sketchbook   sketchbook

hawthorn leafFruits of the Earth

Sunday, 17th August 2003
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

previous page Previous Page | This Month | Home Page | Next Page next page

blackbirdIt's been cloudier today but a least that makes it pleasanter to work: a week ago record temperatures of 100°F were reached in the Midlands and at Heathrow. It's a good opportunity to trim back the hawthorn hedge. Perhaps one more quick trim next month will be all that it will need to last it through the winter.

hedge shears
Today so much of our food comes from the garden:

  • the tomato soup at lunchtime
  • cucumber for the dip
  • the marrow (stuffed)
  • dwarf French beans
  • potatoes (more than enough for the two of us from a pot the size of a bowler hat that we've had on the patio)

Evening Flights

house martinswiftsAs we sit out with our evening meal house martins circle above us. There's house martinno sign of the swifts this week; I suspect that they must have set off back to Africa.


heronA woodpecker (we're not sure which species as it's silhouetted against the sky) flies with characteristic dipping flight towards the wood and, a little later, a heron makes it's way down the valley with measured flight: their respective flight rhythms like a boy on a bicycle compared to a policeman on the beat.

99 Onions

shallotsAs we sit there after our meal, Barbara mentions that rain is forecast so - just before the sun sets - we go down to the veg beds and pull up all the onions. Most of the tops have now dried and shrivelled but some of the larger ones still have green stems.

Barbara cleans off the soil while I tie them in groups of ten (two bunches of 5 on either end of a piece of 12 inch piece string). We end up with ten bunches hanging over a piece of rope at the back of the garage, 100 onions (or rather 99, as one small onion drops from the last bunch). It's airy there so they should continue to dry off.

With a few odd small ones left over that's 107 onions in all. I'm pleased because this is all from an area of deep bed that's no more than 4ft x 3ft - the size of a hearthrug - and we've got the equivalent of an onion bag, enough to keep us going for a month or two. They're in assorted sizes of course, but the smaller ones will be fine for putting in a casserole. next page

Richard Bell

sketchbook   sketchbook