Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Blue tits, butterflies and bees

Two pairs of blue tits, that we know of, are nesting in holes in the stonework of the house, one pair next to the conservatory entrance to Tudor Lee, the second pair outside a bedroom window. Maybe these birds too are benefiting from hot dry weather, although as insects form an important part of their diet, the lack of rain will eventually affect the food supply.
Our visitors to Tudor Lee tell us the noise from the bird families stops at about 10pm - obviously bird bedtime.

The weather forecast for a showery May certainly wasn't borne out here. The two light showers we had in May didn't penetrated the ground and were soon dried up by the strong winds.
Although the crops continue to grow it's difficult to see how the ears will fill with no rain. There are good numbers of bumble bees and butterflies, visiting the early species buddleia and benefiting from the dry weather.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Bumble bee working in the grounds of Orchard Lee

Insects seem to be enjoying the prolonged sunshine and dry weather. Bumble bees of several sorts are working the flowers around the houses, and hopefully, have already done a good job pollinating the fruit trees.

We do need rain for the crops and the vegetables!

Botanical artist captures spring blossom at Lee

Sally Whibley, a local botanical artist and member of the Island's Ventnor Botanical Artists' group, has begun work on a series of paintings of local apples here at Lee. Starting with the blossom, painting in situ, she will be building up a unique record for us of old varieties of apples. Sally lived for many years at Wellow in a beautiful thatched cottage and has now moved to Yarmouth. Her work may be seen at the regular exhibitions of the West Wight Art Group

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

RSPB weekend birdwatch

Possibly our finest moment from the hour when we recorded the birds in our garden - on the left the flash of bright red on the great spotted woodpecker on the feeder; below, a moorhen happily picking up whatever the woodpecker dropped; centre, a female blackbird; also on the tree, a blue tit and a robin. Just behind the tree there is a female pheasant, also happy to pick up what others drop. This is the lawn outside the entrance to Tudor Lee. In the foreground are the snowdrops which are such a pleasure at this time of the year. Next week's visitors will be able to enjoy them, and they will still be here for Valentine's day and weekend - any takers?

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

spring is coming - time for a spring short break?

Outside Tudor Lee, the snowdrops are starting to bloom in earnest - January 21st is usually the day and they haven't let us down this year.

A walk round shows that the shrubs are ahead of the flowers - viburnum, having weathered frost, snow and rain is scenting the garden with its very 'pink' smell. I prefer the more restrained winter honeysuckle with pale yellow flowers.

Winter on the Island is generally mild - back to form now, thank goodness ! Those who are feeling the need to get some fresh air can enjoy the wide open spaces and beauty of the countryside by day, and some spectacular skies by night. Island beaches are always great for family walks, just remember the wellington boots.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Isle of Wight Festivals Round-up 2011

If you're thinking about coming to the Isle of Wight, we thought a round up of 2011's festival events might be useful if you're helping to set your calendars, so here's a round-up of some of the highlights!

The Isle of Wight Walking Festival kicks off May 7th-22nd. Our properties are an ideal base, with footpaths very close to all of them. Bring your hiking boots and stride out on the feature walks in this festival in 2011.

Sailing into the nearest town to our properties is the Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival on 3-5th June, providing a fantastic spectacle of these gracious boats cruising and racing out of Yarmouth, with great viewing along the seafront and from Yarmouth Pier. All under 2 miles from our houses!

We would tell you all about the Isle of Wight Festival 10-12th June, but we're already booked up!

Hot on the heels of the Old Gaffers is the Round the Island Sailing Race on 25th June. If you've never seen a flotilla of thousands of sailing boats racing around the world-famous Needles it is not to be missed! Some fantastic viewing locations are only a few minutes from our houses.

2011 is a very special year for the Isle of Wight - we're hosting the Island Games 25 June - 2nd July. People from Islands all around the world will converge on the Isle of Wight to take part in a wide range of events, held at numerous venues. Whether you want to spectate, or you're involved, we can provide great facilities for this event.

The Rhythm Tree World Music Festival at Calbourne Mill returns 22-24th July. If you don't fancy camping and aren't so good with teepees our houses are under three miles from this jolly small festival.

Cowes Week storms on to the Island 6-13th August, bringing with it a huge range of events and activities, in addition to the sailing. After some stunning action in 2010. The Extreme 40 racing series has just last week confirmed it will be back in Cowes in 2011 for the UK round. It really is sailing's Formula 1 racing series!

Foodies should make sure they get to the Garlic Festival 20-21st August. With all things garlic and an increasing range of other culinary delights it's an eating event not to be missed.

With acts including The Cure, Brian Wilson DJ Shadow and many others The Bestival is already hotting up to be a fantastic event. Book one of our properties early for September 8-12th for easy access to the event.

The Isle of Wight International Classic Car Show takes place at Newport Quay on 17th September and Ryde's Eastern Gardens on September 18th, with proceeds going to different charities on either day.

This is followed up by the Sun Sea and Cycling festival 18-26th September. Our properties are bike-friendly and provide easy access to the West Wight's quiet roads and the great bridleway network - the most dense and well-maintained in the UK.

The 2011 season closes with the Autumn Walking Weekend 21-24th October, with a series of events already in place to suit a wide range of abilities.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Sun shining again today - looks a lot more like spring.
The snowdrops are in full bloom and the daffodils are showing some colour.