Monday, 31 March 2014


One day in February when Stuart and I were looking round the garden he spotted these strange lumps of jelly-like substance among the gravel on the path.  I had noticed this once before then forgotten to check it out.  I contacted Gwent Wildlife Trust as there is usually somebody knowledgeable there who can often put a name to anything.  As usual someone did.  It is called Nostoc pruniforme and is a form of cyanobacteria.

 My first thought was how to get rid of it but after reading about it I think it might be a useful addition to my wildlife garden.  This is an extract from a Wikipedia entry. Click on it to read more.

Cyanobacteria inhabit nearly all illuminated environments on Earth and play key roles in the carbon and nitrogen cycle of the biosphere. In general, cyanobacteria are able to utilize a variety of inorganic and organic sources of combined nitrogen, like nitratenitriteammoniumurea, or some amino acids. Several cyanobacterial strains are also capable of diazotrophic growth, an ability that may have been present in their last common ancestor in the Archaean.[6] Nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria in coral reefs can fix twice the amount of nitrogen than on land—around 1.8 kg of nitrogen is fixed per hectare per day. The colonial marine cyanobacterium Trichodesmium is thought to fix nitrogen on such a scale that it accounts for almost half of the nitrogen-fixation in marine systems on a global scale.[7]

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Early Mother's Day.

Visited the boys and their families last weekend as I had been invited to watch granddaughter Jasmine in her first dance show.  Prior to that she had a Stagecoach show which I also watched.  This included dancing and singing and also acting using puppets they had previously made.  Here is Jasmine posing for photo after the show. She is the one in yellow.

After this show we took her to the theatre to prepare for the dance show.  Jasmine was dancing with a group of children aged about 4 - 7.  They tap danced to the tune Wiggly Woo which is a song I remember from the 1950s.  They all did very well but we were not allowed to take any photos. 

I took the doll cushions I made for the girls and they both loved them.  Jasmine even took hers out when we went for lunch on Sunday.  We went to a gastro-pub called The Farm in Solihull for Sunday lunch which was my Mother's Day treat a week early.

I took photos of everybody's lunch but won't bore you with them all. Everybody had something different and there was quite an extensive menu. I had my favourite roast beef which was very nice even though the giant Yorkshire pudding was a bit overdone. I will show you mine

Granddaughter Safeya with Bear standing on daddy

 Grandson Zach with uncle Sam

Jasmine and Jakob waiting for their lunch

Jasmine with her new friend. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

More Cushions

My latest cushions are for my granddaughters. 
 Jasmine was 7 on Sunday, yes doesn't time fly!
Couldn't make one for her and not one for Safeya. She will be 2 in May but she can have it this weekend when I will be visiting them.  

Made the pink one first intending it to be for Jasmine for her birthday but found some lilac fabric in my stash, and as that is her favourite colour decided to do another.  In case her colour choice has changed I will give her first choice and give the other to Safeya, who I am hoping isn't as fussy about colour just yet!

Making friends with Poppy who seemed rather indifferent to them

Admiring the flowers. 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Sunny March Day

A lovely day here in South Wales. Out in the garden looking for signs of Spring. 
 Poppy is enjoying the sun too.

Last week the first batch of spawn appeared in the pond. I had seen quite a few frogs around for a few days but only one batch.  Not a very good picture I'm afraid. 

Yesterday there were several frogs in there but couldn't see them very well as they didn't surface. Managed one picture of a pair that I thought were going to surface but changed their mind. Perhaps I scared them off. 
Still no more spawn today.  Last year there were 10 or 11 batches.  Time yet I suppose. I have also seen 2 newts in there on several occasions over the last week. 

Spring flowers are starting to open and the first bees are taking advantage of the heather and getting their first nectar of the season.  Difficult to see but there is a bee there in the centre of the photo. 

Crocuses are open in the sunshine around my little cherry tree.

Other flowers

Muscari (grape hyacinths) 

Daffodils and primroses


This is my plum tree. Don't know what the name of it is but it has very small sweet yellow plums. It doesn't produce fruit every year and I think it might be because it flowers so early.  If it is cold there will be no insects around to pollinate it so I think that is why it fails.  As I saw quite a few bees around today so it might be a successful year. 

Close up of plum blossom

It is starting to look like snow underneath the tree as the petals fall. 

Several birds around on my feeder this past week.  Great tits, bluetits, greenfinches, robins and chaffinches. Also feeding on the ground I have seen blackbirds, dunnocks, starlings, jackdaws and wood pigeons, to name but a few. 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Crocheted blanket.

Been busy using up odd balls of yarn.  An easy crocheted blanket made of "granny" squares.  Don't know who it is for but maybe good to keep this granny's knees warm in the winter.