Apparently, more than 60% of Brits believe that cows lying down indicates rain on the way. According to the Meteorological Office, the position of cattle in a field has nothing to do with weather conditions and probably means they’re just tired and needing a rest. I took this photograph yesterday morning when the sky began to look quite threatening. It did rain, but not until about six hours later. Make of that what you will.
Yesterday, while wandering around the magnificent walled garden at Cambo Estate near St Andrews in Fife, I came upon a drift of beautiful pale pink musk mallows (Malva moschata). I bought a packet of musk mallow seeds earlier this year and am looking forward to growing them in the spring. Mine are white with just a touch of pink in the middle, but I wouldn’t mind some of these lovely pale pink ones as well.
A cobbled lane in the conservation village of Culross, in Fife. Walking round Culross (pronounced Koo-ross) is like stepping back in time. Many of the old walls and buildings date back to the 16th and 17th Centuries and there are lots of little lanes and curious features to be discovered.
This is a tortoiseshell butterfly I saw the other day. Despite its loveliness, the shadow it casts makes me think of a menacing alien. If it were several times larger and looming over me in unfamiliar circumstances I think my heart rate would increase quite rapidly.
I was delighted the other day, when visiting the farm shop tearoom at Trumperton Forge in Angus, to see that the farmyard animals had been given a way of cooling down in the hot weather. Several large plastic containers filled with water were being enjoyed by the ducks.
A truly magnificent fruit scone served with butter and jam in the Apples for Jam tearoom in Melrose. With a scone so fresh and delicious, the accompanying condiments seemed superfluous.
Three years ago I tried growing courgettes for the first time. I bought a packet of seeds, put two seeds in the ground, and two plants grew up which produced about 80 courgettes between them. I was amazed by the success and keen to try again the following year. Unfortunately, on my second attempt slugs ate the plants before they could bear fruit, and the same thing happened the year after.
This year, hopeful of beating the slugs, I tried planting a couple of seeds in pots instead. Only one of them came up, but it began growing into a healthy-looking plant. By the time it was big enough to start fruiting, I transplanted it into a space next to where some lettuces had been growing well with no sign of slug damage.
There are now several courgettes growing happily on the plant and today I harvested my first one of the season. It formed part of a vegetable pasta dish which, if I’d thought of it soon enough, I’d have photographed to add to this post.