Archive for September, 2016

Talking of blue feathers …

September 30, 2016 Leave a comment
Collage of imaginary birds

Collage of imaginary birds

This is a collage I recently finished, having started it many years ago and then abandoned it.

The birds are a mosaic of pieces of windscreen glass, fragments of blue and green glass, broken blue tiles, etc.

They glitter as you move past – a bit difficult to catch in a photo.

Jay’s feather

September 29, 2016 Leave a comment
Distinctive barred blue feather from a jay's wing

Distinctive barred blue feather from a jay’s wing

This is the third jay’s blue wing feather I’ve found close to the house.

It turned up under the swooping branches of the fig tree when I was looking for the ‘fruit hook’ (hook on the end of a bamboo pole used for pulling branches closer) which got lost.

I didn’t find the hook but I was very pleased to find the feather.


September 28, 2016 6 comments
Figs ripe for the picking

Figs ripe for the picking

I wouldn’t say it’s exactly a ‘fig’ year but there are certainly plenty of figs on one lovely old tree in particular.

It’s not an easy task picking them because the tree is very wide and tall and grows at the foot of a steep slope.

The slope does bring some of the figs within fairly easy reach, though.

Categories: Gardening, Living in Italy Tags: , , ,

Moon daisy

September 27, 2016 Leave a comment
Ox-eye or moon daisy

Ox-eye or moon daisy

I love the name moon daisy.

It’s a great deal more romantic-sounding than the more usual ox-eye daisy.

The young leaves are eaten raw in Italy apparently, even though they’re bitter.

Mind you, Italians eat just about any sort of wild greenery, cooked or in salads.


September 26, 2016 4 comments
Which is leg and which is shadow?

Which is leg and which is shadow?

I thought this was a spider but it isn’t.

It belongs in fact to a group of creatures called Opiliones and is called a Harvestman because it appears at harvest time.

Of the other names for it I most like Grandfather Greybeard.

In America it’s called Daddy Longlegs but that’s the name we give to a crane fly in the UK.

The grapes are sour

September 25, 2016 Leave a comment
Some of the grapes high up in an apple tree

Some of the grapes high up in an apple tree

The grapes are actually very ripe and extremely sweet – not the least bit sour although most of them were way out of my reach.

I got some bunches down ‘by hook or by crook’ – a very apt phrase in the context.

Maybe next year I’ll try to direct the vine a little lower through the branches of the apple tree.

Comfort and prestige

September 24, 2016 Leave a comment
Galileo and Florence in a manufactured truce

Galileo and Florence in a manufactured truce

This is the sofa opposite Clive’s bed.

There’s no doubt that it’s comfortable, but there also seems to be a great deal of prestige attached to sleeping on it.

Both the dogs insist on occupying it alone, and will drive the other off.

How come they’re both on it now, you ask? Well it’s because I was squeezed between them till a moment ago, acting as a buffer, and then slipped away leaving them fast asleep!