Category Archives: Autumn

Autumn is Here!

DSC05238Surely the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us! This morning’s webs hammocking along the hedges in the blue mists cast something of a magic spell. Who has been around during our sleeping time, nipped the walnut off the tree, to leave it half-eaten on the path beneath?  Was it you  Mr/Mrs. Squirrel, whom Joe spiedHarvesting 039 scampering up the hazel tree yesterday morning?

And what butterflies, bees, wasps and variety of insects voraciously feeding – as if all are
foreboding a harsh winter.

Pat, in passing yesterday evening, stood and counted the butterflies – seven small Tortoise Shells and one Red Admiral on one clump of sedem, and probably as many more on the other clumps around.

Yesterday, too, Angie met green froggie as she was doing some Autumn clearing of the long grass. A reminder to us to be sparing POBOEBIO 025about our Autumn tidying. Our urge/addiction to tidying is often the destruction of habitats. Last year we didn’t need to put out a bird feeder (anyway, how appropriate is it to be feeding food from other climates to our birds?). We leave the seed heads on all of the plants and flowers, Aquileqia, Evening Primrose, Teasel and of course we leave the Ivy. At this time too, we have all the nativeInsectsetc 052 berries and they can last well into the winter months.

And what about the leaves?

 

 

SEASON OF WEBS

As the final season of the Earth’s calendar commences, we are treated to spectacular morning displays; the Season of Webs has arrived.image
We are reminded that life on this planet is not a pyramid; not a hierarchy; but a wonderful WEB of LIFE celebrating diversity and interdependency. As the totality of the web is made up of individual strands, so too the totality of life is expressed in a multiplicity of unique life forms, each with a right to its unique existence.

In a web, each strand is dependent on every other strand; just see what happens if we pull on one strand. So too each life form is completely dependent on other life forms. So thank you spiders, your genius constructions are a gift to us each morning to teach us the beauty of interdependent existence is all about; a deeper insight into Native American wisdom:

We do not weave the web of life. We are merely a strand in it. (CHIEF SEATTLE)

WebIvy

The eco-system is as delicate and fragile as a spider’s web. To ensure the continuation of a plant species, it will flower at a time when its main pollinators are in abundance and there is maximum output of seeds. There are myriads of examples of how unwittingly humans can upset the delicate eco system; the web of life.

 

 

For instance, if a non-native primrose is planted, it may flower earlier or later than the native species, hence tearing a hole in the complex web of life. Tender new leaves unfold on an oak tree in spring just as millions of insect larvae emerge to eat them. Synchronised time-cycles of plants and animals are thrown out of step when we replace native species with non-native.

WebSunlight

 

A web is seldom an independent entity; each is connected to the next by a single delicate strand. The webs are all so beautifully connected together, as it were holding one another up. Earth’s wonderful eco-system – of which we are a part, a strand – is made up of many, many interdependent and interconnected smaller ecosystems.

 

 

 

 

WebLeaves3

 

WebLeaves

WebFlowers2

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TOMATO & BASIL RECIPES

TOMATOES & BASIL

TOMATO & BASIL SOUP

With the splendid summer, gardeners who grow tomatoes and basil have been blessed with abundant crops.  Here are some delicious recipes that can be enjoyed now or frozen for winter use.

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FRESH TOMATO & BASIL SOUP

1 Medium Potato

1 Medium Onion

1lb (450gms) Fresh Tomatoes

2 Garlic Cloves

1 Bay Leaf

2tbls (30ml) Tomato Paste

2pts (1100ml) Vegetable Stock

Basil to   garnish

Salt & Pepper to taste – serves 4-6

Peel and chop garlic, potato & onion, sauté in butter

Quarter tomatoes & remove hard stem. 

Add all ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove bay leaf, blend soup and adjust seasoning to taste.

A little milk or cream can be added.

To serve, reheat and garnish with fresh basil.

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TOMATO SAUCE (yields ½ litre)

2tbls Olive Oil

3 Garlic Clove peeled & crushed

2 Onions peeled & chopped

1lb Fresh Tomatoes chopped (or 2 cans chopped tomatoes)

1tsp dried Oregano or chopped Basil

Sea Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper

Sauté the onion & garlic in olive oil for 8-10 minutes on medium heat in covered saucepan; stir occasionally.  Add the tomatoes & herbs. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes, liquidise.  When cold, store in a refrigerator for 2-3 days or freeze.

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PESTO SAUCE

Pesto Sauce

4ozs (115grms) Basil Leaves

2 Garlic Cloves peeled & crushed

2ozs (56grms) Pine Nuts

4fl ozs (140mls) Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

In a blender whizz basil, garlic and pine nuts.  Gradually add oil.

This mixture stores well for up to 3 days in a refrigerator or can be frozen.  Before serving 2ozs (56grms) finely grated Parmesan can be added.