Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bird Cherry (Gean) North Fife

Wild cherry (Bird Cherry) is also known as Gean in Scotland or Mazzard (also 'massard'), both largely obsolete names in modern English, though more recently 'Mazzard' has been used to refer to a selected self-fertile cultivar that comes true from seed, and which is used as a seedling rootstock for fruiting cultivars. The name "wild cherry" has also been applied in a general or colloquial sense to other species of Prunus growing in their native habitats, particularly to Black Cherry Prunus serotina. Literally,. the scientific name Prunis avium means "bird cherry", which as a common name typically refers to P. padus though.

Along side the bird cherry one of the remaining Beech trees on the Barony Road to Newburgh is just coming into leaf. A colossal specimen well over 100 years old, over the 30 years of my time here many contemporary ones have perished in the equinox gales. The timber has provided plenty of fuel for my wood burning stove though I would have preferred it to have been slabbed with a band saw, providing excellent household fittings, work surfaces and the like.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Garden Flowers Flisk North Fife

Today, plenty of sunshine now Spring is under-way and a strong display of fruit flowers in our garden at Flisk North Fife.

An over wintered Peacock butterfly on Blackthorn flowers. Prunus spinosa (blackthorn or sloe) is a species of Prunus. It is a deciduous large shrub or small tree growing to 5 m tall, with blackish bark and dense, stiff, spiny branches. The leaves are oval, 2–4.5 cm long and 1.2–2 cm broad, with a serrated margin. The flowers are 1.5 cm diameter, with five slightly creamy-white petals; they are produced shortly before the leaves in early spring, and are hermaphroditic and insect-pollinated. The fruit, called a "sloe", is a drupe 10–12 mm in diameter, black with a pale purple-blue waxy bloom, ripening in autumn, and harvested — traditionally, at least in the UK, in October or November after the first frosts. Sloes are thin-fleshed, with a very strongly astringent flavour when fresh. This Blackthorn forms part of the hedge to my garden, over the years the plants have been prone to a virus and Pocket Plum gall which is found on the fruit, where it results in an elongated and flattened gall, devoid of a stone. Nevertheless enough survive to provide a good harvest. The fruit is similar to a small damson or plum, suitable for preserves, but rather tart and astringent for eating, unless deeply frozen, as is practised in eastern Europe. In rural Britain so-called sloe gin is made from them, though this is not a true gin but an infusion of vodka, gin, or neutral spirits with the fruit to produce a liqueur. In Navarre, Spain, a popular liqueur called patxaran is made with sloes. Sloes can also be made into jam and, if preserved in vinegar, are similar in taste to Japanese umeboshi.

/> Red currant flowers. The Red currant (Ribes rubrum)is a member of the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae, native to parts of western Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Northern Italy and Northern Spain). It is a deciduous shrub normally growing to 1-1.5 m tall, occasionally 2 m, with five-lobed leaves arranged spirally on the stems. The flowers are inconspicuous yellow-green, in pendulous 4–8 cm racemes, maturing into bright red translucent edible berries about 8–12 mm diameter, with 3-10 berries on each raceme. An established bush can produce 3-4 kilos of berries from mid to late summer. With maturity, the tart flavor of redcurrant fruit is slightly greater than its blackcurrant relative, but with approximate sweetness. The albino variant of redcurrant, often referred to as white currant, has the same tart flavor but with greater sweetness. Although frequently cultivated for jams and cooked preparations, much like the white currant, it is often served raw or as a simple accompaniment in salads, garnishes, or drinks when in season.
In the United Kingdom, redcurrant jelly is a condiment traditionally served with lamb in a sunday roast. It is essentially a jam and is made in the same way, by adding the redcurrants to sugar and boiling.
In France, the highly rarefied and hand-made Bar-le-duc or Lorraine jelly is a spreadable preparation traditionally made from white currants or alternatively red currants.
In Scandinavia and Schleswig Holstein, it is often used in fruit soups and summer puddings (Rødgrød, Rote Grütze or Rode Grütt); in Germany it is also used in combination with custard or meringue as a filling for tarts; in Linz, Austria, it is the most commonly used filling for the Linzer torte. Unlike the cranberry, it certainly can be enjoyed in its fresh state and without the addition of sugar.

