Sunday, March 11, 2012

Changing Seasons

Down at the wetlands the autumn fruits are formed and the walnuts are dropping all over the footpaths.  Mr Shoestring and I took some home to see whether they were palatable, and were surprised to find delicious walnuts inside.  We looked up some recipes using fresh walnuts so next week we will have to try some.  They are very difficult to open though, we resorted to manoeuvres with a hammer outdoors because I was frightened the kitchen bench top was going to be irreparably damaged.

As well as a selection of walnuts we brought home a few acorns, which fascinate every year with their beautiful smooth skins and varied shades.  When our daughter came to visit she and I spent a happy time making models of acorns which we hope to turn into buttons.  First of all the modelling clay has to dry and set, then we will paint them.  We made holes through the centre with skewers so as to be able to attach them.

With thoughts turning towards autumn and fruits I had set my heart on a crabapple tree and also a fig for the garden at Shoestring.  Mrs Peaceable has a wonderful venerable crabapple and at this time of year the fruits glow as though there were tiny lanterns inside them.

We set off for the local market on Saturday morning but of course there were no figs or crabapples for sale.  Instead we came home with a cranberry and three vireya rhododendrons, and also a camellia of the sort you can make green tea with.  (Apparently it is also the sort normal tea is made from, but the process of smoking too convoluted to be managed by amateurs so we will content ourselves with drying the leaves and making green tea, very interesting it will be too.  I am sure Mr Shoestring will manage to force down a couple of cups before the novelty wears off and we return to Earl Grey.)

But the most thrilling things at the market this weekend were definitely these:

I thought this was a greyhound but Madame La Poste called round and assures me it is a saluki.  Whatever breed of dog it is, it is charming.

But I was most excited to find this wire haired fox terrier.  I have wanted one for years and this one has such a bright eye and intelligent expression!  When first I spied it on the table I was convinced somebody else would get there first, (shades of last week's art deco mirror all over again), but for some reason nobody displayed the slightest interest and I was able to snaffle it up for the princely sum of $3.  Now I realise there is another collection starting though:

I had better call a halt and keep well away from them in future.

A few months ago we were given a cutting of a brugmansia, and this week it has had its first flowers.  They are the softest shade of pink and have a delicious light lemony scent.  Because they are frost tender we have grown them in a large pot and will put them in a sheltered spot for the winter.  Apparently if they are hit by a frost they will recover, though.

Though the season is coming to an end there are still quite a few things blossoming, especially begonias and the last few roses.  The Jerusalem artichokes are obstinately refusing to open their buds, though my mum's ones are blossoming away madly.  I want to dig them up and check the crop of tubers but suspect you are supposed to wait until the blooms have finished, wretched things!

These are all treasures from the market or the op shop this week.  The cream and green enamelled jug  is perfect for watering the plants on the front porch.  The lady who sold it to me was astonished that anybody would want such a thing and said there had been a little bit of an argument over whether or not to put it out for sale.  They nearly threw it away!  One woman's junk is another woman's treasure, indeed.

My next crazy quilt is going to have a "second hand rose" theme, and a happy time was had putting together some new squares all ready to start stitching on.  But first things first, I really must finish the one I am already working on.  Each time I make a few more squares the sewing room looks as though there has been a tornado and there are scraps of silk all over the ironing board and cascading down onto the floor, it really is a most uncivilised hobby.