Thursday, 18 April 2013

stormy weather

our weather has changed a lot. from cold, but dry to april showers - and storms! I don't mind the showers so much, but three storms in three days is a bit much at this time of the year! all my daffodils are flattened - and the lovely tulips, who looked perfect just a few days ago (see header) are shreddered, some broke off and the rest of them look so bedraggled that I don't think they'll recover. and my spring bulbs in the front garden look really odd now. they have full-sized flowers on very short stalks - their reaction to the cold and strong winds maybe? keep your head down and you might survive:)
 on tuesday I was invited to a "hunt for wild garlic" trip - and luckily we didn't wait until wednesday after all. it was still a bit windy, but mostly sunny - quite a nice day. in contrast to wednesday, where we had one shower after the next plus the 3rd storm!
we didn't only pick lots of wild garlic, we also found a few nice plants in a local nursery. I hadn't found any muscari in our local shop, so I snatched up this little pot, when I saw it. isn't it a lovely blue?
the skein beside it is the first batch of the teeswater I dyed on easter sunday. the colours have blended well and I chain-plied it to use as sock yarn. the teeswater fibres give a lustrous, very strong yarn, but they don't fill out very well, so I am not sure that they will be too cozy to wear... time will tell! not much good if the yarn keeps well - because they are itchy to wear:)
 after a lot of debate about what to do with our lemon harvest (and yes, they do grow in ireland - but only inside or rather in an unheated glass house) the owner of the lemon tree asked for lemon jelly (marmelade?). so I peeled three of the lemons thinly, cut the peel into the tiniest strips and sliced one nearly ripe, very small lemon. I used jam sugar and made a jelly including the peel/sliced lemon - and ended up with a little more than one jam jar full. it's really delicious - not as sweet as most jams, just right on a piece of (slightly burned:) toast! I also used the peel of the other lemons to make lemon sugar - nice for baking etc. so we used up all our lemons to the fullest - apart from the bitter white skins inside:) I have to admit I added the juice of 2 "normal" lemons though - because I was afraid I might not even fill one single jam jar....
I picked quite a big heap of garlic leaves, but just before we left I found a recipe in a german gardening magazine: pickled garlic buds. my own plants are still quite small, no buds in sight yet - but I managed to pick a small bowl full to try this out. the closed buds are put into sea salt for 2-3 days to draw out the water. afterwards the salt is rinsed off and they are pickled in a vinegar/herb/spices mix. they are supposed to be very tasty after a few weeks - we'll see about that! like capers really, just bigger in size.
I also wanted to show you photos of a big fire in the bog a few days ago. someone apparently took advantage of the long, dry spell and lit a fire in the dried out bog. it was sunday night and we watched for quite some time how the fire grew bigger and bigger until it stretched all along the little river in the valley:( this wasn't an isolated incident, we've had bog fires all over ireland during the end of the dry spell! the fire brigades were stretched to the max trying to keep it under control, but it made no sense to call them out here, because it is next to impossible to reach the area down there and there are no houses in the vicinity anyway. but it does destroy a lot of the wildlife and I don't understand why people light the fires in the first place. nobody is cutting turf down there anymore - I suppose somebody might have dumped rubbish and tried to "hide" this by lighting the fire:(
to cut a long story short - I am absolutely sure that I uploaded all the fire pix - but apparently my computer didn't like the fire either and "ate" all my pictures:( I hunted through every folder - but they're gone:( maybe the pyromaniac is also a hacker and took my pix????very mysterious....


Delighted Hands said...

Fun to see what you have been up to! The new Teeswater yarn looks beautiful; I hope it wears as beautifully! Sorry for the storms...the rain is nice but not the destruction. The marmalade looks scrumptious! I am not so sure about the pickled garlic! Lol.

Ash said...

Haven't spun my Teeswater yet but I have got some similar colours on some wensleydale!! We had heard about the fires in Scotland recently but not about peat fires with you? wonder why. They can go on burnign forever can't they...do hope all is well in the bogs now.

Nina said...

Yarn, marmalade and pickling, you've been busy! You're so lucky to have wild garlic in abundance. Not much in this area. I don't understand the destruction of natural habitat as a type of vandalism. It makes no sense.

Woolly Bits said...

Cindy - I hope the teeswater isn't as itchy on my feet as it is on my hands:) and the wild garlic - don't know about the buds yet, but the pesto made with it is delicious, despite its poisonous green colour:)

Ash - I think teeswater and wensleydale spin up alike, both are such long and strong fibres. the peat fires over here aren't usually a problem, they seem to be fast and burning just the top cover. I read about those smouldering fires in the uk, but usually the plentiful rain puts a stop to that over here. but they do destroy everything on top:(

Nina - the wild garlic grows on a huge estate, which is state-owned by now. the previous owners planted a large area with rare trees, which have grown into huge specimen - ideal conditions for the wild garlic. I think the rest of the country isn't as blessed, because it doesn't grow well in full sun without tree cover. my own is doing fine, too - but nothing like the forest full in the park:)
and yes, you're right, this kind of behaviour doesn't make any sense, esp. not now, where people don't cut the turf anyway. it seems to be plain stupidity or ignorance:(