Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Flowers, Berries and Bees

Out with Bella this morning, saw that the posters for the Steam Fair have not survived the recent rain very well.
Our neighbours still have their scaffolding up, even though the work has finished.
This helicopter spent quite a while hovering over this part of Bath - couldn't make out who it was for: police or gas?
We finished off the fence this morning, so feel quite pleased with ourselves. The garden is generally looking quite sorted out at last! This afternoon, this butterfly was trapped against the windowpane until I encouraged it out.
Out with Bella this afternoon, it was again bee time. This buddleia continues to be popular.
All shapes and sizes of bee in evidence.
The first blackberries are starting to ripen.
A collection of antique collectibles from a garden shed clear out?
The bees really liked these - I saw three on one flower.
This day a year ago, I opened the blinds to see this snail suspended halfway up the window
Su's news story of the day (BBC website - click on the title to see the full story):
Early female bonds boost male birds' mating success

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Open Mic Night, Disappointing Film and Flowers

Last night, Left At The Lights went along to the Golden Lion on Gloucester Road in Bristol to play at their open mic night. I was delighted to find one of my former students now in charge of the pub, so we'll be back!
The open mic night was run by Alan, who opened the evening with a few songs. There was a real mix of acts - some excellent, some "interesting":-)
Out with Bella this morning, saw a fresh flush of bindweed flowers after the recent rain.
The rain has encouraged growth on paths and other untended areas, so they increasingly look like jungle.
We went down to the Little Theatre to see the much-lauded film, "Frances Ha". We weren't at all impressed with it and left after an hour or so - found the central charcter tediously immature (certainly didn't "fall for her") and the comparisons with Woody Allen's films are much overblown (in my humble opinion).
Went for a coffee in Wild Cafe, with their excellent rustic sign (and good decor, music and coffee).
Hmmm - Shurely shome mishtake here:-)!
The rain of earlier in the day cleared away and blue skies returned.
Another fence panel successfully installed with just one more to go. Bees really like these elegant white spikes of flowers.
These roses have survived the fence replacement.
These geraniums keep on trucking too.
These clematis looked lovely in the evening sun.
This day last year, the rain had returned in force and umbellifers in the fields responded with lots of growth.
Su's news story of the day (BBC website - click on the title for the full story):

Monday, 29 July 2013

Bees, Other Sights and Portishead Mezze

Su came over all artistic this morning making a fruit salad for breakfast…
Afterwards we got another fence post fixed and concreted in before the rain came. Also had time to stop and admire this clematis flower. 
Took Bella out for a alk, and surrounded by lots of bee activity again. The buddleia was covered in bumble bees. 
Ragwort is out and blooming in profusion again. 
Nettle flowers are fulsome as well. 
This thistle provided lots of interest for this bee. 
This teazle is still being worked round by more bees. 
Liked the skeleton of this shrub, especially with Bella acting as background to highlight it. 
Made me recall the Richard Thompson song, "Wall of Death". 
Our grapes continue to do very well. 
The rain started in earnest as we headed out - this is the redvelopment of the old petrol station at the top of Marlborough Street.
Found ourselves sitting behind this motivational van - it was delivering vegetables according to the sign on its side!
We headed for Portishead - via an unplanned long circular diversion due to roadworks on our planned route. This heartfelt (and mis-spelt) sign on another diversion just before our destination.
Finally made it to meet Richard and Barbara at the White Lion, recently refurbished as a mezze pub. This was the debris after a very nice lunch.
This day a year ago, bees were also prevalent - this time of the happy, smiling chalk variety .
Su's news story of the day (BBC website - click on the title for the full story):

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Return to Westonbirt and a Gromit

Decided that finishing the fence could wait while the forecast rain held off, so we toddled up to Westonbirt. In the plant centre there, saw that this flower was very popular with the bees.
Then it was off into the sunshine and the trees. 
Bella enjoying some grazing. 
At the far corner of the site is where giant logs await the chainsaw sculptors at the Festival of the Tree (August Bank Holiday weekend).
After our circumnavigation of Silk Wood, we repaired back to the van for a cup of tea and a sandwich - and Su posed with Bella's bowl.
On the way out, stopped to take some pictures of Eldoradog - one of the 80 Gromits on display around the Bristol area for Gromit Unleashed, a fundraiser for the Bristol Children's Hospital Charity
Probably best not to ask what Su's up to …
This day a year ago, I found myself posing with an Olympic torch at Dick Willows the day after the opening ceremony
Su's news story of the day (BBC website - click on the title for the full story):

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Flowers, Bees & The Return of the Flying Snail

Out with Bella this morning, it was bright and warm - enough for a sun umbrella to be in use.
Bindweed flowers have withered to leave these seed pods.
Sunflowers have done well in the last few weeks
Good bit of recycling of old tent poles in the garden.
This bee worked its way right round the flowers on this teazle.
Lots of work has been done on this house, and now they have a nice new marker on their gatepost.
 I liked the ski run sticker on the back of this car.
Back home, I fought off my cold/sinus attack with a burst of hoovering and mopping. Stopped to admire yet more bees working their way around our nepeta.
This is Charlie, our neighbours' cat. They are often away at weekends and he's a sociable animal, and likes a fuss.
The predicted rain finally arrived - a little later than expected, but heavy enough when it did come.
At the front of the house, this snail was nearly at the top of the window (it's subsequently disappeared so it must have climbed even higher or taken a dive).
This day a year ago, Tudor was wrestling to fit our new kitchen sink in a corner with seemingly no 90º angles whatever.
Su's news story of the day (BBC website - click on the title for the full story):
Mentally ill people 'hit hard by recession'