Rapeseed Field

rambling ratz

The unmistakable bright yellow of a rapeseed field.Photo of rapesee field

This crop is a member of the cabbage family, Brassica napus. It gets its name from the Latin for turnip,rāpa. It is known as canola in North America. It is mostly grown for animal feed or biodiesel. In the past the oil from the plant was used for lamps or lubricating machinery. After soybean and palm oil, it is the third largest source of vegetable oil in the world. Pollination by insects increases yield and in turn it provides a source of nectar for bees and other pollinators. The pollen is associated with hayfever and asthma, but this could be due to the vast quantities grown.Photo of Hay Bluff from Hereford

In the above view you can see Hay Bluff (Welsh name, Penybegwn) part of the Black Mountains range in nearby Wales. This is it closer up.Photo of Hay BluffPeople like to jump off the top…

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De Rosa adorable Striped Cat Figurines Giveaway!


Hi everyone,

Today we have a very special giveaway organised for you all! We’ve managed to get our hands on these two beautiful cat figurines from the De Rosa Collections:


De Rosa pieces have a really unique production process, whereby the moulded figurine is hand carved before it’s fired – this makes each piece unique.  They are then hand painted and finished in gold and platinum. The process of this can be seen in a video on their own page!

This delightful pair of the Striped mother Cat and her playful Kitten is the latest piece from the highly desirable De Rosa handcrafted ceramics collection.

Part of the Families Collection, The mother Cat is lovingly watching her kitten play with his ball of green yarn. The unique hand carving process creates a very tactile striped finish to both the cat and kitten.  Tones of grey and blue are finished in gold…

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Guest Star: Friendly, Music and Beethoven!


Hi everyone,

Today’s guest post comes from Connie and her beautiful black cat Friendly! You may have seen her in her previous post here. Today she would like to tell you all a bit more about her « music project »

1 Friendly pose for christmas card

Hello, I’m Friendly, a sweet little black cat who loves music, especially Classical. I learned about it from my humans, who listen to it all the time.

2 Friendly on piano looking demur - good pic from July 2014
I host the Classical Music Hour over at The Party House, every Sunday at 8pm US EST.
https://www.facebook.com/MissDixiesPartyHouse/?fref=tsAnd I have my very own Classical Cafe! We play beautiful music and serve fresh coffee and delicious pastries every day!
3 Friendly and mice with books

I study my music books while I play with my mousie toys.

4 Friendly and Beethoven

One of my favourite composers is Beethoven.

When my mom plays the piano, I sing along. Or, sometimes, I see something off in the distance. And it ends up being another mousie!

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Another Wet Garden Bimble

rambling ratz

Dodging the rain, Rambling Ratz stoically strides into the garden armed with camera for your viewing delight. Let’s see what we found this time.

photo of autumn leavesFirstly the rain brings out the autumn colours of the leaves nicely. Closer inspection of the underside of the photo of lacewingleaves uncovers a nesh little lacewing, cowering from the rain. There are fourteen different species of them in the UK and this is one of them. It looks so delicate and pretty, but if you happen to be an aphid then one of these will suck the very life out of you. The Native American Navajo people considered lacewings to be one of the Ripener insects that were necessary for the corn to ripen.

Further meanderings uncover the holly berries ripening nicely, hopefully in time for Christmas. photo of holly berries

Here is a wild grape vine that is growing uncontrolled. The blackbirds very much enjoy lurking under these leaves and…

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rambling ratz

It is currently Hedgehog Awareness Week, 1st – 7th May 2016. As someone who wanders around the garden at night with bare feet, it is in my best interests to be aware of them.Photo of hedgehogPhoto of hedgehogI am very fortunate that there seems to be a healthy population in this area. They have free access to most of the gardens around here. They can travel between 1 and 2 miles each night and need to visit several gardens. They drink a lot of water so it is very helpful if you can leave a shallow bowl of water out for them.

Tonight there were 4 hogs in the garden in 2 sets of pairs. Photo of two hedgehogs

I’m hoping that love is in the air, they were certainly making a lot of very loud snuffling noises.Photo of two hedgehogs

They are the UK’s favourite mammal, yet their population is crashing. This is mainly due to habitat loss. Here…

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