December Photo Challenge 2018 – Day Twenty-five

Day Twenty-five: Merry Christmas! This is my favourite picture of the three of us taken last year.

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Merry Christmas from David, Christine and Artie x

I wish you and yours a wonderful festive time!

Love,

Christine, David and Artie x

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December Photo Challenge 2018 – Day Twenty-four

Day Twenty-four: It’s Christmas Eve, my favourite time of the year! I still feel all the excitement for the day before Christmas as I did as a child.

There’s nothing better than to sing Carols around this time of year, which is why we attended the recent Carol Service at the local church. It was a bit different from services I remembered but still a nice way to celebrate the season.

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How will you be marking this exciting day?

Thanks for reading,

Christine x

December Photo Challenge 2018 – Day Twenty-three

remembranceDay Twenty-three: For today’s photo prompt of remembrance I have chosen to remember my Dad, Graham Connor, who left us too young in 2012. I purchased this bauble to remember him.

Who are you remembering this Christmas time?

Thanks for stopping by,

Christine x

December Photo Challenge 2018 – Day Twenty-two

chestnutsDay Twenty-Two: Today’s photo prompt is tradition.

In the UK, Chestnuts are predominantly seen as a Christmas food. In Europe the Chestnut is more widely used. In America, Chestnuts were a traditional Christmas food until blight almost wiped out American Chestnut trees in the 1900’s. Chestnuts can be baked, roasted and boiled, and have a spongy, firmness and delicate taste.

Do you like Chestnuts?

Thanks for reading, Christine x

December Photo Challenge 2018 – Day Twenty-one

Day Twenty-one: Today is the Winter Solstice or the shortest day or longest night. It also happens to be a full moon and the Ursid Meteor Shower, but it’s forecast to rain!

For many the Winter Solstice marks the beginning of winter, however there is much to celebrate the coming of the shortest day as the days from here start to lengthen.

Throughout human history this day has been observed.

Germanic pagans celebrated Yule where boughs of evergreen plants such as mistletoe and ivy decorated homes. Candles and Yule logs were also used to bring light to the longest night.

The Romans celebrated Saturnalia. This was a time for feasting and good will to others where presents were shared and trees decorated. Sound familiar?

winter solsticeI have decided to celebrate the Winter Solstice by making a wreath from ivy and lighting candles.

How are you celebrating the Winter Solstice?

Thanks for reading,

Christine x

December Photo Challenge 2018 – Day Twenty

Day Twenty: For today’s photo prompt of baking treats, I decided to share a photo of some mince pies I baked for the lead up to Christmas.

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Mince Pies

Have you enjoyed baking any treats for Christmas?

Thanks for stopping by,

Christine x

December Photo Challenge 2018 – Day Ninteen

Day Nineteen: Today’s photo prompt is wrapping, so I decided to take a picture of the presents I have wrapped up for David. We are undecided whether to get a ‘big’ present each this year. I personally don’t need anything special but have been collecting a few small gifts for David to open on the big day!

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Christmas presents

How’s your Christmas present shopping going?

Thanks for reading,

Christine x

December Photo Challenge 2018 – Day Eighteen

stocking

Stocking

Day Eighteen: For today’s photo prompt of stocking/s I chose a picture of Artie’s Christmas stocking. It’s all ready beside the fireplace awaiting Santa Paws’s arrival. 🙂

Have you got your fur babies any Christmas stockings?

Thanks for reading,

Christine x

December Photo Challenge 2018 – Day Seventeen

Day Seventeen: For today’s photo prompt of decoration I decided to post a picture of my small poinsettia. Having had large pot versions of this Christmas Star I was looking for something more manageable. I found this little pot poinsettia for £3 at M&S.

poinsettia

poinsettia

What Christmas flowers do you like?

Thanks for reading,

Christine x

My Wildlife Moments of 2018

Following on from Sharon at Sunshine and Celandines wonderful post, I decided to once again compile some of my wildlife moments. There have been so many highlights this year, some however I was unable to capture on camera. There was a lone cormorant at Liverpool’s Sefton Park. Angry avocets flew over us on a visit to Lunt Meadows Nature Reserve and we even spotted a bat flitting about Wavertree Playground whilst walking Riley one evening. Below are just a small selection of wildlife moments from 2018 for you to enjoy.

The first wildlife wow of 2018 was in February when I saw a chiffchaff trying to land on a window box. I quickly got my camcorder and managed to film the annual visitor. I only see a chiffchaff once a year. Around late winter, they must make a pit stop in our yarden as they fly to richer pastures. It was a nice visit none the less.

Staying in the yarden. You would think that to see nature in the city is to seek out a local nature reserve or park. However it seems that nature finds a way of being present even in a city yarden. Our little pond which has thrived this year was home to a common frog. He/she managed to eat themselves from being a tadpole to an adult. We were lucky to see the frog even once as they are nocturnal. I wonder if our yarden is still home to this little frog. I do hope so.

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Common Frog

Our flourishing yarden has recently become a hunting ground for a female sparrowhawk. This beautiful specimen of raptor was seen a couple of times unfortunately enjoying her dinner. A poor starling was on the menu one day and a baby goldfinch another.

sparrowhawk

Female Sparrowhawk

Our alleyway during the summer was a plant-fest. Sprouting through the cracks of the cobbled stones, wildflowers grew. One huge shrub grew outside our back door. I identified it as a black nightshade.

I had heard of the nightshade plant but never its siblings. Whilst walking to work one day I noticed a bittersweet nightshade, often confused with deadly nightshade.

My favourite colour is blue so when I saw it flashing on butterfly wings I was ecstatic! There were many common blue butterflies fluttering about the meadows at Pennington Flash.

common blue

Common Blue Butterfly

Participation in 2018’s 30 Days Wild by The Wildlife Trusts‘ produced many wonderful wildlife sightings. At Port Sunlight River Park we saw so many six-spot burnet moths that it made up for never seeing them before. We also saw our first linnet and house martin and watched as a kestrel hunted, whilst the air was filled with the calls of skylarks. The area was so rich in wildlife that we will definitely visit again.

During a visit to Brocholes in the hot June weather of 2018, we spied oyster-catchers around the Nook Pool, many spotted orchids blooming and even a shy roe deer hiding in the tall grass!

On our few visits to Lunt Meadows Nature Reserve we spied many Lapwings nesting and greylag geese.

Even after 30 Days Wild I still remained focused on wildlife. On a short visit to Pickering’s Pasture we spotted a stunning wildflower meadow!

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Pickerings Pasture Wildflowers

Over the summer on our jaunts to local nature reserves we spotted numerous dragon flies and damselflies. Below find a small selection of what we saw.

Autumn brought with its smokey chill and vibrant leaves, many mushrooms appearing in nooks and crannies. I managed to spy a shaggy ink cap mushroom whilst walking to work. I’m not a mushroom expert so after a Google search I found that this short lived mushroom is edible.

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Shaggy Ink Cap Mushroom

As the nights grow darker and summer seems just a memory I look forward to seeing colours emerge from the hard winter soil. This crocus field really brought a cheer to an otherwise dull February day.

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Crocus field

What were your wildlife moments this year? Here’s to many more in 2019!

Thanks for reading,

Christine x