Slow and steady

Moving slowly through the UK countryside


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A sea of Asters

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We visited Old Court Nurseries and The Picton Garden today, in Colwall, Herefordshire, where they have the national collection of Michaelmas Daisies.  Michaelmas is the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, on 29th September, which is close to the autumn equinox (today) and so associated with the beginning of autumn.

It was sunny and warm, so the butterflies were out too – Red Admiral, Comma and Small Tortoiseshell, and bees were buzzing busily.

What an amazing display of colour.  Most of the plants were Michaelmas daisies, but there were a few others mixed in too – some Golden Rod, Heleniums and Rudbeckias – plenty of saturated colours.  I couldn’t help but be drawn to the vivid magenta, just like the ones I had in my hair when we were married, over 30 years ago.  It was a low-key wedding even for those days, photos taken by friends, catering by Mum (I had no idea what an undertaking I’d asked for there – thanks, Mum!) and flowers from the garden – such happy memories.  But my goodness, we look so young!

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All rather glorious.  As if that wasn’t enough for one day, on the way home we passed a flower lorry, delivering to the village garden shop – another feast for the eyes. Flowers in transit. (I have to confess though, that I get almost as excited by shelves of stationary – Rymans and Staples, mmmm! – but flowers, sun and bees do have the edge.)

Flower van delivering to the garden shop

Flower van delivering to the garden shop


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Flustered by fluttering beauties

A few of the butterflies I saw on holiday in Wales, on the Ceredigion coast, and in gardens just inland in August.  Click on any picture for a slide-show.

The Grayling was a surprise – I thought I’d taken a picture of a Painted Lady until I checked it in the book.   I did see Painted Ladies too, but not close up.  I got quite excited about the Wall butterflies, as we don’t get them at home, and I can’t remember when I last saw one.

This was the best hunting though – I had to stalk it for ages, and I wasn’t sure what it was.  Then it came and sat on my leg!  I was so flustered that all I managed were several totally out of focus shots – but then it was kind enough to sit and pose for me – a Silver-Washed Fritillary, another new one for me.

Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly at Castell Henllys

Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly at Castell Henllys


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Ceredigion Coast

I was in the middle of uploading this last night when all our electrical sockets suddenly stopped working…  I’ve just had an electrician out to sort out a fault on the fuse board (one of the circuit breakers seems to be faulty, and had tripped everything out on one half of the fuse board even though it didn’t need to) and I’m back online.

So now I need to see what I can salvage from the freezer, which has been off (unopened) for 18 hours. Ah well, it needed a sort out anyway. At least the lights, the boiler and the cooker were still working last night.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures from our holiday on the north coast of South Wales. Definitely an area worth visiting. I hope you enjoy them.