it's not often we find leaves on the beach even in Autumn. Have you out exploring around your homes too?

Until next time.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Through the Garden Gate October 2017

The glory in the garden has faded fast in the garden this month. Everything was still looking quite colourful until the remnants of  Hurricane Ophelia and then Storm Brian hit. The cosmos turned into dismal weeds and many leaves were whipped off their stalk. There is however an small element of colour if you care to look........



Michaelmas daisy novi belgii

The sedum are still providing a colourful base to the hazel bushes, although a mole that was in a nearby garden seems to have found a new location to create his mounds under these flowers. Do you have any hints to encourage it back into the field?

The nasturtiums continue to roam in each direction. I do enjoy the peppery taste of the smaller leaves in a salad, last year they were destroyed by caterpillars. Maybe this year I will find enough seed pods to make poor man's capers.

The usual views looking more bare!

Most of the leaves of the grapevine have blown away. There are a few bunches of grapes still  hanging that we have left for the birds. On Friday morning we noticed more blackbirds feeding on them than usual and when took Tavi for his morning walk we discovered these birds were rather special.

We met with a naturalist who told us that there was a huge number of birds passing through including flocks of blackbirds that had flown down from Scandinavia.It's amazing to think that these birds may have been feeding in gardens of blogging friends in Sweden and Finland! Obtaining more knowledge about wildlife and growing plants makes me appreciate how wonderful nature is and how we should more time observing it.

What has been the best thing in your garden this month?

If you would like to join in with Through the garden gate each month please let me know in the comments below and I will add your site. 

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Apple Day

Each season has its highlights, and one of the highlights of the Autumn is the Apple Day that is held in our Community Orchard. Most of the apples have been picked and juiced, and it is a time to look back over the season, celebrate the harvest and raise money to pay for any tools that are needed in the following year.

In the community orchard we have over 60 fruit trees. These include apples, pears, plums and we grow over 30 varieties of heritage apples. Visitors and volunteers always enjoy tasting the different varieties and choosing their favourite. It is amazing how different the apples can be in taste, colour and size.

The apples have some great names too, a  local song has now been written so we can remember some of the names! Slap-ma-girdle, Golden Ball, Hoary Morning and a Buttery D'Ore. You can see by this clip that the chorus is quite catching!.

The view of the orchard before the event started.

Pressing the apples

It has been a strange type of week weather-wise, the first thing to appear was these strange  dangerous Portuguese Men Of War appearing on the beach......

Hurricane Ophelia passed through - initially everything was very still and then mid morning the sky  turned red and orange- (we later learnt this was due to air and dust from Africa), then the wind got up creating huge waves but with high temperatures and no rain.

This weekend Storm Brian arrived which bought more high winds and heavy rain. Luckily it didn't cause too much damage here but sadly it did affect a huge event we had in the Bay this weekend.

We had the ' Onion Johnnies ' visiting from France and they have spent months planning it and had spent all week setting up marquees, only to have take them down because of the wind. It was even to dangerous to leave their boats in the harbour and had to move them boats further down the coast to Dartmouth. All their arrangements had to be changed but they still managed to smile and give everyone a good time. With all of the issues with Brexit, it seems even more important to join together to celebrate old traditions and make new friends.

The Onion Johnnies were a familiar sight in England prior to the 1970's, see my previous post here. We are now all stocked up with onions and garlic and the taste of them is so much better than from the supermarkets!

Hope you have all had a good week and those in the UK have not been affected too badly from the storms. Take care, thank you for visiting me.

 Sarah x


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