Chaenomeles japonica, red japonica. The fruit are very hard and astringent and very unpleasant to eat raw, though they do soften and become less astringent after frost (when they are said to be "bletted"). They are, however, suitable for making liqueurs, as well as marmalade and preserves, as they contain more pectin than apples and true quinces. The fruit also contain more vitamin C than lemons (up to 150 mg/100 g).

Pink Japonica Quince.

Juneberry (Amelanchier)flowers.
The origin of the generic name Amelanchier is probably derived from the Provençal name of the European Amelanchier ovalis. The name serviceberry comes from the similarity of the fruit to the related European Sorbus. A widespread folk etymology states that the plant's flowering time signalled to early American pioneers that the ground had thawed enough in spring for the burial of the winter's dead. Juneberry refers to the fruits of certain species becoming ripe in June. The name Saskatoon originated from a Cree Indian noun misâskwatômina (misāskwatōmina, misaaskwatoomina) for Amelanchier alnifolia. The city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is named after this plant.
The fruit of several species are excellent to eat raw, tasting like a slightly nutty blueberry, though their popularity with birds makes harvesting difficult. Fruit is harvested locally for pies and jams. The saskatoon berry is harvested commercially. The Native American food pemmican was flavoured by shadbush fruits in combination with fat and dried meats, and the stems were made into arrow shafts.
Several species are very popular ornamental shrubs, grown for their flowers, bark, and fall color. All need similar conditions to grow well, requiring good drainage, air circulation (to discourage leaf diseases), watering during drought and acceptable soil. Note that species names are often used interchangeably in the nursery trade. Many A. arborea plants that are offered for sale are actually hybrids, or entirely different species. Jams and preserves from the real thing.

Garden Flowers Newburgh 2010

Spring eruption in a pot. Flowers in Newburgh.

Garden primrose, protected from harsh winter exposure in Newburgh is well ahead of wild rural plants.

Alpine flowers growing in a Newburgh garden north fife.

Mahonia flowers much visited by insects to feed. The resulting fruit are covered in a black grape like sheen in the autumn, much liked by birds.

Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief:

Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief: Guided Practices for Reclaiming Your Body and Your Life [Audiobook] (Audio CD)
The best Medicine is The Mind.

One doesn't need to be a Buddhist to benefit from the vast knowledge contained in Buddhist teachings of understanding the true nature of mind. Dr Kabat-Zinn draws from this understanding to produce a series of Audio CDs.
Dr. Kabat-Zinn is internationally known as a meditation teacher, author, researcher, and clinician in the fields of mind/body medicine, integrative medicine, lifestyle change, and self-healing. He is an expert in stress reduction, relaxation, and the applications of mindfulness meditation in everyday living to optimize one's capacity to face stress, pain, and illness across the lifespan. This work is now referred to by health professionals as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and is offered in medical centres, hospitals, and clinics around the world.

These programs are an extremely effective way to develop and deepen a personal meditation practice without the ideological and cultural trappings that so often make it difficult for Westerners to drop into what is deepest and most beautiful, most liberating and most healing about meditation. Their use provides a very real opportunity to taste those universal aspects of stillness and well-being, clarity, wisdom, compassion, and self-compassion, that Buddhists often refer to as Dharma.
To buy this or other CDs Click here.Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief: Guided Practices for Reclaiming Your Body and Your Life

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dunbog North Fife House for Sale

Colzey House, Dunbog, KY14 6JF
Offers over £525,000
Full Description

· Reception Hall
· Drawing Room
· Sitting Room
· Dining Room
· Fitted Kitchen
· Open Breakfast Room
· Utility Room
· Cloakroom/WC
· Office or Ground Floor Bedroom
· Galleried Hall
· Bathroom & Separate Shower Room
· 5 Double Bedrooms (Master En Suite)
· Detached Double Garage
· Landscaped Garden
· House 331 sq metres
· Site Over 0.5 acres

