We were fortunate with good weather and that our intersections with the Bluebell line, http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/ corresponded with the arrival of the trains as you can see. That took some doing! Click on any picture to expand. it.
Thursday, 28 February 2008
Monday, 25 February 2008
Eucharis amazonica is a most beautiful plant. This picture was taken at the end of November 2007. What a joy to get such flowers in winter! The rest of the year it has showy broad leaves.
It is a striking and exotic conservatory specimen or houseplant originating from South America. It produces an umbel of typically five large, white, showy, scented flowers on 2ft stems. The flowers resemble a delicate daffodil in having a prominent central cup or corona. It is evergreen and should not be dried out to rest. It likes good loamy compost and is best in bright shade.
It is expensive to buy, if you can find it. I will divide the bulbs in this pot at some point. If you would like a bulb, in leaf, please let me know. For the bargain price of a pint of ale, I'll bring some to a walk, by arrangement. It is a really lovely plant, which I have grown for years. To me, the scent is an exquisite vanilla-like fragrance and is quite lovely. Not everyone can smell it, but even so, the foliage and flowers are stunning without the scent.
These attractive plastic blue overshoes are a solution. They can be bought from the Internet, but you may not wish to buy 300; give your credit card details to a site you don't know; or pay delivery charges.
Help is at hand. For just £1, you can get 6 pairs from me before any walk that I'm on.
Sunday, 24 February 2008
Here we are at the Jolly Tanners in Staplefield and the Red Lion In Lindfield keeping the engine of the British economy running smoothly with our beer consumption. Someone has to do it.
Saturday, 23 February 2008
Luckily for us, Barbara lead us on this stunning walk via Bullock Hill, Standean Bottom, Balsdean Bottom, the South Downs Way and Juggs Road.
Many thanks to Barbara.
Bernard, we miss you and hope that your broken arm heals quickly and fully so we can enjoy your company again soon.
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Such structures were built by the Normans as fortified look out points. The views from this Motte are fabulous as you can see.
Here am I, laden with a battery power pack and powerful electric secateurs, cutting out all of the previous year's growth, except a single cane. This is then bent over to allow new shoots to grow upwards from the one new stem.
Only two supporting wires were cut as I was getting the hang of the task!
The cut vines are later removed and placed between the rows. They are then mulched by a tractor to produce humus to maintain soil structure.
Wine has been made here in Rheinhessen since Roman times and the soil needs all the help it can get.
Saturday, 16 February 2008
This walk was lead by Karl on a zigzag route from the Rhine valley up and over farm tracks
across rolling farmland and then back towards the Rhine at Oppenheim.
At this time of year hares are easily seen. In 4 hours we saw a dozen or so, boxing, mating and running. Rodents are common too, which explains the abundance of buzzards, kestrels and merlin. There were flocks of what I think may have been fieldfares. Roe deer are plentiful and are considered a pest as they eat the grape vines.
The sunshine masks the fact that this was a bitterly cold day with a biting wind.
If you want to see hares and raptors though, come here at this time of year.
Back on the ridge of the Rhine valley, we then descended into the rich town of Oppenheim, with its magnificent church.
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