Herterton Country Garden ~July 2022 ~ part 2

Part 1 HERE

I know y’all were taken with Frank and Marjorie’s story last week, though I condensed 50 years into a couple of paragraphs so touched on not much more than an inch of it. They come across in Frank’s book as two lovely people, loving each other and their garden and home. I took a phone shot of them from the book, taken in 1994, they’d be in their 50’s here,under the arches of the byre, and sitting next to the falconer statue.

Frank & Marjorie

I took a fair few shots of some of the flowers on display, with some interesting (I think anyway) factoids.

Foxglove (digitalis purpurea)
The term digitalis is also used for drug preparations that contain cardiac glycosides, particularly one called digoxin, extracted from various plants of this genus. Foxglove has medicinal uses but is also very toxic to humans and other animals, and consumption can even lead to death.
Japanese Anemone (anemone hupehensis)
hupehensis, which means “from Hupeh province, China”, refers to a region where the species is known to occur. So that makes sense 🙄.
Astrantia (astrancia major) ~ the great masterwort, native to to central and eastern Europe.
The plant also produces an essential oil that can be used in herbal medicines.
Persian Cornflower (psephellus dealbatos)
a species of Psephellus native to the Caucasas Mountains and Turkey. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental perennial.
Purple Toadflax ( linaria purpurea ‘Canon Went’)
It is native to Italy but it can be found growing wild as an introduced species in parts of western North America. In the UK it is regarded as something of a weed, spreading readily on stony waste ground and walls, although it is tolerated for its attractive, long-lasting flowers which are very attractive to bees. This plant is poisonous to livestock, but in a recent study conducted in Italy the plant was found to contain a compound exhibiting antifungal activity, making it a potential natural and ‘green’ anti-aflatoxin B1 agent suitable for use in the food industry.
Martagon Lily, or Turks Cap Lily (lilium martagon)
is a Eurasian species of lily. It has a widespread native region extending from Portugal east through Europe and Asia as far east as Mongolia. It  is highly toxic to cats and ingestion often leads to fatal kidney failure.
Purple Viper’s-bugloss, or Patterson’s Curse, (echium plantagineum)
It is native to western and southern Europe (from southern England south to Iberia and east to the Crimea), northern Africa, and southwestern Asia (east to Georgia). It has also been introduced to Australia, South Africa and United States, where it is an invasive weed. Due to a high concentration of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, it is poisonous to grazing livestock, especially those with very simple digestive systems, like horses. When eaten in large quantities, it causes reduced livestock weight, and death in severe cases, due to liver damage. It can also irritate the udders of dairy cows and the skin of humans. After the 2003 Canberra bushfires, a large bloom of the plant occurred on the burned land, and many horses became ill and died from grazing on it. Because the alkaloids can also be found in the nectar of it’s flowers, the honey made from it should be blended with other honeys to dilute the toxins.
poppys in the wildflower garden

And we saw some butterflies

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
The red admiral is found in temperate regions of North Africa, North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and island regions of Hawaii, and the Caribbean. It resides in warmer areas, but migrates north in spring and sometimes again in autumn. Red admirals are territorial; females will only mate with males that hold territory. Males with superior flight abilities are more likely to successfully court females. They are the Tom Cruise of the butterfly world. It is known as an unusually calm butterfly, often allowing observation at a very close distance before flying away, also landing on and using humans as perches.
A small tortoiseshell, or angelwing. (Nymphalis) and a Red admiral.
Today, the anglewing butterflies are found only in the northern hemisphere. Carl Linnaeus described the first members of this group in 1758, and it has since become clear that anglewing butterflies evolved from a common ancestor. During winter months, in latitudes with snow cover, all members of this group hibernate as adult butterflies During hibernation, hidden in various shelters, the butterflies are dormant. The camouflage provided by crypsis (the ability of an animal or a plant to avoid observation or detection by other animals)is advantageous to hibernating butterflies. Potential predators will have difficulties in seeing the dormant butterflies. With their wings closed, exposing only the ventral cryptically coloured underside, they blend in with their surroundings.

More pictures taken with my film camera at

OK school’s out 🎓 😊 Stay tooned for next week!

Raby Castle Revisited Again! – August 2019

The thing with some places, like Raby Castle, Alnwick Castle, and a few other sites not part of English Heritage or National Trust but run privately, is that you buy a ticket to get in to the place, which isn’t always cheap, but allows you to visit as many times as you like within a year of buying it. Raby Castle is well worth a few visits and though we’d been back in May, we wanted a return trip to do the butterflies in the beautiful gardens there, always a spectacle.