From Cupar take the A913 signposted Edinburgh and Perth. Travel for approximately 6.5 miles. Colzey House with Dunbog Primary School adjacent are on your right hand side. From Perth take the M90 leaving at Junction 9, signposted for Bridge of Earn, and follow the signs for Cupar and St Andrews (A913). Travel through the villages of Abernethy, Newburgh and Lindores to the hamlet of Dunbog, and on reaching Dunbog Primary School, turn immediately left, and Colzey House will be seen, set back from the road. Cupar 7 miles, St Andrews 17 miles and Perth 17 miles.
Colzey House has an attractive position with an open outlook. It is well positioned for the commuter with easy access to areas such as Cupar, St Andrews, Dundee and Perth. There are main line railway connections at Ladybank and Cupar for access to Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and beyond.
Local Amenities
Local amenities can be found in the nearby village of Newburgh which caters for everyday requirements. More extensive amenities and Bell Baxter High School can be found at Cupar. There is a local primary school adjacent to the property with fewer than 50 pupils, and private schools within easy reach including Craigclowan (preparatory) outside Perth, St Leonards in St Andrews and Kilgraston and Strathallan, both near Bridge of Earn. Various local facilities include horse riding at The Howe Country Centre (formerly known as Dabbs Equestrian) at Giffordtown, shooting, hill walking, fishing at Lindores, coastal walks at Newburgh and on the Tay Estuary as well as golf at the numerous courses in Fife and Perthshire
Colzey House is a modern dwellinghouse with a high specification, which was constructed in 2007 and has a floor area totalling 331 sq metres or thereby. The property benefits from a traditional appearance, which is complemented by a slate roof and a number of bay windows. The site extends to over half an acre, with the garden being fully landscaped. A number of features include 9’ ceiling heights on the ground floor, with extensive use of ceiling cornicing, beech facings and unique clear glazed doors which are edged with beech wood, high quality beech effect laminate floor coverings throughout the property, with the exception of wet areas, the kitchen and the breakfast room which have tiled effect floors. The fixtures and fittings are to a high standard and include a central vacuum system, oil central heating and full double glazing.
The reception hall includes a deep under stair cupboard and a cloak cupboard. The large drawing room has a multi fuel burning fire and French doors out to the rear garden. The sitting room has a bay window to the front of the property. The third public room (dining room) includes a cupboard housing the central vacuum system collection point. The well fitted kitchen has base and wall mounted units and glass front displays, beech block worktop surfaces, a central island incorporating a ceramic hob with hood above, an inset 1 ½ bowl stainless steel sink with mixer tap, tiled splash backs, a double oven, a wine chiller, a dishwasher and two fridges. The kitchen is open plan with a breakfasting area, with a bay window to the side and external French doors to the rear. The separate utility room has base units and worktop surface, plumbing for an automatic washing machine and space for a tumble dryer and an inset stainless steel sink with mixer tap. It houses the oil-fired boiler and has an external door to the side of the property. There is a separate WC with washbasin, heated towel rail/radiator, vanity light and shaver point and double storage cupboard. Also on the ground floor, to the front of the property, is an office or sixth double bedroom, with a bay window to the front and shelved storage cupboard. A feature beech staircase with detailed risers and balustrade rises to the galleried upper hall which houses the linen cupboard and double storage cupboard. There are five double bedrooms, with the master room having an en suite bathroom comprising WC with concealed cistern, washbasin with storage below, bath with mixer tap, separate corner shower and two heated towel rails/radiators. There is a family bathroom and a separate shower room, which is ideal for guests.
Grounds and Outbuildings
The gardens can be fully enclosed with a double gate at the entrance to the driveway. The front garden is extensively laid to lawn with raised beds which are well stocked. The garden continues to the side with a chipped driveway with parking for several vehicles giving access to a detached double garage with remote controlled electric doors, power and light. The lawn continues to the side with raised beds, and to the rear is a large paved patio providing seating space, and further lawned area.

