Saturday, 28 May 2016

Home Again

This morning we drove from Heathrow for a brief visit to David's Mum and Dad.  It was lovely to see everyone.  We had our photo taken but failed to take any pictures of the rest of the family.

On arrival in Leamington we were greeted with lovely smiles.

Theo had been for a pre-birthday party picnic in the park and was full of beans.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to starting to celebrate his birthday..

Friday, 27 May 2016

Where did that year go?

A familiar view out of the window at Dulles means that we are on our way home tonight and looking forward to seeing everyone.

We are especially looking forward to celebrating Theo's first birthday.

This year has gone by so quickly - and he is growing up so fast!!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Art of Eric Carle

This image of Eric Carle's 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' is very familiar to many of us who have enjoyed that wonderful book.

In Atlanta a few weeks ago I was quite surprised to see the large original illustration on the wall, together with original illustrations from many other books which I had never seen, making up an exhibition of the work of this talented writer and artist.

I liked the look of this book..

And was surprised at how many different books he had created..

These illustrations are familiar..

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Bird Behaviour

White throated American nuthatches are regular visitors to our feeders.  They are sleek, neat and distinguished by their habit of feeding upside down and moving quickly up and down the feeders or neighboring tree trunks.

I saw this fluffy, maybe young, nuthatch sitting on the decking rail, rather spread out.   While I watched him and by the time I had got the camera out he had also dropped his head over the edge and looked to be in a bad way.

Moments after this photo was taken, however, he gathered himself up, flew to the feeder looking as sleek as ever and then flew off before I had a chance to take a 'miracle recovery' photo!

Such odd behaviour.  Various suggestions are made online as to why birds (not just nuthatches) may do this.

Are they playing dead because a predator is passing?  Are they simply sunning themselves? - it was very hot.

Another suggestion which I have heard before in relation to blackbirds on the lawn spreading their feathers out is that they are spreading their wings to enable ants to feed on parisitic mites that live in their feathers.

I have seen birds sitting low, fluffing and spreading their feathers before but this is the first one I have seen which has flopped over quite so convincingly!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Rabbit in the Grass

Although we see squirrels galore, deer, foxes and raccoons, it is unusual for us to see a rabbit.

Today was the exception - in the late afternoon sunshine (today has been very warm, as forecast), a rabbit was enjoying the grass below the house.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Water, water, everywhere..

Today's weather was as predicted in the forecast.  A fine morning followed by thunderstorms late in the afternoon.

Coming back from work with David we crawled slowly along flooded roads.

Back at the house the water was advancing on the garage and had already made its way into several parts of the basement..

At the bottom of the garden the usually invisible stream had turned into a raging, muddy, torrent..

In this photo you can see the water lying on the grass and perhaps just see the brown water rushing through the trees behind.

Thankfully the forecast for the rest of the week is for sunshine - no doubt fairly steamy sunshine tomorrow at least.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Summer Pudding

We had invited friends to visit this evening for dinner and so the dining room was fully unpacked - although the walls are still looking a little bare.

Despite the pouring rain I thought that I would make a summer pudding, something I have never done before.  The berries were prepared and in the pan and I set about cutting the bread to fit the basin..

The berries were soon heating through and the juice running..

Perhaps not as much juice as there might have been as, despite pressing it down all afternoon in the fridge, I could not turn the whole pudding the lovely red/purple colour.

End result was slightly piebald even after an application of sauce over the top..

But it tasted ok..