Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

The sun daisy

One of the most cheerful plants on the Earth is the humble sun daisy. It has edible leaves, roots and flowers and if you really look into its mane of petals has the power to improve the mood and bring cheer to the most grumpiest of persons. Today, the sun daisy opened her optimistic face in our garden border and here she is:

Dandelion 31.03.2014


A beautiful sun daisy, the dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, wild and wonderful and ever perennial

Bee eggs–honey bee first lay

The warmer spell of Spring weather has energised the honey bees and the Queen has begun laying new brood in earnest. Here are two of her eggs. It is the first time that I have seen bee eggs and I don’t know why but I found their shape and tiny size quite surprising.


Honey bee eggs

Buckfast honey bee eggs, just laid

Mothering Sunday–Mother’s Day

It is Mother’s Day today. Full of love and tradition, it is the day when children honour their mothers. From days of long ago, this has been traditionally done by the giving of flowers.

Mothers years ago would receive a posy of wild flowers picked from the roadsides, fields and hedgerows. Nowadays it is more usual for children to purchase their flowers or a little surprise from the shops . . .


a gift of a rose posy for you


A special gift – this is a little flower posy picture for you – *right click and save as a png and you will have a posy of roses without any background as a picture to add wherever you please*

Rambling roses

Here is the full picture if you would prefer the roses left on the plant – a wonderful sweet smelling floribunda rambling rose with the most enormous blooms. Each flower is a perfect rose.

Happy Mother’s Day, one and all.

May your day be bright and happy. Full of bird song, sweet perfume and soft breezes. Happy voices, love and laughter with plenty of joy and merriment. Enjoy each moment – our lives are like a fabulous novel. We do not know how each chapter will begin, what we will find when we turn over a page. Sometimes we have no idea of the storyline – who are the heroines and the heroes – who may be the villains. We all seek our happy endings and strive every day to make sure that our particular best sellers will be everything we had always dreamed and hoped for.

Faux hemp–a cautionary tale

A couple of years ago, whether you picked up a newspaper, magazine, health book, etc it seemed the whole world was recommending the health benefits of hemp oil and hemp seeds. I bought into this notion as well. We are all wanting when it comes to bountiful good health and life giving treasures.

I was shopping one day when I came across some of these ‘health-giving’ hemp seeds – they were hard and full (obviously packed full of their precious oil and nutrients). Some even labelled them as ‘seeds of gold’ so how could I go wrong. All I needed to do according to article after article was to crush them, perhaps with a food processor or coffee grinder, the helpful articles indicated.

Well I got my precious hemp seeds home and I tried grinding them up .. but they felt like crushed gravel, really brittle and hard. Could I really risk sprinkling them onto my breakfast or lunch? What about my teeth? The thought of cracked teeth and tooth crumbs immediately took away their health giving properties. So I put them at the back of the cupboard and forgot about them.

Last year when cleaning out the cupboard I came across them and thought to myself that I might as well throw them outside for the birds to eat. One sprouted and before I knew it began to grow. It was bound to die for the weather had turned quite chilly. It didn’t die and the other day I noticed that it was flowering. These were not hemp flowers though. So my healthy hemp seeds were not hemp seeds at all. When I realised what they were I was really thankful that I hadn’t eaten any because these were the seeds of a deadly poisonous plant!

The plant that I am referring to and came from the seed which I purchased is called a Stinking Hellebore. It is also known as Bear’s Foot and Dung Wart. It’s Latin name is: Helleborus Foetidus.

Yeasts are attracted to the plant which linger around its flower heads and helps to raise its temperature. Perhaps this is what increases its poisonous properties. It is one of those plants that require instant hand washing after touching because it leads to volatile bouts of sickness and violent and projectile vomiting and delirium.. so best enjoyed at a distance!