Council Tax Band

Servitude rights, burdens and wayleaves
The property is sold subject to and with the benefit of all servitude rights, burdens, reservations and way leaves, including rights of access and rights of way, whether public or private, light, support, drainage, water and wayleaves for masts, pylons, stays, cable, drains and water, gas and other pipes, whether contained in the Title Deeds or informally constituted and whether referred to in the General Remarks and Stipulations or not. The Purchaser(s) will be held to have satisfied himself as to the nature of all such servitude rights and others.

Vacant possession and entry will be given on completion.

Offers must be submitted in Scottish legal terms to the Selling Agents. A closing date for offers may be fixed and prospective purchasers are advised to register their interest with the Selling Agents following inspection.

Purchase Price
Within 7 days of the conclusion of Missives a deposit of 10% of the purchase price shall be paid. The deposit will be non returnable in the event of the purchaser(s) failing to complete the sale for reasons not attributable to the Seller or his agents.

Rollo Davidson McFarlane
36 Cupar Road
KY14 7DD

Tel : 01337 828775
Fax : 01337 827102

E-mail :
Website :

Spring sowing north fife

Tractors parked up for the night at Pittachope Farm. Like many of the farms in North Fife contractors are employed for specific tasks particularly at spring time, a late one from the planting point of view so all is being done in a rush. Right now potatoes are being sown.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Big Tent Festival (23rd – 25th July) North Fife

The Big Tent Festival at Falkland North Fife is set in grounds next to Falkland Palace.
Big Tent 2010 is Scotland's biggest eco-festival and takes place Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th July. Well worth attending, there is something really special about this festival, very relaxed, family oriented, joyful with much coverage of environmental interests and activities and that's in addition to fantastic musical entertainment.
Moving with Africa at The Big Tent Festival (23rd – 25th July)
The Big Tent, known as Scotland’s leading environmental festival, is stepping up its global performance programme with the announcement of this year’s festival theme - ‘Moving with Africa’.
Following the recent confirmation of its local music programme, the Big Tent announces its global performance line-up which includes the Zawose Family from Tanzania, Grassroots Zimbabwe and Brazil! Brazil!
Dana MacLeod, Cultural Programme Director for Big Tent said: “The Big Tent’s world music programme has been steadily flourishing over our five year history. This year we are proud to announce an increased international element across the debates, film, performance and children’s’ event programme.

Behind these incredible performance artists is also an interesting story to tell and we hope to give the opportunity to do this. The Zawose Family are completely unlike anything I’ve seen before, their performance style is unique to their own family, it is very delicate and magical.

Theatre ensemble Grassroots Zimbabwe are taking a risk in presenting their heartfelt and powerful work in the UK which is undeniably politically influenced. On a lighter note, they will give festival goers a whole new meaning for those ubiquitous festival wellies by running Gumboot Dance workshops!” After last years weather a welcome addition.

She continued: “Brazil!Brazil! have been touring the great stages of the world and it’s an honour that they will be with us for the whole weekend. Their performance is not least a jaw-dropping display of acrobatic dance and infectious Afro-Brazilian music, but also an expression of street cultures from the Favelas of Brazil. I am sure their fusion of street football and percussion will be particularly memorable as World Cup fever kicks in”


Hailing from Tanzania, the phenomenal Zawose Family has been a celebrated and enduring feature of world music since the early 1990’s. Dressed in costumes made from goatskins and porcupine quills, with ostrich feathered headdresses, the Zawose musical dynasty started with revered musician Hukwe Zawose, who began his singing career in the villages of Tanzania, entertaining working villagers.

Peter Gabriel has been a champion of their music and made the first recordings of their music on his Real World record label catapulting the Zawose Family into international recognition from their small village in Tanzania. Committed to ensuring the beautiful harmonies and infectious rhythms that typified Hukwe's music live on, the family are a living legacy of his work and continue to be part of Real World Records.

Hukwe was committed to building the foundations for the preservation of the musical tradition of the Wagogo tribe and since his death in 2003; his musical tradition has survived thanks to his seven wives, over 40 children and the rest of the community.The new generation of Zawoses continue to make fantastic music and delight audiences worldwide with their extraordinary singing and dancing, elaborate costumes and unique talents.


