Lucky, Lucky, Lucky

Any day that starts with a rainbow has got to be considered lucky.  And that wasn’t the last of the omens of good fortune.

Next we found a lucky newt, especially lucky for him as he managed to avoid the tines of my fork.

Then a mushroom portent, along with a lawn full of puff balls that Lord Mantle systematically popped as he mowed.

Finally there was a heart shaped golden raspberry, which legend tells us is only lucky if eaten.

When I got home I ran into the front room, demanding to see the Premium Bond top prize winning letter.  Not quite that lucky it seems.

Flying Lessons


After a fairly productive “tidy and mulch” morning, the forecast rain arrived to scupper my afternoon plans.  Luckily I had contingencies.  And conveniently they were all greenhouse based.  I say “based” because it did involve going into the deluge, but not for long and intermittently.  Today was the day I had ear-marked for clearing out the feral tomato plants.  Nipping out side shoots had been abandoned weeks ago.  They had been “expressing” themselves freely ever since.  I could see from the outside the soup of squashed fruit, mouldy leaves and lurking molluscs squashed against the glass.  Not a job for the faint-hearted.  So, with a wheelbarrow parked at chucking distance outside, I cruelly attacked the optimistic top growth.  When it was piled high I  pushed it up to the compost bin.  This took several trips.  The best green tomatoes were laid out on the shelving to ripen.  We live in hope.  Then the growbags were loaded and pushed up the hill to be stored until a piece of free ground needs a little improvement.  Then on to scraping up the gunk and detritus left behind, all the while throwing the resident population of slugs and snails over the hedge into the field beyond.  Luckily for this little newt I was wearing my specs and he didn’t partake in the flying lessons.  I tucked him in a cosy corner where hopefully he will be safe until the spring.

Gone Fishing

Lady Mantle went fishing today.  More accurately she went skimming.  The pond has become a little green in recent weeks, caused by a film of dastardly duckweed, not an ideal look for a healthy water feature. So Her Ladyship put on her wellies (for aesthetic affect only, she didn’t actually enter the water, although it was touch and go on occasion, and if she had gone in the wellies wouldn’t have helped much, but I did have my camera primed just in case, you really can’t miss these opportunities, and no I wasn’t wishing, well OK maybe a little) armed herself with her trusty fishing net and set to work.

Each net was examined for creatures which had been inadvertently transported from the depths to the light of day and these were quickly returned.  LM left piles of aquatic vegetation poolside, giving easy access for the critters that were missed to return back to their preferred habitat.   Here are a few that had a more exciting day than they perhaps were planning on.

A zillion tadpoles:


A dragonfly nymph:

dragonfly nymph

A shiny water beetle (and friend):

Three newts, or perhaps one newt desperate for attention:


And most exciting of all, a fine example of the very rare Exmoor Frogus plasticus:

Keep this last one to yourself, we don’t want to cause a commotion.