This year was the year of the painted ladies invasion. The butterfly migrates to the UK each summer where its caterpillars feed on thistles. Every ten years or so there is a “painted lady summer” when they arrive en masse and 2019 was it.

But it wasn’t all painted ladies…

Comma

Small white

Red Admiral

Peacock

Meadow Brown

and the ladies

and it wasn’t all butterflies..

Not sure if these are wasps or hoverflies and I didn’t hang about to find out! 🙂

I was amazed at how much pollen a bee can collect and still fly!

Ladybird

Geese

Raby has a wonderful herd of deer, and we were lucky to get close to these guys again

The chaps

there’s always one….

all pictures can be embiggened with a click
full album of pretty pictures HERE

stay tooned folks!

Stockton on Tees~ Butterfly House ~ Part 2

I thought I’d just do one more post from the Butterfly House before we move back into History and visit Raby Castle.

Part 1 HERE

I don’t know what make this little bird is, but he was flying about inside the butterfly house.

 

As well as butterflies, there’s a separate section for Meerkats and reptiles.

 

 

 

There are some lovely ponds and details

 

but I love the flowers and butterflies the best

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that gives you an idea of how lovely it is to spend time in the Butterfly House.

Click on any picture to embiggen it if you like, and stay tooned for Raby Castle and lots of deer!

Stockton on Tees ~ July 2018~ The Butterfly House

A little break from history and people. Stockton -on- Tees, not a name to conjure up images of steamy jungles or cocktails on the river boat. But Sophie and I know Stockton has an amazing huge glass building full of exotic blooms, plants and butterflies we just don’t see over here in the outside world. The chap who started it collected them from all over the world, and now they just perpetuate in Stockton, their ancestry is diverse, but these are many generations on so have British passports. 😀 😀

No funny captions, just some pretties to look at, so have a cuppa tea, (wine/whisky/etc) de-stress (Pete, Gary 😀 )and join me in tropical Stockton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

there, don’t you feel all lovely now? I always feel uplifted just looking at and thinking about the beauty of nature so I hope you did too. All are embiggenable with a little click.

stay tooned for a few more later on in the week.

 

 

Day 218~366

Busy day today as we have friends coming over for dinner, lots of housework and food prep going on. Still time to catch some butterflies which have finally turned up on my buddlea. A red admiral and a large White!

Butterflies have shown an amazing range of color preference between the various species, but as a general rule, flowers that are white, pink, purple, red, yellow and orange attract the most butterflies. Blue to green flowers are universally the least favorite flower color. Some evidence indicates that butterflies may learn which color flowers tend to produce their favorite types of nectar, using color as a visual cue when hunting for these plants.

day218w

day218-2w

day218-3w

 

Bits & Bobs

It’s been a busy week at work, but on one of my visits to a client in Consett I drove past this sign, and I just had to park up and run back with the Iphone to get a shot of it.

Processed with Rookie

 

I mean, how do they KNOW what surprises are in store??

I’ve also been chasing butterflies around the garden but without much success. They do like our Buddleia but its quite big and they nearly always land on the very top flowers where I can’t reach to get a shot! Missed a peacock because it would NOT open its wings, and it’s very black on the underside, but I did manage a tortoise shell which are common visitors every year

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Tortoise shell

but also for the first time ever I saw a comma butterfly, so that was cool!

Comma Butterfly
Comma Butterfly

On Friday Phil had a dinner party for his niece Lorraine and her husband Paul. As Phil was on holiday all week and I was working he did the shopping and most of the cooking, delicious lamb in red wine sauce, and I helped with roast spuds and asparagus tips for veg. I have to admit far too much alcohol was involved, and Paul & Phil played guitars while Lorraine sang, and I had a home made maraca of raw rice in a tin pot. A good night that took a day to recover from!!

Paul
Paul

Lorraine
Lorraine

Love the animal skins on my new polaroid film!

And today I had to do a photo for my Sunday Challenge group on Ipernity, the theme being ‘at ground level’ so took a last minute shot of the carpet in our TV room hah!

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Books I’ve been reading this week and can recommend ~ The Myron Bolitar novels by Harlan Corben great reads full of derring-do and cool characters, films I’ve watched, just the one, Hunger Games 2, I’ve read the 4 novels and seen the first 2 films now which are both excellent and stick to the plot really well. So that’s this week done & dusted! Back to work tomorrow!