Crickets in the Mint

As you may already know, England is in the midst of a hot, dry summer. Our lawn is crispy but our patio plants are thriving in the sunshine…. and the air is full of insects, from crickets to dragonflies to the biggest bumblebees I’ve ever seen. Because I enjoy making my own herbal tea blends,…

Read More

Spring on the Wing

We couldn’t resist taking advantage of the beautiful weather and headed back to the Canvey Wick nature reserve where we saw and heard the nightingales a few days ago. This morning, however, we were on the trail of the elusive green hairstreak butterfly (Callophrys rubi), shy creatures which can be nearly impossible to spot amongst…

Read More

Woodland Magic

Someone in Hockley has a wonderful imagination, and is sharing it freely with us woodland walkers – just look at these amazing chairs and the beautiful woods they are tucked into. Imagination woven into natural beauty is a magical elixir.

Read More

The Beckoning Path

An early morning stroll through Canvey Wick, a new-to-us nature reserve, reminded me of the joys of walking in the world. We found cuckoos, nightingales, rabbits, a baby fox, and bees galore. What a wonderful way to take advantage of the incredible spring weather that has finally arrived! I could feel the Path inviting my…

Read More

Spring Buzz

We’ve been enjoying some lovely weather this week, and I thought you might like a little glimpse of southern England’s springtime glory. Our insects are beginning to buzz about amongst the¬†early blossoms; this rather awesome bumblebee was enjoying the flowering cherry plum trees out at Maylandsea on the Essex coast today where Jeff was leading…

Read More

A Taste of Italy

We couldn’t resist. The Italian Food Market came back to Rayleigh yesterday, and we wanted to soak up the feast of food, accents, and conviviality. We’ll be back in Italy in a few weeks, so we saw this as an appetizer, a little sampling to whet our appetites for the real thing. A calzone for…

Read More

We Will Remember

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. We will remember. (Button memorial in St. Martin’s Church, Little Waltham,¬†Essex)

Read More

Raiders of the Lost Carp

He sits in the tree at the bottom of the garden like an angel on top of a Christmas tree, right at the top, watching. His prey is our neighbour’s koi carp, so his menace is real – but it’s still kind of exciting to see this huge Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) fly in every…

Read More

Southend After Dark

The nights are drawing in but the weather has been dry, so we’ve wanted to be out and about. Last night we had a wander along Southend seafront to enjoy the lights without the crowds. Never Never Land was a popular children’s park back when Jeff was a child – he remembers going with his…

Read More

Assandun

Leaving Paglesham the other day, we were happy and full, but we still didn’t feel quite done with our day. Not far away is St. Andrews church in Ashingdon, set up on a hill overlooking the fields and marshes – the best vantage point for miles around. We had to drive all the way around…

Read More