10th September 2023

Perhaps it’s the time of year that is bringing on great waves of nostalgia and that sinking feeling of :

“Waiting for the other shoe to drop”.

Something about this year.


The removal of invasive honeysuckle changed the appearance of the woods behind the house but our two apple trees, one on each side in the photograph, are looking most unwell.

The sight of dying trees is always sad. On the other side of the house is one we call the bird’s waiting room.

Barely alive 5 years ago, it hardly leafs at all now. I do so hope birds will continue to perch in it.


Down in the field however, a little maple we transplanted continues to do well and lots of pine tree seedlings are flourishing.

Some day it should become a nicely wooded spot.

One must find positivity somewhere, even in these very troubled times.


Our flowerbeds are bare already, which is curious. It is usually cold before this happens. October.

However at the edge of the woods I discovered a forget-me-not.

A favourite little flower.


Yet another face of the apparently very versatile asteraceae.

This day the rain held off, so Grant made a small bonfire.


The larger pile was supposed to be burned last year which somehow didn’t happen. I decided anyway that it could be a birdhouse.

It is now half covered by another invader but bees are enjoying that, so for now it stays.


Beyond the “birdhouse” is Grant’s experimental squash garden.


We haven’t investigated the theory, but Grant feels that ants have prevented other bugs from attacking the plants.

They seem very keen on the pollen of the acorn squash flowers.


Or was it the butternut?


Out first acorn (right)

It will finish ripening indoors.

The butternuts are getting big. (above)

Grant is thinking of expanding the bed next year to maybe grow potatoes.


Crickets have certainly thrived this year.

They make quite a racket.

It’s bad enough when they sing on the doorstep, deafening if they get inside.

Not as annoying as traffic noise though.


While I was taking these pictures, I noticed activity around one of the tall grasses.

Then made a most elementary photographic error…


Totally focussed on the flying insects, I forgot all about the background.

It was hardly his fault for getting in the way as he hadn’t invited me to crash his bonfire!

After lunch I went back out, but by then the wind had got up, blowing the grass about and the insects had re-located.

They weren’t hard to find:



They were enjoying their meal.


A still hand would produce better results but this made me think of fighter aircraft.

Fortunately, they were not interested in anything I had to offer so I came away from the exercise unscathed.


Even if I am not a fan, I can still be interested. This fly posed so nicely.

Also it promised it would not come indoors to chase me around the house.

Lately I had a regular afternoon tormentor that eluded my not-quite foolproof entrapment system.

So I employed a new tack. Fly had the temerity to alight on my arm.

“Right”, I said “let’s go for a walk.”

We walked straight out the door..


Loveliness is always at our very feet and with that thought, I will leave for now.

7 thoughts on “Squashed

  1. I agree with you Carolyn – I’m always trying to spot that silver lining in the dark clouds. Wow, look at those big butternuts! We like to make butternut soup (and the season for butternuts starts right now until December). It’s great that your garden attracts so many visitors. Lovely photos.

  2. The hover-flies won’t bite or sting you, even though they remind me of wasps. I agree that ants may well discourage other insects from bothering your produce, as long as the ants have no taste for it. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. Carolyn, I love your pictures & narratives! You pics remind me of the artwork of Marjolein Bastian. Thx you for the nature walks, so beautiful. You capture their soul.

  4. Love a good veggie patch. In Oz they’re called Butternut Pumpkins. I’ve hoping that when I return from travelling to our home in Oz in 2025, I’ll still have some sort of garden and veggie patch left. A firend that’s renting our house isn’t a great gardener. 🙁

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