Friday, October 31, 2014

October - The Last Post

October has been full of fungi, ferns and fun filled frolicks.

Autumn colour

This month I have been mostly......

Enjoying 'Foodie Friday' in Salisbury market place

Charity shopping in Warminster with my mum and sister.    

We loved this shop - all those scrummy coloured balls of wool.  How I wish I could knit!

S L Corden & Sons hardware store

Shopping in this hardware store was like stepping back in time by about 50 years.

We sang in Winchester Cathedral.  A concert titled 'For the Fallen' comprising of works by English composers who all had some link to either the First or Second World War.  The choral version of Elgar's Nimrod was very moving.

Winchester Cathedral 
- living in Salisbury most of my life, it looks like it needs a spire!

We visited Kingston Lacey National Trust House with our friend Basil.

Kingston Lacey

Spot the odd one out

The kitchen gardens are a new feature

We have had a great month 'fungi' wise.  One day, after a middle aged melt down involving the Ordnance Survey map and moi not knowing where we were - we decided to try the nearest car park we could find in the New Forest.

Milkham Inclosure

It was lovely.  Milkham Inclosure is a pine inclosure, first planted in 1861, consisting of 396 acres of coniferous woodland and mature oaks.  Apparently, much of the original Scots Pine was used for boarding trenches in World War One.  Big Dog loves the forest because it is so soft underfoot, unlike our flint and chalky tracks in the village.

A very happy dog

My fellow fungi loving bungalow girl was in her element too.  This is an Earth Ball

A good day for fungi foraging!

From left to right:

1.  Not sure
2.  Shaggy Inkcap
3.  Russula
4.  Shank?
5.  Some kind of Mycena
6.  A kind of milkcap??
7.  A bolette
8.  Slippery jack
9.  Amathyst Deceiver
10. Penny bun
11. Dyer's Mazegill?
12. ??
13. Yellow Stags-horn jelly fungi
14. Jew's Ear
15. Fly Agaric
16. ??

It gets dark so early now......

Still lots of colour on my walks around the village

There are lots of shoots now and the cows are back in the barn.  So no snorting at the fence anymore.

And I've been identifying trees.  

White Poplar and Lime tree

White Poplars are wind resistant and suckers freely which means that they are sometimes planted near the sea to stabilize loose sand.  It is also regularly planted alongside motorways as it can withstand pollution.  The underside of the leaves are like snowy white felt and really catch the sun when they flicker in the wind.

Not sure which Lime tree this is but it has cordate (heart shaped) leaves which turn a gorgeous buttery colour this time of year.  The wood is used by makers of musical instruments due to its fine grain.  The inner bark (or bast) was once used to make rope, carpet and even shoes in prehistoric times.  These trees can easily live 500 years!  There are some in Britain that are 2000 years old.  I'd love to see the double line of Lime trees on the Clumber Estate in Nottinghamshire.  Planted in 1840, it is the longest avenue of its kind in Europe and consists of 1296 trees - 2 miles long!  Wow, I bet that is quite a sight.

I'm glad to see the funky coloured fruits of the Spindle trees again

I'm being good and practising the piano - it is so hard!

Pops on the piano

I've got plenty of sewing to get me through the cold, dark winter months......

My grandmother's quilt from the 1970's

We found another new walk in the New Forest - Godshill Wood.  We are trying to get to know the forest more.  It is so vast and so near, we are v lucky.  And the weather has been glorious this month. 19 degrees today and had lunch on the patio wearing a t-shirt.  Weird - it's November tomorrow!

Castle Hill - Gorgeous view over the river Avon in the valley below

Castle Hill (5 acres in all) is the site of an Iron Age hill fort dating back 2,500 years.  According to legend, the hill is home to the local dragon who was duly slain by a knight from the nearby village. The local pub bears the name 'The Green Dragon'.  The tracks are little changed from the 11th Century when William The Conqueror hunted in his very own forest.

We had a rumble of thunder but we didn't get too wet under the trees

It was almost tropical!

And we saw my two very favourite fungi.

Yellow Stags-horn jelly fungi

& Fly Agaric

Esme found a den

It is so beautiful this time of year.  I don't care that the garden looks a mess.  It doesn't help that I'm always out with the dog instead of gardening!

I'm sure that hill behind the bungalow gets steeper!

Echinacea in the back garden

Corn for the pheasants

Who knew there were so many greens and browns?

Cabbagey smells

Rain coming

Back down the chalky path, legs a bit wobbly

My neighbour wouldn't like all those leaves!  
He was sucking them up from in front of his house this morning.  They have got to be the most irritating sounding of garden tools, those leaf blowers.

Scrummy, scrummy, scrummy

I made spicy pumpkin and chorizo soup today with the innards of these lovely boys

Well, as the sun sets on the village and our little bungalow, this is also my last post.  It has been fun but I feel strange goings on - it is rather apt that it is All Hallow's Eve!  I feel change in the air.  I need new adventures.  Call it a mid-life crises!  My computer is going - downstairs to my fellow bungalow girl's den, it takes too long to download the photos, having thinband in the village, rather than broadband and I find I have fallen into that inevitable 'social media' trap of recording or telling people about what you are doing rather than actually experiencing it!!!  The only tweets I like are the ones that birds make.......Off I go.  The Caingorms is first on my list.  Better get some fur drawers.

Happy Halloween!!

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