Saturday, October 15, 2016


This past week I spent in New Brunswick where the leaf colour was 'mind-blowing'. I'm not sure I've ever seen quite such a spectacular display. Photos don't do it justice. It's more like wandering around in a Franklin Carmichael, Tom Thompson or A J Casson painting.

Thursday, September 29, 2016


... is gharsley.

Ogden Nash Further Reflection on Parsley

The parsnip, children, I repeat,
Is simply an anaemic beet.
Some people call the parsnip edible;
Myself, I find this claim incredible.

Ogden Nash The Parsnip

Celery, raw,
Develops the jaw.
But celery, stewed,
Is more quietly chewed.

Ogden Nash Celery

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Late Early Risers

"The most productive early pole bean I have ever grown. The huge long flat pods are produced at about the same time as the bush snaps are ready and continue producing all summer long. The long pods keep their excellent texture and flavour even when quite large. Highly recommended!"
From Heritage Harvest Seed
I concur. Started producing early July, these just picked September 17th.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Grape Harvest

This is my first grape harvest. Last year the birds or squirrels made short work of them while my back was turned. I got about 8 lbs. of very tiny, but perfectly formed grapes and spent a day reducing them into about 3 litres of what can best be described as 'slops'. Even using pectin-infused sugar and boiling it up to 'jam' on the candy thermometre, I couldn't bully it into setting.
Ah well, it's not bad dribbled over yoghurt. Next year I'll make wine.

*Footnote - Injury added to insult! The hour of squeezing grapes between my fingers has resulted in contact dermatitis. Grrr.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Leopard Slugs

On Saturday just enough dampness drizzled out of the overhanging cloud to moisten the ground. And that was all the invitation the slugs and snails needed to have a night out. I took this picture of the group congregating at the chicken feeder and, as they are rather well camouflaged, I have outlined the ones I can see. Mostly leopard slugs (Limax maximus) and the odd snail. Apart from that spritzing it has been bone dry since June. Click on picture to enlarge

Sunday, August 07, 2016


Not only is she our star layer (5 or 6 eggs a week over the past year, right through winter!), but she is also quite photogenic. Four of the six Leghorn eggs that we put under Doris in May hatched and it looks like two are pullets and two are cockerels.

Saturday, August 06, 2016


Pollinators at work on a male flower (c) and female flower (r)

The recent warm weather has kickstarted the squash. The vines had been rampant and lots of tentative fruiting, but finally some look determined to go through with it.
'Anna Schwartz' Hubbard on the left, 'Black Futsu' moschata (top) and 'Oregon Sweetmeat' (bottom)

Sunday, July 03, 2016

The Mrs.

This is the third female stag beetle I've found in the garden this week (different sizes). She spends 6 or 7 years underground and then comes above ground for a couple of months to mate.
Her final act before she dies is to make her way back to the place from which she emerged where she buries herself into the ground about 12" down and lays her eggs.
I just saw a male 'flying' around tonight ...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Alpine Meadows

Just back from a week in the mountains following the Annecy Animation Festival...

(the big picture)

(and the detail)

Friday, June 03, 2016

Here in Canada

'Robin's' eggs look like this.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Winter Arrives

Snow in the night amounting to a couple of inches, gone by noon.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Or Be Electrocuted

Back in September I took part in a group art exhibition in Bruges. And for that I produced a silkscreen print - 3 colours plus spot hand colouring - in an edition of 35. Fits neatly in a standard 30 x 40 cm. frame.
Click on image to read and get in touch if you are interested... a snip at £50.