Is There Any More Tea In That Pot?

Everyday events in the life of a tea lover.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The fabled Northern Lights appear over Northern Britain. January 22nd - 24th 2012

The fabulous "Aurora Borealis" were in the skies above Britain on Sunday evening. I have only seen them once, and standing in our garden several years back, in 2004, at midnight, watching the translucent green glow, and the outward reaching rays in the sky, was an unforgettable experience. It makes you feel very small at the vastness of the universe. I've included part of a report in "The Times " this morning, which explains the phenomenon.    
Near Alnwick. Northumberland. (Newspaper photo) 

"They have been seen in gorgeous green arcs over Dundee and reported dancing in the skies over Edinburgh Castle. They have even glowed softly all the way south to Northumberland, Cleveland and Yorkshire.
The good news for anyone desperate to see the Northern Lights this week is that you don’t have to go to Norway or Iceland. All you have to do is look up.
Over the next few days, even Londoners stand a chance of glimpsing the phenomenon known as the Aurora Borealis.
Subtle hues of purple, yellow, orange, and the classic streaks of green have been reported across British skies, thanks to an an unusually powerful solar explosion.
Normally only visible in or near the Arctic Circle, the fabled light show has reached so far south because of a peak of activity, as electrically charged particles from the sun excite the Earth’s magnetic fields.
They are expected to be visible again tonight and tomorrow night, cloud and light pollution permitting, after a further strong solar storm in the early hours of this morning.
Charged particles travelling up to 2,200km per second are now racing towards Earth, and are expected to conjure up the kind of light show which has not been seen above British skies for a decade."
If you would like to view some amazing photos taken in the UK on Sunday evening got to this link. 
 It is well worth it!
Meantime we are all hoping for clear skies tonight! 


Saturday, 14 January 2012

3.30pm Finishing a winter's day walk........14th January.

Crocuses flowering in a garden. Never noticed the ladybird when I took the picture!  
The afternoon winter sun shining through a silver birch tree.    

Frosty path by the golf course
Winter shadows

A winter blast. Saturday 14th January 2012. -5C at 8.00am.

This morning all the rooftops were icy white with frost. And the birds descended on the feeders in the garden to combat the cold. I haven't taken these photos but downloaded them from the web. All these varieties of birds were present.     

I have had over 8 goldfinches at one time all squabbling to eat the nyjer seeds which they love.
Great tit


Great Spotted Woodpecker
The Great Spotted Woodpecker was hanging precariously off a half  coconut, his bright red flash of a head  and rump showing up against the surroundings. I have a pair who come regulary.
I have a pair of nuthatches,and I love the black eye stripe. They go up and down the trunk on the apple tree, clinging on so they can go down head first too.   

My redpolls have returned. I had 15 in the garden last winter in the extreme snow and icy days of last January 2011. Today there are 8.   
Coal tit
Always lots of coal tits, and blue tits.

House Sparrow

The frost on my "forest flame."
Unusual ice formation in one of the terracotta dishes used for the birds when they need a drink 

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Wednesday 11th January 2012 A burst of spring.............

A January rose blooming underneath the front window. A flock of red-wings from Scandinavia wondering where the winter went! Wild flowers appearing..............makes us hope that the winter will just stay in this gentle mood............
Rose still growing and blooming in January! 
 This morning was almost like spring.. ....temperature of 12C. But will it last? Who knows? Best to enjoy it while you can as the weather forecast is for a cold blast of arctic air by the weekend. The seasons have been topsy-turvy this winter, and there are daffodils already out in counties further south. So here are are a few photos I took as I enjoyed my morning. I sat for awhile later on and had a coffee in the summerhouse. Tiger came and sat on the step just outside the door, watching the activity of the various birds in the garden. The robin is now singing once more and I have already had a pair of spotted woodpeckers on the feeders.            
Signs of climbing hydrangea budding on the wall

Morning light! Almost felt like spring...

My yucca flowering at the front of the house!

 Over-wintering geraniums in the summerhouse.  

Tiger enjoying the sunshine

Friday, 6 January 2012

Packing up Christmas until next time................5th January 2012

I  woke after an extremely stormy night, to a day of gale force winds and intermittent squally showers. Although it wasn't really cold the wind felt icy. Several trees had blown down in various parts of the country, and Scotland was the worst hit, with thousands of homes without electricity. We did not have it quite so bad.
Once New Year's Day is passed, I begin to pack away the Christmas lights and decorations, leaving the Christmas Nativity figures till the 6th January, or Twelfth Night, as it is traditionally called.  
The artificial tree is packed in its box, ready to go under the eaves in the bedroom in the loft.
Every year since I was about 4 years old, and old enough to remember Christmas, the first ornament I put on the the tree is the one in the picture below. 
It is a small Santa and his sleigh rattle that my grandmother evidently bought when I was a baby. 
From then onwards, my mum gave it to me to hang alongside the other shiny baubles on their small artificial tree. So it is 64 years old this time. It still has it's rattle. 
It reminds me of mum. 
She loved to decorate the tree and if we tried to be involved, my sister and I, in later years, she tolerated the places we put the decorations and then would move them to suit her own idea of the best arrangement!
So, my Santa and his sleigh are packed away today, as I write. 
A New Year stretches out in front....................its ongoing pages still to be written.  Take a deep breath and step forward.............    

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New we go.........beginning with a walk in the Park.

We began today with a long walk in Sutton Park on a gloriously bright sunny morning, the 2nd January 2012. And as I had not got my camera with me..........I used my mobile phone. The photos are not too bad, and I had to catch the sense of the was wonderful.    
Beginning at Hartopp Gate, Sutton Park 

Towards Town Gate

Keeper's Pool 

We walked about 3 to 4 miles, and the sky was a never ending sharp blue. The white trunks of the slender silver birch trees were etched against the cloudless day. Fresh air, yellow of gorse in bloom and buds already fattening at the end of the criss cross of branches, you could almost imagine winter was receding.
     And it is so much better to leave domestic chores behind when a day like today appears. A gift, lodging in the mind when the winter darkness falls once more, and the weather shows it's teeth.