Thursday, 11 September 2014

Butterfly Weather

If (ahem) you are a little untidy after taking cuttings and leave large leftover branches lying around (Martin is always very neat about these things and it drives him mad that my work often leaves clearing up for him), you may find they buy you an enormous amount of time. I am adamant that the children will get plenty of time outside while we are lucky enough to be at the centre of an Indian Summer roasting this September but it can be tiring. We were at the beach this morning but the last few days we've found things to occupy us outside at home. Our neighbour gave us a pile of her bay and I took the cuttings I wanted so Holly then went and dressed up as a tree and stood stock still for I don't know how long and I got this fruit painting finished. Then she and Sadie used the branches to make a house for their ponies, those twigs went a long way! At the beach I was telling the children how we'd make lavender wands next year and how I was going mad I hadn't known about them this year when we'd had lavender flowering. Sadie told me she knew where the lavender was and I kind of nodded and
smiled thinking she was confusing it with something else. But, when we got home, she brought me over to behind the raspberry canes where, the five-year-old was right, there was the lavender. I think Martin must have cut back the other stuff and that was why I thought it had finished flowering. We are all very excited about making wands (and I am sooo proud of Sadie being able to identify lavender).

We had visitors the other day, my brother, Colm, my sisters, Dee and Rose and another group that came with my cousins, Cian and Stephen. They called here to meet up with Martin for a hike in the mountains and left their cars here and headed off. Holly was not impressed. She was really annoyed at all the cars being left here and also that she didn't get to go. Before the gang headed off they asked me to take a photo of the lot of them and they stood outside on two different levels. I took no notice of this but Holly obviously did. The next day she said she wanted to go up the mountains so we did. It's a regular thing for us to walk in the Comeraghs so I didn't realise Holly was taking the walk she felt she should have been brought on with the others. She told me up there that she was going to hike up the
big mountain but first we should take a photo....she positioned herself and Sadie on a rock and told me to stay on the ground. I can't show you the photo she was copying because I don't know all the people who were in it but I can tell you Holly carried out a pretty accurate reinactment! When we got home she wanted sausage sandwiches which is what I had prepared for the real hikers the day before. We had some pavlova afterwards, between that and
fruit scones we're working our way through the millions of blackberries on our fences. I've frozen tonnes and also made jam. I've counteracted the arguments between two girls here (re the amount/size of berries on their slices of pavlova) by whisking some jam in with the cream so when I top the meringue it's all even, delicious and fair! Because of all the jam I've made we can switch between blackberry, gooseberry and blackcurrant pavlovas. I also used the last of our rhubard to make what I thought would be jam. My friend told me that it turns out like a sauce that can be used like cranberry sauce and she is right, it did and it's delicious.

Butterflies everywhere at the moment, we are really enjoying watching and identifying them. Sadie has pointed out Small Coppers to me a few times, she and Holly argue with me that they are not small butterflies but baby ones! I am sure I've never seen one before this year. Here's a
poem I wrote about them and one of the many butterfly paintings I've done. Oh, and one of MadrĂșn too, our freeloader, what a life he has, I am always so jealous of him.

There was a Spotted Wood having a fight with our window yesterday, the photos look like he's planning a hike in the Comeraghs too!


  1. Sounds like you are really making the most of this weather! Love all the painting and good luck with the lavender wands x

    1. I hit delete yesterday and it took me until now to realise that I deleted my reply here! We had fun making the lavender wands even if Sadie and Holly made their ones in their own unique way! Thanks Naomi.