Helleborus Foetidus 1

Helleborus Foetidus 2

Helleborus Foetidus 3

Helleborus Foetidus 5

Helleborus Foetidus 6

Stinking Hellebore - Helleborus Foetidus – Bear’s Foot or Dung Wart


Pet bees

It is surprising just how easily a person becomes quite attached to their honey bees. I wouldn’t have thought it possible but once the bees are established and you get over the initial wariness of the possibility of getting stung then you experience the pleasure of entering the wonderful world of the insect.

I have always loved honey and usually have a little every single day, so whether my skin oozes a small amount of its smell or not I am unsure. What I do know is that the beautiful lady worker bees land on my skin and dip their tongues onto it and appear to lick me. This tickles just a little but after a short while they take off and go about their business. They do appear to like strolling about on bare skin. The variety of these bees is called Buckfast. They are noted for their gentleness and their ease of establishing themselves in the average garden.

When they leave the hive, they do not fly straight across the garden but always go upwards and then choose a particular direction that they wish to take. So they are up and away from both yourself and your neighbours. As with any other pet you must make sure that you supply fresh water for your bees. This is often best placed into a bird bath or earthenware dish that is filled with large pebbles before adding any water. This ensures that the bees are able to drink without drowning. The next important thing to remember is that there are no flowers during the early part of the year and unless you know that your bees have ample honey stores to eat then you do need to feed them. They do fairly well on inverted sugar syrup and honey which you can easily make yourself.

Basic recipes involve white cane sugar, water, a small squirt of freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice and a pinch of food grade citric acid. It is the orange, lemon and/or citric acid which inverts the sugar mixture and this helps the bees to digest it easily. In real emergencies then sugar may be given straight from the packet – it is better to feed instantly than leave the bees to starve.

Buckfast worker bee face

Buckfast worker bees March

Buckfast honey bees

Our beautiful lady Buckfast honey bees

Award and front page from Pixabay

Although I have only been a member of Pixabay for one month I was delighted today to find one of my pictures had not only received an award from them but also prime position on the front page of their website. I hope that you don’t mind but I wanted to share my pleasure with you all.

The picture is of my beautiful Buckfast Honey Bees and was taken yesterday during the Spring cleaning of our beehive

Pxabay award


Buckfast Honey Bees on the First Day of Spring 2014

This is the actual photograph and it was taken on the first day of Spring, 21 March 2014

The variety of bee are Buckfast Honey Bees – they are extremely placid and very gentle, which is why they make an excellent garden bee. They are very good for New Beekeepers to have for their first pets whilst learning all about the art of beekeeping.

Jellied eggs

The frogs are singing at the moment. Every night their chorus, deep and loud, rings around the garden. A practising choir that alternates between bass and contralto, calls with an urgency. Their deep tuneful notes have proved very fruitful as the pond has been scattered in large dollops of beautiful jewels of frogspawn. The jellied eggs are currently resting on the pond netting and it is dipping deep under the waterline where the fish are hanging about like students waiting to be served in a 1950’s corner café.

frogspawn .. 16.03.2014

Frogspawn .. 16.03.2014 close-up

Frogspawn – picture taken 16.03.2014 at the garden pond

Adam and Eve

As a little girl, I remember being told about the story of Adam and Eve. When I was old enough to read, my mother bought me a bible. It was the authorised King James Version in Ruby Text. It contained a few pictures but was mostly thousands of words in tiny print. A very long read with all the begetting … It was not a satisfying read as there were so many instances that didn’t make sense to me. Two people suddenly became thousands within a few lines of print.

As a woman, I felt deceived by the fact that the stories in the book that I had cherished as a little girl were incomplete. It is believed by some that parts of the Bible had been laced together from original texts provided by The Dead Sea Scrolls. Allegedly, it has been claimed that Genesis was pruned. There is no mention of Adam’s first wife, Eve being his second wife. I wonder if, at some point the original script will be returned? Perhaps not, for it was removed so long ago that many perhaps prefer the version that they know.

Wild fig

Wild fig - close-up of fruit

Wild fig - ficus carica