Thursday, 29 April 2010

Wild Garlic Pesto

It worked - even if it left us all a bit, well, garlicy.

100g wild garlic
50 g parmesan or strong cheddar
50g pine nut and a few walnut mixed in
Olive oil

Put all the ingredients except the oil in a blender and slowly add the oil till you get the consistency you want. Leave it to sit for a few hours before eating. Not a great photo, but it didn't hang around for long!

There's wild garlic all over the village, but if anyone needs large quantities then let me know.

First swim in the sea

No pictures to prove it I'm afraid but there were witnesses. The hardened sea swimmers were on the beach yesterday as I went past on my morning run and they looked so very warm in the still water that I felt a pull towards the madness. On my way home to get my swim things I bumped into Toby and Kate Robinson, who were very encouraging, well actually Toby 'dared' me to go in, so that was it! First swim of the year.

By the time I returned Denis and John were out of the water so I asked if they wouldn't mind waiting till I had gone in, incase I drowned, or had a heart attack... They were very supportive and gave me many tips on how to become a true Walberswick swimmer, a dip every day and some neoprene boots seem to be the way to go. This morning I had to go early due to commitments and went in on my own, I missed being clapped as I went in but I''m determined to keep this up. Hoping to drag Mertz in at the weekend too.

We had a lovely walk in the woods later and it was interesting to see how few leaves were through, the hornbeam has been first to come though into leaf and so the sun is still reaching the woodland flowers below.

The celandines are carpeting the woodland floor now and the blue bells are on their way, but most impressive are the subtle wild orchids, with their mottled leaves poking through the grass. I got a good harvest of wild garlic yesterday and am going to attempt some wild garlic pesto later, it hasn't flowered yet so I might have another go as the flowers have such a lovely flavour.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


Are here in force.

Sunday, 18 April 2010


Today's post is all about hearing things, not seeing things. This morning we had a wonderful long and warm walk in Dunwich forest, which was alive with wildlife. We've decided that Dunwich is near enough to mention in this blog, although Middleton probably doesn't count, more of which in a moment.

On the lower part of the forest, where both the herds of ponies are able to see each other across the water, we heard the first boom of a bittern. We had been reading all about the practice sounds that the males have been making this week but there he was definitely 'booming' away at the top of his voice. The whole area was teeming with birds and we recorded them in the log book in the hide.

In need to refreshment we called at the Middleton Bell and overheard the locals discussing having seen the first swallows in their village, anyone seen any in Walberswick yet?

Saturday, 17 April 2010


The first bats were out tonight, we are hoping that they are madly feeding on the midges that have really taken hold of the village this week. They are hard to identify, in the dark and flying to and fro, but we suppose that they must be pipistrelles, which are a protected species. There is a fantastic amount of good information available from Bat Conservation Trust who have a great website here. No pictures I am afraid - too dark!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Blossom is blooming

The blossom in the village is bursting out all over the place. Some hawthorne and blackthorn is out, but the wild cherry s still straining to come through. The blackthorn came too early a couple of years ago and the insects which pollinate it were not yet up and about, so there were no berries. A terrible year for those of us who make sloe gin! Hopefully this year they will do well as the bees are out and about already and should be heading for the strong scent of the blossom.

Monday, 12 April 2010

The cows are back on town marsh

And they have brought their little ones with them. The grey heron was keeping them company as was this little white egret, but they both flew off when we went past and the calves got spooked. Sorry little ones...

Thanks to Sue Smiley I realise that, having returned home from cycling to the shop with midges stuck in my teeth (thanks for pointing that out Mertz), I should have recorded their return. They are back in huge clouds and even the wind today has not been enough to blow them south. Sue tells me that when they get caught in a spider's web they look rather beautiful - best place for them! The ladybirds are out too, as are the bumble bees.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

First Elephant on the beach!

Yes really - there was an elephant on the beach yesterday morning:
And then we went and watched the lambs frolicking and I used my new iPhone app to stich together a number of photos so that we could see the whole panorama:
On Friday I had paddled over my knees so we adventurously set off on Saturday morning with our towels and swim wear but it felt much, much colder and so it just didn't happen.
He is still wearing a sweater!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Butterflies, frogs, spuds and Mare's Tail

For the second post of today many more firsts have been spotted as I spent the day outside. There were good and bad firsts, the bad was the first sign of the dreaded Mare's Tail poking through in Mother's vegetable garden as she was planting her spuds. Although spuds traditionally go in at Easter she stuck her elbow in the soil on Easter Sunday and decided it was too cold, so waited till today. Hopefully we've seen the last of the frosts.

(To see the images full size, just click on them) I am determined to find a use for Mare's Tail as it looks as if you should be able to eat the fertile stems, which emerge first, have spores on the tips and look like a cross between a fungus and asparagus, but so far I have only found a recipe for fungicide:
Biodynamic growers use horsetail tea to strengthen plants' resistance to fungal infections. Take ¾ oz dried horsetails and simmer for 30 minutes in 2 pints of rain water. Stand for 24 hours. Make up to 1 gallon, stirring the mixture for about 15 minutes. This mixture will keep for a couple of weeks. Spray the plants thoroughly every 10-14 days, starting early in the season. The later sprayings can be more dilute (making the solution up to as much as 10 gallons) but should always have a pale yellow-green or brown colour and smell of horsetails. Thanks to 

The Willow has burst its bud today and the silver birch pollen is thick, according to Michael Fisher the bees are very pleased with this development. He also had the roof of the Frogeye down for the first time, which means it is definitely springtime! The first Peacock butterfly was out and about foraging amongst the primroses and the first of the cowslips, but I didn't manage to catch it on camera because the dogs were chasing mice and disturbing it.

Holiday season

Is upon us and the village is full of families having a wonderful time, the green has it's daily appearance of the leftovers from a Boden Catalogue shoot and Sarah has opened Tinkers. Today the sun came out too and the thermometers rose to 16C.

The caravan site is full and looks much as it has done for the last 40 years