Garden Nuts

We’ve been watching these little fellas grow outside our kitchen window. It won’t be long before the squirrels find them and make off with their treasure, but for now we’re enjoying their weirdness, and the novelty of seeing them so close to the house. What are they? They’re cobnuts, a cultivated variety of hazelnuts that…

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Winter Mothering

February is a month of many birthdays in our family, so my mind is naturally drawn to the winter mothering that has taken place down through our generations. I always greet the neighbourhood horses as I pass by on my walks, but today I slowed more than usual to appreciate the tender mothering that was taking…

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Winter Gardens

Our wildlife-friendly back garden is the reason we have so many guests at this time of year. It is a wild garden… it may never win any awards from Gardener’s World, but our local critters seem to appreciate Jeff’s attentiveness and care. And I appreciate his generosity in sharing what he sees (and hears) with me. Our winter…

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Morning Visitor

Sometimes, if you don’t go out into the world, the world comes to you. This little lady, a hawfinch, showed up in our garden this morning, much to Jeff’s delight — he’s convinced that he’s the first birder to find one in a local garden. So, a happy morning for us!

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Greeting 2016

New Year’s Day, 2016: We bundled up early to head into the cold morning to greet the year with a spirit of adventure. We started with the familiar by stopping at Rayleigh Mill, which I have shown you many times through the seasons, and then drove further down the road to Hullbridge to feed the swans…

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Old Grey

Our weather seems to be trying out every shade of grey today. It’s not particularly cold, just grey and (now) drizzly. This horse made me laugh as she reached her neck through the fence to nibble on the greener side — she almost looks like she’s wearing a crown. Sweet! I guess she’s going to…

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Softly, Gently

As I’ve been telling you, this is a fun week for the village, but today I’m giving in to the fatigue and scratchy throat that have been hovering in the background for the past couple of days. As testament to the walking practice I’ve been developing, I still walked, but I divided the day into…

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Rainy Day

I did finally make it out for a walk this afternoon, but for the most part I just wanted to curl up indoors while it drizzled and rained and damped outside. Very bleaaagh. I keep reminding myself that the rain is what makes England a green and pleasant land…. and it also makes mushroom-y marvels…

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Puzzling Rayleigh’s Monkeys

We were back in Rayleigh for an appointment this morning, and we dutifully walked the High Street for a bit of shopping and browsing. As always, we stopped to admire the huge Monkey Puzzle Tree at the junction of Bellingham Lane and London Hill. (We actually took these photos last week when the weather was…

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