Potions and notions

I fear that I may need to hit the turmeric latte – given I have now told you all twice about my rose petal pot pourri endeavours (the perils of finishing a blog after dinner and a few glasses of wine). However, in for a penny and all that, I am still at it and on the second jar. I have expanded into calendula and plan to forage for likely looking pine cones when I have a chance. I have also branched out into rose oil on the strength of a couple of you tube tutorials. This is a multi stage process. The first infusion is currently warming in the pasteuriser as I type. Further updates will be forthcoming………….

I was up first this morning and spent a happy hour in the garden in my PJs with a coffee, hanging with my ladies. Catriona the 23rd was noodling over for cow treats as usual. Lyra found a tuft of poop encrusted cow hair left over from the last grooming session and used it to stage a blow by blow reenactment of the capture of Squirrel Nutkin for Snouty’s benefit (though in this version he did not escape I note). The flies seemed to be driving Little Wonky to distraction though, and she belted up and down the field, kicking her heels and giving it the full Paco Peña. Shuna Spurtle chewed the hedge and observed us all with poorly disguised scorn.

Today’s treat was a dog walk. Lachlan has been doing the honours lately, but today the boys were off filling potholes in the drive and Lyra and I were designated surplus to requirements (hooray). I have been missing my ramblings with the photographer’s assistant, so it was good to be back on the trail.

At the edge of the field to the north there’s a huge patch of tangled wild camomile mixed with pineapple weed (the strange lime green dots on feathery leaves). It is certainly very pungent – but I think the pineapplyness of the weed is much like the bananayness of parsnip – vestigial. The corn is starting to turn now. It is no longer greenyblue but not yet gold, a rather strange inbetweeny shade. Wafting your hand across the tops there is a satisfyingly heavy feel to the ears as they bobble against your fingers. I think it will be a good harvest. It is also the beginning of thistle season. Whilst the bees are loving it, Lyra and I were less entranced to discover that the field margins were pretty much full of two foot high numbers. In the end Lyra and I walked along the bottom of the field drain – now dry and filled with stitchwort and butterflies – not the gaudy ones but little cabbage whites and a gentle brown fluttery number that was almost a shadow of a butterfly. I think it may be a ringlet, but the name doesn’t quite fit it’s gentle ghostly charm.

Coming back, at the field corner I saw a hare dart past on the way to the wood. It was all angles and about 90% ears. Lyra was busy snuffling in the grass and thankfully missed it. I do wonder what she smells. A dog’s sense of smell is hugely more sensitive than a humans. She is probably sensing the hare being there just before we passed the field, and events hours and even days ago. No wonder that’s more compelling than a flash of ears and heels a hundred yards away.

Walking home along the road in the heat of the day the air was heavy with the syrupy scent of the meadowsweet filling the verges. The first of the willow herb was also starting to flower. The season goes so quickly……….

By way of postscript, lovely Sue stopped by just now and the poor thing has had to suffer my rather trenchant views on Dominic Cummings (who I think had it coming and Sue thinks was hard done by). I have regained my Zen, however, by picking some lavender to dry, making pizza dough (for it is pizza night again – tonight’s special – zucchini and lemon – I will report back…) and sucking a sherbet lemon. All’s good with the world.

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