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Thursday, 29 April 2010

Insects, Arachnids and .....

.... swallows! Yes - they have returned for the summer once again. I'm always scared in case there is a year when they don't appear, but if it ever happens, then it isn't this year. I heard them before I saw them, ran to the window and there they were, flying around at 500 mhp, yet miraculously, not crashing into anything!
They did stop for a rest though!

While the tulips are dying,

the whitebeam is bursting into life!

But oblivious to it all, these chaps just get on with what has to be done.


Monday, 26 April 2010

I Love it!

Spring time just HAS to be my favourite season. Everything is coming back to life .... including the insects!

These bumblebees are amazingly acrobatic!

First ladybird of the year!

The ladybird and the hairy caterpillar from a previous post, were sitting on the leaves of an old cornflower plant. It began life many years ago as a cutting from a coffee morning at one of our local schools. It has multiplied and spread since then and out of all the plants in my garden, it is the one that seems to attract most species of insect to it.

It is in bud just now ...

Just before I came indoors, I spotted the moon in a bright sunny sky.


Saturday, 24 April 2010

Hairy Critter!

On my walk round the garden this afternoon, I spotted this little chap, happily munching on my cornflower leaves! Click on him for a better view.

I have no idea what sort of butterfly he will turn out to be though!


Friday, 23 April 2010

Merry and Bright

As I sat indoors, I heard a chaffinch singing, so I just had to go outside and try to get a photograph of it. I managed to find the tree it was in, but it was very high up in the branches, plus, I had to shoot against the light. The result is a very poor photo, but at least I got one!

The leaves and blossom buds on my rowan trees are beginning to unfurl and open. However, almost every year, just as the berries are setting, the strong May gales burn almost all of them off. Hope this year will be more successful!

My purple berberis is looking nice and healthy, with these vicious looking barbs all over it.

My garden companion today was Merry! She is such a flighty, excitable, but oh, so adorable cat!


Wednesday, 21 April 2010

April Showers!

April showers are meant to be showers of rain, aren't they?

Well, two days ago, we had these ......
Yes - hailstones! Eek!

I saw a melted one, caught in a lupin leaf.

I didn't expect to see a dandelion in full bloom!

The Pussy Willow have almost all fallen from the trees now and are carpeting my grass instead.

It's still much too cold to stay outdoors for long, so I've busied myself crocheting this beauty! It measures approximately 4ft square and I'm thrilled with it!

It will be carefully washed and stretched into shape, then stored until Jodie has her first baby. Whenever that will be! :-)


Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Finally .....

..... after a long slog, I actually have a working Blackberry again. My original one went in for repair, to the shop in Aberdeen, about a month ago and after two and half weeks, I went back to collect it. They couldn't repair my own one, so I got a reconditioned one, duly took it home and tried to charge it up.

Tried - but failed miserably. So next day, I had to drive back to Aberdeen again, which is over 40 miles away, to see what was wrong with it. Turns out it had a faulty charging socket, so it too was sent away.

A week and a half later, I got word that it was ready to be collected, so I drove in again to Aberdeen this morning to take it home. But before I did, I got them to check that it was charging ok because I really didn't want to have to go all the way back again! I left it with them for an hour while I went for a coffee and when I went back, all was well. Hurrah!

Got home at lunch time, finished charging it and .................. guess what?

It wouldn't let me set up my email account on it and it didn't have the Application Centre, which you need so you can download Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc etc.

I was almost in tears as I drove BACK AGAIN in the afternoon! Turns out I'd been given a corporate Blackberry, instead of a personal one. Not the fault of the shop staff, but of the repair centre. Anyway ..... after some long phone calls plus doing stuff on the shop computer and on my Blackberry, they finally managed to reset it to the proper specifications, then I got them to sort my email account and get the Application Centre too.

Dear, oh dear, oh dear. What a saga, Eh?

But at long last, it seems to be working properly now. I love my Blackberry, but it dents your confidence a bit when things go soooo wrong.

Here's a pic I took with it earlier this evening, of me and my new HUGE "Save Planet Earth" mug from the Disney Store!


Sunday, 11 April 2010

Burials, Bees and Butterflies!

It was a lovely day today, so I headed out this morning with my camera and went to our cemetery. There are so many photogenic things to capture there.

I also took along my new contraption and got some TtV shots too, which you can see, by clicking the link on the list of MY blogs on the right, or by clicking HERE.

When I got home, I went into the garden and managed to see these beauties! This willow was swarming with bees and as I'm really very scared of them, I couldn't bring myself to stay beside them long enough to get a decent shot!

I also saw the very first butterfly of the year in my garden!

Dare we be brave enough to announce that spring is has well and truly sprung?


Monday, 5 April 2010

Easter Egg Hunt!

We had an Easter Egg Hunt for my grandchildren on Easter Sunday. Luckily, the weather stayed dry although it was very cold! I also laid on an all-day buffet which was lovely. Kerry brought food with her too, including a heavenly pavlova!

But first, the hunt...........

Saffron and Aaliyah on the hunt for eggs!



After all the eggs were found! Merry getting in on the act too!

Grahame and Merry. Bosom buddies!

Strawberries just HAVE to have double cream poured over them:

Kali at the buffet table:

Jodie having some strawberries. Jodie has been quite ill and although she was smiling almost all day, it was obvious to those who know her that she still isn't right:

Kerry made this sinful raspberry pavlova using Nigella's recipe. It was incredible!

I used my new contraption to take a couple of TtV photos too. Grahame and Jodie:


Cameron and Grahame played Star Wars on the Wii for a while:

Still playing. Look at the concentration!

Jodie, giving us a song!

We all had a lovely day. Irene and Zander (my sis and BIL) came over for a while, which was fab .... and everyone else didn't leave till nearly 9.00pm!

Things weren't how they were supposed to be, but I tried to put on a brave face and I think I managed it for most of the time, just letting it slip a couple of times.


Friday, 2 April 2010

Elgin Cathedral

Yesterday was one of the most diffcult days of my whole life so Kerry and my grandchildren took me to Elgin Cathedral today to try to cheer me up a little.

The weather was gloriously sunny, although a bit sharp in the wind! I haven't been inside this majestic old cathedral ruins since my own children were around the ages my grandchildren are now.

The front entrance.

Life-size statue. It looks as if it should belong on a giant's chessboard.

Tombs of long-forgotten men.

Skull carved into the wall in one of the buildings.

Light and shade.

Having a rest!

Beautiful sculpture on a tomb.

Kali, Saffron, Aaliyah and Cameron.

Yes, the sky really WAS this colour!


Spot Cameron!

Aaliyah and Cameron.

Pillar and vaulted roof.

There are so many of these winged head carvings on the uprights of grave slabs in the cemetery that surrounds the cathedral. There are three in this shot alone!

Go directly to .....

This is such a stylised skull. Very unusual.

You can find out more about this beautiful ruined cathedral HERE