Friday, June 16, 2006

I've seen so many good garden pictures on blogs lately that I thought I'd add to the celebration of summer.

I found the bug outside the other day. I've since found that he is a woundwort shieldbug, eysarcoris fabricii, one of the true bugs. They like stachys palustris (woundwort) and white dead nettle, both of which grow all over our garden. Proof that my no-gardening methods are working. All that inactivity is paying dividends. He is about 8mm long. More here. Since then we have found quite a few.

The spiky-looking plant is Caper spurge, euphorbia lathyris. Poisonous, supposedly repellant to moles, architecturally bizarre. I like them.

The delphiniums are really the neighbours, but we share a low fence so they decorate our garden too.

Lastly, the best plants out there as far as I am concerned. The globe artichokes have come on well. We don't get that many but they are a welcome summer delicacy.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What will bee will bee

Our neighbour came round on Friday to say 'You've got bees', she said. She was right. A swarm of honey bees had chosen one of our chimney pots to call home. Twenty to thirty thousand of them, apparently. I called the local council. 'We don't do bees' I was told, but I was given the number of a local bee keeper. He came straight round, keen to capture them to put into one of his hives. Unfortunately, the chimney in question is not really accessible, but luckily he had a plan. He produced a 'nucleus hive'. This is just a mini bee hive with a few sheets of honeycombed beeswax in it. Into this he put sugared water to attract the bees, the idea being to offer them a more attractive home than our chimney.

Well, the bees took the bait. They kept coming down, finding their way into the hive via the door at the bottom. One can be seen going in on the photo. The bee keeper left the hive on our kitchen roof all day, his plan apparently working.

Just before dark, the bee keeper returned to take the hive away. We dressed, with due solemnity, in bee keeping smocks with integral face protection. I held the ladder while he ascended to retrieve the hive. Once it was down, we carried it carefully to his car. It was then that he became concerned that the hive was unusually quiet. He took a peek inside. Two drowsy bees looked out of an otherwise empty hive. The rotters had robbed the hive of the sugar and fled.

Well at least they had gone. They were no longer crawling over the chimney pot -Until the next day, when they returned and set up camp in the next chimney pot. I ended up trying to remove them by lighting a fire (on the hottest day of the year). This wouldn't harm them, but it should have given them the urge to leave. They took no notice at all.

So they are still up there, though they are keeping a lower profile today.

C'est la bee. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Goodnight Llangorse

Friday, June 09, 2006

Slate roof flora

Views from Tabletop mountain.

The view from the top of the Sugarloaf

The view coming down.

Woods on the path up to Sugarloaf mountain

A not-so-old ruin

Old Ruins

Llanthony Abbey

Tretower castle

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Around Crickhowell

We stayed at 'The Neuadd' in Llangattock, near Crickhowell, South Wales, last week. The top view was taken looking out of the courtyard. The middle photo is the canal and the bottom one is part of Ye ruined castle. more ruins to follow!

Well, I'm back from the land of song. We had a wonderful week in glorious sunshine. We took over 300 photographs. 300! I know how tedious it can be to look at holiday snaps, so I'll limit them by trying to mustering up some artistic integrity.
Thanks for the nice comments!

This is a little church by Llangorse.
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