25 March 2017

Mother's Day Cakes

Tomorrow my English family is gathering to celebrate mother's day, so I made some little cakes (recipe here), one for each of us. With spring coming and so much fruit in the shops, it only made sense to make them extra fruity. And they look pretty, too.

17 March 2017

Plants and Pets Meet a DSLR Camera

Up until now I have been using my small digital camera, my iPad or my phone to take pictures for this blog. However, last Saturday we went on a"Take better photos with your D-SLR camera" course organised by Surrey Adult Learning which really opened my eyes to some of the features that are available on a DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera.

My favourite part of the workshop was when we were sent outside to have lunch and take some pictures and play with all the settings. I particularly enjoyed practising my photography on this Hebe plant, just seeing how the camera focuses and how close can I get to the plant to still see the detail without it all blurring up.

I couldn't wait to come home and start taking all the pictures that were forming in my head. One of the reasons I was so excited was because we had some very special animal visitors staying for the weekend - ten chicks that we hatched at school as a part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) fortnight.

We received ten eggs and all ten have hatched successfully, giving us five male and five female chickens. The little one below still has his egg tooth attached. It is the lighter extension on the tip of his beak. It helps the baby chicks breaks through the shell and peels off after a couple of days.

Ever since being hatched they worked extremely hard being observed, picked up, cuddled, showed in lessons and eagerly visited during break and lunchtimes.

No wonder they were tired! I loved looking at their little bodies all huddled together to keep warm, making up for the fact that their mother hen was replaced by a heating light bulb.

But of course when I played with my camera, I couldn't leave out Rocket! After all, she is the star of the household! Here she is stuffing her face with some lamb's lettuce.

And then dragging some lettuce stuck underneath her shell around the tortoise table. She's the cutest!

05 March 2017

The Excitement of Spring

It is so sad that in this busy world we can get so distracted that we do not notice the gradual changes around us. And then suddenly we are really surprised when we find out that we let them pass us by without actually enjoying them. 

That nearly happened to me. But one day as I was walking to town spring suddenly hit me in the face with warm sunshine, sweet scent of flowers and bright colours - greens, yellows, violets - coming out of the ground everywhere. 

That evening I sat down with my seed collection, diary and an old copy of Gardener's World Magazine - Grow Your Own from 2015 and thought about what I will grow and where, whether to start my seedlings indoors and then re-pot them and when I'll do what.

I am particularly excited about this little selection of seeds from Shelled Warriors that my husband gave me for my birthday. This year I will not only try to grow food for us, but also for Rocket

With wellies on I dug up a few small beds today, but being constantly interrupted by rain, I soon retreated indoors to a warm cup of tea and a packet of crisps.

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