Monthly Archives: November 2019

Cold and frosty mornings…

can make for photo opportunities. The temperatures have been down to -3 C early morning for the last few days and it is just mid November.  I really hate being cold but I quite like macro photography so the frosty mornings always look like a great opportunity to take some macro shots of ice crystals.   Not only do I shake with the cold, but I have found there is a lot of camera shake just pressing the shutter button so I have been trying out using my mobile phone as a remote control (my mirrorless Sony alpha 5100 doesn’t have a space for one).  It works ok but isn’t that great, and I also find that I just can’t get into the best position to take the shot I want.  I did however get a couple of good shots of frosty crystals.  Need more practise.

Heath and his friend Cobis (sp?) very kindly came round to move the rhododendron for us the other day.  It is now in the right hand, back corner (where the Chamaecyparis used to be) and it looks much better already and really fills that corner.  They also planted the new Enkianthus campanulatus to the left of it.  The Pieris japonica Forest flame, to the right, will get a good prune once it has flowered in the spring, as it has gone into a weird shape and is very top heavy. It has loads of flower buds just now so I would like to enjoy the flowers first if  these frosts don’t damage them.  I now have a lot of planting space at the front of that border, so I need to think about how I am going to fill it up. That area gets some sun in the morning but is in deep shade by the golf course trees by noon.  The tree canopy also means is can get a bit dry there in the summer.  In winter once the leaves have fallen the area enjoys more rain.

Next on the ‘to do’ list is to sort out the congested areas by the pond, so, Rosie from Watergems is coming round to see exactly what needs to be done.

plants, frost,
Frosty Leptinella squalida Platt’s black
plants, flowers, frost,
Frosty Saxifraga umbrosa
Frost crystals close up
Rhododendron moved

It’s raining again…

so I have been indoors pottering about in the conservatory and tending to my house plants rather than braving the cold and very soggy garden.  I managed to over-water one of my peace lilies so I separated the plants, dried them off, and have replanted so hopefully I have saved at least one of them. I have cut back the straggly looking mint, and have taken the yellowing leaves from the parsley plants.   The greenfly are still around so I check my plants almost daily to make sure I keep on top of any potential infestation.  Now I don’t normally move my cactus plants (for fear of dropping them on my lap!) but I wanted to make sure I hadn’t over-watered them too. I am glad I did as nestled at the base of one, was a clump of slug eggs. I have been trying to take better, or at least  more interesting photographs lately, and am using an app (AYWMC) to help me with this.  The exercise this week is to use an editing program and play about with the different editing tools so I used the slug eggs for my exercise. It was fun but I may have overdone the editing.  They were in a string but by the time I had faffed around with placing them at different angles and with different lighting and backing, some of the strings broke.  I found a separate egg that had an embryo showing through the transparent casing.

wildlife, slugs,
a string of slug eggs
wildlife, slugs,
slug egg with embryo