It’s possibly the start of the rainy season now – not that we’ve had much rain yet – though we have had some big downpours. However, yesterday was cloudless blue and very hot. For a newbie from the UK it’s a bit strange. Life here seems to my cold Northern brain to be a permanent summer. Even the rain we’ve had is more reminiscent of a summer storm than a winter deluge. Day after day the temperatures range from a daytime low of 25°C to 32°C – yesterday might have been hotter.
To be in October and enjoying such temperatures is strange. In my last school we close the ICT rooms when it got to 30°C – here I’d never teach if we followed that directive.
Of course we’re in the Southern Hemisphere (only just at 2.5°S!) and so we are technically moving into the hotter time of the year – though I don’t think there’s much difference.
What is clear is that the birds are starting to nest; gathering twigs, grasses etc and starting to display a little. In that sense it is Spring, which makes sense. I suppose this activity must be a response to the rains to come. Personally I’d be pleased if the rains held off a little until Half Term when we’re planning a short break away – details to follow 🙂
T Minus 93
As the blooms begin to fade beneath the Ceanothus there is a deluge of blossom giving the appearance of a light dusting of blue snow. The show has been spectacular but is coming to an end as time marches on.
Taken from our very own garden – I make no bones about sharing pictures of our amazing Wisteria blossoms in combo with the Ceanothus.
A submission to this week’s Travel Theme: Blossom
T Minus 99
It’s probably safe to say that we’re not going to get any snow!
Today has been a lovely day. I grabbed some photos of the Wisteria and Ceonothus close up this morning before work. I will miss this annual combo.
The forecast for the week ahead courtesy of Accuweather is predicting warmer temperatures over the next week – so Spring is firmly entrenched.
We never really had a winter. Not a single snowflake fell in this part of the world – let alone settled on the ground. I can’t remember the last time that happened. I love the first snow of winter – even though it becomes tiresome after a few days as it turns to slush and / or black ice. It’s quite nice to have the odd Snow Day too ;-).
This year winter was having none of it. True we had some frosts but I can count on one hand the number of days I had to scrape the ice off the car. In the end we had months and months of rain with some high winds on occasions.
Given this will have been our last UK winter for a few years it was a little disappointing. Other than the top of Kilimanjaro, I imagine I won’t see snow for a few years :-(. So the last Snow as in April 2013.
Having said that – now I’ll probably wake up to 6 inches of the white stuff in June – stranger things have happened. 😀
The photos below were taken between 2010 and 2013.
Posted in MK, Normality, UK Living
Tagged Ceonothus, flood, frost, Kilimanjaro, MK, rain, snow, Spring, UK, weather, wind, winter, Wisteria
T Minus 101
Rain is not my favourite weather. Even so the raindrops make for some impressive pictures when they rest on the leaves and flowers in the garden. I just grabbed these before breakfast.
Spring has provided so much material from which to choose and I just had to make one more contribution – so my last is my favorite Spring flowers Rhododendrons and Azaleas – the sheer variety of colours is what appeals.
All photos taken at either Westonburt Arboretum in Gloucestershire or Sherringham Park in Norfolk
Weekly Photo Challenge:Spring.
Posted in blogging, Weekly Photo Challenge
Tagged azalea, buttercups, challenge, Forest, Hatfield, photo, postaday, rhododendron, Spring, weekly, weekly photo challenge
Do you like butter? Buttercups in Hatfield Forest. Taken yesterday.
Weekly Photo Challenge:Spring. A carpet of Golden Yellow among the trees.
A fifth submission to the Weekly Photo Challenge for Spring. If it isn’t Spring flowers then surely lambs are one of the signs of Spring (in the UK at least). These photos from April 2011 at a farm near Brigg in Lincolnshire.
Spring – 1
Spring – 3
Spring – 4
T minus 110
The Grand Union Canal flows through the heart of Milton Keynes. It’s a lovely waterway especially in the Spring and a real haven for wildlife.
