Archive for April, 2016

Juniper bonfire

April 30, 2016 Leave a comment
Orange flames and blue berries

Orange flames and blue berries

Giovanni cut down a couple of dead, unsightly juniper bushes on the hillside today.

They were so dry they burnt instantly.

Here the flames are just beginning to lick through the twigs with their brown needles and heavy crop of shrivelled blue berries.

Tent caterpillars

April 29, 2016 Leave a comment
Tent caterpillars on a cherry twig

Tent caterpillars on a cherry twig

I took this photo two years ago of a whole tent (or web) of caterpillars.

It seems they like cherry trees.

The ones I set aside from yesterday are still alive and weaving their own new web around and around the box I’ve confined them to.

Rain on my parade

April 28, 2016 2 comments
Tent caterpillar photographed through my microscope

Tent caterpillar photographed through my microscope

It wasn’t exactly a parade, Giovanni and me walking through the orchard applying the post-flower spray, but the rain timed itself perfectly: first spots as we finished the mixture.

So that was that. All washed off.

However, we discovered some extremely lively tent caterpillars on a cherry twig as we went by.

Also, when I looked through my new microscope (advance birthday present from Clive) at aphids pre-spray and post-spray, there was a definite air of lethargy about the latter.

The spray takes a lot longer than the half hour or so it had to take proper effect, but maybe we did do some good.

Follow my leader

April 28, 2016 Leave a comment
Galileo leads the way

Galileo leads the way

This is the path Giovanni has just strimmed.

The leader is Galileo, back to his usual self.

According to our normal vet, it’s very unlikely he was in fact bitten by a viper. The signs apparently suggest he had an anaphylactic shock from something like a hornet sting.

There are certainly plenty of hornets around. We’ve been advised to have Bentelan on hand to give him an injection if it happens again.


April 26, 2016 Leave a comment
Landslip with dogs

Galileo and Florence explore the new lay-out

“There’s been a landslip!” Giovanni called.

“Oh that’s old,” I said, thinking he meant the grass-covered amphitheatre-shaped hollow a little further down.

Then I got nearer and realised it was brand new! It must have happened in the last few days!

The dogs had a wonderful time clambering over it.

Landslips are a common feature on these steep slopes with their shallow soil.