About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Flora and fauna

Again, I find myself thinking along the same lines as Mrs Green, who was stopped in her tracks by the beauty of a cobweb.

Do you remember the rather uninspiring brown clumps of crocosmia that I painstakingly moved, way back in February? Well, they're flowering now.

Crocosmia (formerly montbretia) flowers.
I don't know why the name was changed.

They're not the exuberant splashes of colour that they can be, but they're nonetheless very pretty and, more to the point, still alive!

I was admiring them the other day when I spotted this fellow:

Stripy caterpillar. I believe he will grow up to be a broom moth.

Isn't he magnificent? A little googling identified him, and found some stunning photos of his relatives. Until I saw those, I hadn't noticed the pattern on his sides - I thought he was plain brown between the stripes, but if you look closely (you can click on the picture to enlarge it) you can see the intricate markings.

It's amazing what you can see if you take the time to look.


  1. fab post; thanks for the reference to my cobweb and I agree - crocosmia (or whatever they are called ) are beautiful. Our neighbour has them and they've started growing through the fence in our garden. They are most welcome. I'll be checking out the french baguette recipe too - thanks for sharing that. I've never found a no knead bread that works; will have to dig through your archives and see if you've posted more about your method...

  2. The link near the beginning of the french bread post goes to the only post I have on no-knead bread. My 'recipe' is a bit vague, but there's a link through to Louisa's post on the same subject, which has a better written recipe. The only difference between her method and mine is the tin - she uses a heavy casserole with lid, whereas I use an ordinary loaf tin, which I don't bother preheating (but do coat with oil to prevent sticking).


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