Posted in Getting Prepared, MK, UK Living
Tagged bat, canal, car, Grand Union, heron, Milton Keynes, MK, nature, run, running, Spring, UK
Spring from the bank….
Inspired by my run / walk along the Grand Union Canal this morning but taken in May 2013, these pictures capture Spring in more senses than one.
A fourth submission to the Weekly Photo Challenge for Spring.
A third submission to the Weekly Photo Challenge for Spring all photos taken from our garden.
Spring – 2
A Second submission to the Weekly Photo Challenge for Spring featuring a Robin – usually seen as a winter bird – here photographed in Rye Meads Nature Reserve back in April 2009
Spring – 1
This weeks Photo Challenge is on the subject of Spring – there are so many pictures to choose from so here is my first. Taken at Grays Court near Henley in
the UK – a Carpet of Bluebells
Then there was a rogue ‘whitebell’ amongst the throng
Spring – 2
T Minus 115
I think this is probably the best time of year on my journey to and from work. Spring is in full flood. This morning the scenery was shrouded in mist; shades of grey surrounding the world as I passed by.
This made the journey home this evening all the more impressive as I passed by a patchwork of golden yellow rapeseed infiltrating the vibrant green of conventional crops.
Unfortunately I never really get a chance to photograph it on my journeys to and from work so this is a written memory (photo below is a Stock Photo).
The journey from Long Crendon to Waddeston via Winchendon Hill gives fantastic views on a sunny day. As well as the fields the verges are in harmony with dandelions peeking through the long grasses. In Whitchurch the palette changes with blue Wisteria and Ceonothus bushes against the walls of the houses. These are slightly ahead of our own which will soon come into bloom. Then it’s back to green and gold as I head down to Swanbourne. On the other side it’s fields full of lambs and on to Drayton Parslow, Bletchley then home.
I will definitely miss this journey in years to come. 🙂
Posted in Normality, travel, UK Living
Tagged colour, Drayton Parslow, gold, green, journey, Long Crendon, Spring, Swanbourne, travel, UK, Waddeston, Whitchurch, Winchendon
T Minus 123
Today is a Bank Holiday in the UK and so with the weather looking good we headed of with Anita’s family to Gray’s Court a National Trust property near Henley on Thames. Some fabulous gardens built among the ruins of a castle and a fabulous bluebell wood. We had a great time.
Posted in Normality, UK Living
Tagged Anita, blue, colour, family, flowers, gardens, Graham, Graham & Anita, plants, Spring, UK
T Minus 128
The danger in all this preparation we’ve been doing is that we miss out on the glorious Spring weather we’re currently having and the opportunities to visit some of our favourite places in England before we move away. Most weekends have been spent clearing, selling, painting and gardening. This week we have been taking things much more easy.
Today we have used our National Trust Membership before it runs out in May and have been to Hidcote Manor Gardens in Gloucestershire. We last went in Summer 2012 and thought we’d like to see what Spring has to offer.
Rather than share conventional photos on this blog I thought I’d share some I took using the Front Facing “Selfie” camera on the iPhone. I used this to take the plants from below as well as for more conventional “selfies”
Here also a few conventional shots just for the sake of it.
Posted in MK, Normality, travel, UK Living
Tagged Anita, clearing, garden, gardens, Getting Prepared, Graham, Graham & Anita, MK, painting, photo, Spring, travel, UK
T Minus 130
Today is a “Do Nothing Day”, or more strictly a “Do Nothing on the House Day. Time to relax and do other stuff. It’s been pretty intense these past few weeks so it’s nice to have a break.
So what are we doing?
Posted in MK, Normality, UK Living
Tagged Caldecotte, canal, fitness, Health, Lake, MK, relax, run, Spring, wildlife
T Minus 131
Taking stock of a weeks work on the garden
T minus 141
Out garden is probably at its best in Spring. I will miss it. The Ceanothus and Wisteria blue combination is sill to come but for now it’s the red of the flowering currant and the yellow of the Forsythia and Keria Japonica which dominate.