So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog

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A little March snow


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Cut off!

Didn’t get to post last week, internet had crashed. Ten days for them to find and reconnect a wire in the box down the road. So I’m now on catch up, more next week. Oh and I finished my next book…and today, one year ago we were in Calais on our return to the UK. Time flies.

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Rosebay Willow herb

Often called fire weed, this plant grows all over the place. It’s also known as fireweed as it’s often the first to grow on burnt land.

So when we had all these plants growing in our new garden, I was fairly sure we had some, so I let one grow.

It’s a really beautiful flower, maybe take a close look next time you see a bank of them.

After all, a weed is just a flower in the wrong place!


Mutant Foxglove

Saw this up on the golf course. Compared to the others, it has a huge stem and a triple size head! Must be something in the climate, oh dear, what should we do?

Just winding you up, it’s caused by damage to the plant when emerging. In Austria it happened to the dandelions if they got frosted at the wrong moment. Still, it’s a spectacular flower!

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A walk in Dare Valley country park.

One of our first high walks, with lots of sheep and windmills. Ok, I know that’s not the right name! But for all the environmental concerns, animals were grazing all around them. Birds were all around us. All we could hear was the whoosh of the sails.

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The Pond

When we were making a list of desirable things for our house last year, one of my wishes was for a pond. We had had one at our last home in the UK, and I loved the fish, tadpoles and the peace it gave to the garden. Austria was possible but the fish had to overwinter in a cellar in case the pond completely froze, too complicated.

So, when we saw what we called the Landrover house, I was thrilled to see it had a pond, even if it was above the ground. So when we bought the place, I was already making plans. You can just see it in the picture above, the garden was so overgrown and the Landrover that wasn’t in the price!

When moved in we found the pond dead of life and full of rubble. So as soon as we got the house in order, we emptied the pond, using a pump next door gave us. We found not only the aforesaid rubble, but also glass, a pump, CDS (to scare birds away!), a dog ornament and a dolphin filter from an aquarium. I got gloriously dirty doing the job! We filled it with tap water, letting it fall so the chemicals in it evaporated in the air. Then we emptied it again, as we needed to get more of the sludge out and move some stones for putting plant pots on.

Then came the fun with buying plants and getting soaked putting them in. We needed to let it settle before we got fish. I was yearning for tadpoles, I find them fascinating. Dave was less keen! The water was taking a long time to clear, so we installed a filter to clear it.

Then in a warm dry spell, I found a crowd of tadpoles in a puddle on the hill, so I bought a net and with a bucket, rescued them. I also pinched some weed as well. Over the weeks, we’ve watched them grow, and with bought weed planted, the water is slowly clearing.

Yesterday, we found our first froglets and so have put in webbing staircases so they can get out. When tadpoles are all grown, the fish will come.

If they return next year, they will do doubt lay tons of spawn and there will be a natural balance. What fish? Sticklebacks!