Tales from the Lodge

Each day a pang of guilt goes through me if I have not blogged. Nevertheless blogging is taking a back seat yet again as the demands of the refurbishment and the garden take precedence. I feel even more guilty if I have not dropped in on my regular writers. I do miss them. However the refurb is turning into a nightmare. With each floorboard lifted more horrors are revealed and I am now staring down the barrel of a plumber’s bill that would have bought a modest house not so very long ago.

The garden is proving a refuge in which I can cling onto my sanity. The moth survey is hampered by temperatures down to 1c overnight and moths generally stay inside and watch Moth TV until it gets to 10c. Lepidopteran Street, set in darkest Lancashire, is a popular choice. Ena, Minnie and Martha are always entertaining. 31 brave species have ventured out however and I’d like to record my thanks to the Nut-tree Tussocks and the Frosted Greens who have been especially brave.

Last night we had heavy rain but I ran the trap anyway and was rewarded for my pains by a Great Diving Beetle – a ferocious and mighty predator – a spider munching on a Hebrew Character and a brace of Caddisflies. Now trichoptera are beginning to fascinate me as there seems to be little reference material available. This is in fact Glyphotaelius pellucidus and I am indebted to Ian Thirlwell for giving me its ID. Who wouldn’t like one of these before breakfast?Trichoptera sp 1b

I am also trying to ‘do’ some flora but I think I am better at butter. I can just about manage these 2: don’t ask me for the exact species but the top one is a stunning Azalea. We also have Camellia and Rhododendrons in full bloom. I guess that means we have acidic soil.Azalea

I thought our Bluebells were good (and these are ours) but next door’s show is simply magnificent.Bluebell CopseI find pleasure even in the compost heap where the odd fungus is sprouting.The MushroomThe scale of the garden is overwhelming me and so tomorrow I am meeting a gardener, who I hope will help me blitz it once and then do some regular maintenance whilst I play. I have been very productive at cutting things down and the pond is much improved. We also have a splendid new blue Hydrangea macrophylla, courtesy of some visiting friends – thank you Rob & Anita. Last night was the first time I heard an owl call. A Tawny Owl was maybe 50-100m away and I hope it will visit us at close quarters soon. I continue to be entertained by the woodpeckers giving me my daily yaffle.

Sometimes though we need a break and walk to the Down. Yesterday was one such day and here is a picture of where we went….. into The Magic Wood. Steve G and I have been debating on FB the merits of goblins as I was sure I saw some. Possibly though they were gnomes and just to brush up on my taxonomy of woodland spirits I am going to reread BB’s The Little Grey Men.


That’s all I have time for today. Until next time.

35 thoughts on “Tales from the Lodge

  1. Andrew, a man after my own heart, get a man in who does, but then I have a wife who deals with the more technical bits so that I can do the kost important work of all……enjoy it!

  2. Trees, especially captured with eery clarity in black and while, are always favorites with me. But in this post, I was also so glad for the flowers and brilliant colors. The last two days here have been cold and foggy, so I live vicariously through pictures.

  3. When we bought an 1850’s farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills, a friend told us that managing an old house is a bit like managing a sick pet — there’s always something going wrong 😦

    Good luck with the renovations, Andrew — and with the garden, which already looks beautiful and will, I know, soon look even more stunning!

  4. I hope the owl is a permanent resident. I love hearing their call. Your garden looks enchanting – the sea of bluebells must really lift your spirits and I bet the scent is wonderful. Any signs of swallows yet?

  5. It’s great to read about what you’ve been up to. I love those flowers and my favorite pic is the one of the mushroom that sprouted from the leaf mold. I’m fond of all the shades of brown. It looks like you have some a pine tree or some other evergreen as evidence by the what looks like some cones.

    I’m sorry about your remodeling woes. It is a real pain with lots of frustration.

  6. We have overlooked gremlins, Andrew. Somewhere betwixt goblins and gnomes in the mischief department.
    Your yard, pond and garden all appear more than worth the effort and expense. They shall be constant sources of delight and discovery. Even the compost pile seems a treat.

  7. Certainly looks good Little Grey Men country. Just so long as they haven’t got as far north as the lepidoptera! On a quiet night you can find them in the snug huddling over a glass of milk stout!

    • The LGM were in Warwickshire Simon. I started the book last night. It brings back very happy memories. I must read more childhood books. A mixture of Biggles, Bunter and (William) Brown would suit me well.

      • When Cloudberry sets off to follow his dream there is really only one county he can wish to end up in! Surely it was an attempt to get out of Warwickshire!

  8. Greatly endorse the idea of having a gardener! My whole enjoyment of having a garden, as you know, was blighted by it being too much for me.

  9. Lucky you, we have to grow our Rhododendrons in great tubs (I foolishly bought just one years because my husband said he liked them). Try some Kipling for the Magic Wood. Blogging intermittently is fine (and I prefer it), random reinforcement is stronger than classical conditioning.

  10. When are you taking your Suttonford break? There’s a Festival at the w/end and you might get some good photos. Candia will have a stall…..

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