Sunday, 1 October 2017

Summer Trips and Beach Hut Goodbyes

A trip to Brixham


Brilliant work from the Pride in Brixham volunteers


Man and Boy Statue which commemorates lives lost at sea and Brixhams fishing heritage.

A trip to the Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth


A trip to A La Ronde, Exmouth, such a great place to visit


A trip to Living Coasts, Torquay


A visit to the Eden Project in May, the pond was looking beautiful.



A new bed in the Mediterranean Biome, full of Kangaroo Paw plants


A holiday with my friend in Yorkshire in early September




A trip to the wonderful Scampston Hall, Malton, North Yorkshire


A major project is underway in the back garden. I have dug up the slate path to the left of the photo and we took that off to the recycling centre. I am now in the process of digging up the slabs, removing a lot of old plants and weeds and will lay the slabs back in a different pattern.


And finally although it only seems like yesterday we were preparing for the beach hut season, it's once again time to pack up our beach hut until next season.



Not the greatest photos because I used my mobile phone camera. I decided to just enjoy my friends company and visits rather than use the opportunity to get snapping for the best photos as I'm sure it can be very annoying!

Until next time, take care all
SeagullSuzie

Friday, 11 August 2017

Visiting insects this summer

I took a tour around the garden with the macro lens and captured a few lovely insects visiting my wildlife friendly garden.


Hoverfly volucella zonaria, at 20mm in length it's our largest hoverfly. Also known as the Belted Hoverfly, it's more common in southern England (info courtesy of The Wildlife Trusts).


This insect has moved house with me a few times now, the marvellous looking Vapourer moth caterpillar above, male adult moth below. So long as you don't mind them eating your plants you can really enjoy them in your garden.


And here is one of the caterpillars making it's cocoon on the underside of a geranium leaf.


Some lovely visiting bees, I like the pale coloured pollen sac on this bee


I really wasn't sure what bee this was, but it's small and rather lovely. Is it a male Common Carder Bee?


Hoverflies on these yellow flowers by my front door


This spider carries it's eggs around, I'm not keen on spiders in my home but happy to have them in the garden. However I just can't look them up for ID purposes as close up's give me the creeps!


More hoverflies, this one is quite small and on a erigeron flower, I've noticed that this plant really attracts hoverflies.


A lovely bee with its yellow and orange colouring on lavender. I struggled to identify this one but is it a Bilberry Bumblebee?


Not in perfect focus! That's the trouble with the macro lens, the lavender is in focus in the photo below and the bee is a little fuzzy.


It had just started to rain and I caught two tiny raindrops on its head as it turned around (and in focus).


I don't know if you've seen this website but I found a citizen science project called Blooms for Bees which is all about surveying flowers to help improve gardening for bumblebees. It's really worth a visit with lots of information.

I hope you are all well
Until next time
SeagullSuzie 

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Jane Austen's Letter at Torquay Museum


On Thursday I was determined to go to Torquay Museum and see Jane Austen's letter to her sister Cassandra, which was written in 1799.

The letter is rarely on display so it was a real treat to be able to see it and I haven't had the opportunity to go to Chawton in Hampshire to the house museum to see other items.

There is a reflection on the glass case in the photo above, but this is from the museum's overhead lighting - just to assure you that I did not use the flash which would of course damage this fragile letter.

I checked with the museum that I was allowed to take a photo and also put it on the blog, so here it is folks.

There have been news items which discuss the possibility of this letter being sold. It is true that the museum have considered this to raise funds, but at the moment the letter is still in their possession and I hope they can keep it that way.

The contents of the letter are delightful and fun. If you're a Jane Austen fan you can see her humour coming through just as it does in her writing.

I'm so glad I went to see it as I may never have that chance again, especially if the letter goes to a private collector in the future. As a Jane Austen fan it was a special treat.

Until next time
SeagullSuzie

Friday, 19 May 2017

Spring Flowers and Humming-bird Hawk-moth

Beautiful apple blossom


 A stunning little apple tree I bought last year-tough and sturdy it withstands the easterly and westerly winds in the north facing front garden


Pulmonaria-looking great this year and giving the bees a valuable early food source. This was a little plant given to me by my friend Anne many years ago. I propagate it regularly and it's moved house many times.



Another favourite- Geum (unknown name) bought many years ago from Dove Cottage Nursery at a plant fair and another house mover. Sadly it doesn't attract many insects. However this has been the best year for it in many years as it usually gets mildew.



Looks lovely mixed into the garden as the flowers stand well above the leaves 


Frost is not a thing we see in Torbay very often but early in December we had a very hard frost and it produced a beautiful mist across the bay.


Percy was not impressed and decided to get comfortable in his snuggle bag.


Boo snoozing in the long warm spell of weather in April and probably the driest spring we've had for many years


A garden project-ugly wall


Transformed with the help of the front of an old beach hut they were clearing off site, a chainsaw and two strong men (husband and gardener friend Chris).


Decorating is finally finished, I love this wood panel effect wallpaper in the hall.


A quick catch up on the house and garden, and the first time I had a moment to myself , I should have posted this weeks ago.

Best of all I've had a humming-bird hawk-moth in the garden feeding on Centranthus ruber (red valerian). I was able to get quite close and see it feeding on the flowers.



Ta-dah...at last a photo in focus, very hard to do as it moves so quickly.


Only the third time in my life I've ever seen one.

Until next time
SeagullSuzie

Friday, 5 May 2017

Trebarwith Strand

I realised that I never got to post these photos. It seems crazy that it was now so long ago. What is happening to time?... it goes so quickly! Trebarwith Strand is over by Tintagel, on the North Cornwall Coast and we've had a few holidays over that way, even when we lived 'up north'.


The Port William where we have stayed is very close to the edge and in fact has lost part of the car park to erosion in the last few years.


Do you fancy a walk?


 Along this beautiful coastline perhaps, when the tide is fully out you can walk all the way to the end of this view. Low tide reveals a long sandy beach.


Deceptive tidal movements here as you must catch the tide on its way out or you get trapped-many people each year do. They end up on the rocks below in need of rescue.


Things to see


Not sure I fancy this house much


People have decorated their cottages with beach finds



A Stonechat posed for the camera


So there you have it, a visit to Trebarwith Strand is worth it if the tide is out and you can take a stroll around Tintagel whilst waiting.

Until next time
SeagullSuzie