Hobbies

Well, this covers just about anything else that comes up in my blog…all my digressions!

Butterflies

Painted lady

Painted lady

I liked the butterfly identifier on the Butterfly Conservation site, and also followed the link through to the Great British Butterfly Hunt (in The Independent). Some great images here. The UK butterflies site looks pretty useful too. A final one I looked at was British Butterflies.

The butterflies and moths I think I have seen are:

  • painted lady (May, June, August));
  • green hairstreak (May);
  • common blue (May);
  • brimstone moth (May)
  • small tortoiseshell (May, August);
  • large white (May, June, July, August));
  • speckled wood (June, August, September, October);
  • dingy skipper (June),
  • red admiral (June),
  • grayling (June),
  • small heath (June),
  • cinnabar moth (June),
  • marbled white (June),
  • gatekeeper (June);
  • meadow brown (June, July, August);
  • comma (June, July)
  • green-veined white (July)
  • peacock (August)
  • small white (August)
  • small skipper (August)
  • clouded yellow (October)

 

butterfly  dsc00818-copyspeckled wood dsc00745-copy 

speckled wood

 dsc00821-copy

meadow brown

 dsc00750-copy

meadow brown?

 

cinnabar moth

cinnabar moth

 

dsc00753-copy

common blue? or adonis blue?

 dsc00752-copy  dsc00740-copypainted lady
 

gatekeeper

gatekeeper

dsc00908-copycomma dsc00915copy1

 

comma

dsc00898copy

green-veined white

 

red admiral

red admiral

 

peacock

peacock

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large white

small skipper?

small skipper?

small tortoishell

small tortoishell

small tortoishell

small tortoishell

The RSPB site has an A-Z of a wildlife garden, including what to plant to attract wildlife, and descriptions of butterflies.

Chi Kung (Qigong)

wikipedia entry

Cosmetics

Bionsen Deodorants - aluminium free
Simple products, recommended by nurses during radiotherapy, especially the soap
Tom’s of Maine - deodorants that are aluminium-free based on hops, and toothpaste that is based on natural products, with all the ingredients described.
Sun cream - factor 50: E45 or uvistat

Damselflies and dragonflies

 

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Blue-tailed damselfly

 

I’ve been finding out the differences between damselflies and dragonflies - damselflies are smaller, and when they are resting the wings are folded away.The wings are narrower.
There are some fantastic photos on the British Dragonfly Society site. There are about 20 species of damselflies in the UK, and about 30 of dragonflies.

Growing fruit & veg

 


blueberry

blueberry

What I’m trying to grow:
Aubergine - planted out in May. Slugs are a problem - the leaves are disappearing fast. Didn’t work out.
Basil - didn’t go well - the slugs enjoyed this; got a small pot on the window sill which is doing better.

Broccoli - white sprouting - looking god so far.
Blueberries - flowered in May.
Chives  -doing nicely
Cranberries - flowered in June
Courgette - started with 2 plants but the slugs ate one straight away, the other is just hanging in. Started again using a Grow-bag - growing well so far.

cucumber - have started with a small plant. Keeping it in a sunny position.
Grapevine - how to look after it on the bbc gardening website. It says to allow 3 shoots to grow in the spring, and to remove side shoots, pruning back to just one leaf. The grapevine started out as an unpromising stick, but then buds grew which then became leaves - its been quite fun to watch the changes.
Melon - planted in May but just wilted.
Mint - chocolate mint actually - sounded more tempting! Thriving.
Mushrooms - growing shiitake mushrooms indoors using a kit. Great fun!
Parsley - in the grow-bag - enjoying adding it to meals.
Parsnips -planted seeds in May. Nothing came of it.

Potatoes - growing strongly in re-cycled hessian coffeee bean sacks.

Spinach - thriving - picking off leaves and keeping coming back for me. In a grow-bag - doing really well.
Strawberries - planted out in May. got one trailing plant with a red flower, and a couple of plants with white flowers. Was very proud of my first strawberry, but found that it had been eaten when I went to pick it! Think the birds had it.

strawberry

strawberry

Thyme

Sprouting seeds: broccoli, wheatgrass, rocket, beet, mustard

Seeds & gardening tips:

Organic Gardening site.
BBC gardening - grow your own fruit and veg”
RHS (Royal Horticultural Society)
Ideas for dealing with slugs at gardenaction.co.uk.

Thompson & Morgan range of sprouting seeds, including onion, radish, rocket, wheatgrass and cabbage as well as the more usual ones. Also germinators.
Sutton Seeds - sprouting lentils, alfalfa, mung beans, fenugreek, radish

Tai chi

World T’ai Chi and Qigong day site
wikipedia

Wild flowers

daisies
Botanical society of the British Isles flora identifier