Grassroots Zimbabwe communicate the traditions of Zimbabwe in their song and dance whilst also presenting poignant expression of Harare today in their theatre shows. Using dance, drama and music as a process towards informing and empowering local communities in Zimbabwe and overseas.


As the name suggests, Brazil!Brazil! will bring some Afro-Brazilian flair to the Big Tent. Combining the extraordinary martial art of Capoeira with the music and dance of carnival, and the energetic skills of Brazilian street football, Brazil! Brazil! encompass all of the power and the passion that is Brazil today. Undeniable masters of Capoeira, they have been captivating audiences around the world with their acrobatics, killer moves and carnival music.

Dorothy Browse, Service Manager, Libraries, Arts & Museums said: "Fife Council’s investment in The Big Tent recognises its importance as a key event in this special year of culture. Celebrating Fife 2010 showcases Fife's unique environment, cultural identity and lifestyle activities. The programme of events and opportunities is ambitious, and aims to raise awareness of Fife's heritage and its hidden cultural gems. There is something here for everyone and we know that visitors will take away vibrant images and strong memories of the Kingdom.
Click here for previous years.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Samsung R530 15.6 HD notebook (PDC T4400, 2Gb, 320Gb, DVDRW, Win 7 Home Prem (Red/Silver)

Samsung R530 15.6 HD notebook (PDC T4400, 2Gb, 320Gb, DVDRW, Win 7 Home Prem (Red/Silver)
The R530 is a powerful, yet affordable style leader. It offers great all-round value by combining outstanding quality and performance in an ultra-stylish 'New Touch of Colour' red diamond and metallic hairline finish.

The ergonomic design is built to the highest quality standards with craftsmanship which delivers exceptional haptics for a more enjoyable and productive user experience. To protect against wear and tear, a robust, scratch resistant Samsung durable casing is specially designed to prevent finger marks and cope with everyday bumps and knocks. Anyone who enjoys movies and HD video content will appreciate the enhanced visual quality of the pure 16:9 aspect ratio LED display. The R530 also provides enhanced usability with a 17-key numeric keypad that is the same as a desktop.

The R530 is ideal if you want to get things done in style.
Box Contains
# Notebook
# Battery
# AC Adapter
# Power Cord
# User Guide

Buy Here. Samsung R530 15.6 HD notebook (PDC T4400, 2Gb, 320Gb, DVDRW, Win 7 Home Prem (Red/Silver))

Kestrel North Fife

A kestrel hovering over the road from Flisk to Newburgh today 22nd April. Earth day as it happens.

Queen wasp feeding on gooseberry flowers. This spring there seems to be an abundance of queen wasps probably due to the long cold winter whereby they have remained in hibernation and not used up energy prematurely.

Dundee as seen over Logie farm north fife.

Virgin Hot Air Balloon over The River Tay in North Fife. Springtime, high pressure, cold evenings with low winds, ideal for ballooning.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jamie Does Spain Italy Sweden Morocco Greece France

Jamie Oliver, a real Jack the lad and brilliant cook. Jamie Does... is Jamie's personal celebration of amazing food from six very different countries. Cheap, short-haul flights and long weekend getaways have become increasingly popular and within a few short hours of the UK there are new and exciting worlds of food waiting to be discovered as Jamie finds out. Each chapter focusses on a different city or region - Marrakesh, Athens, Venice, Andalucia, Stockholm and the Midi Pyrenees region of France. Classic recipes sit alongside new dishes that Jamie learns along the way. Alongside each recipe there is a beautiful photograph of the finished dish, as well as incredible reportage shots of Jamie's experiences in each country. Jamie says: 'The food I’ve embraced on each trip is a mixture of what you could call the clichéd star dishes - the many tagines of Morocco, the flamboyant paellas of Spain, the comforting risottos from Italy and the zingy fresh flavours of a classic Greek salad - and the recipes that I’ve been inspired to make after walking through the markets and soaking up the vibes of each place. What you'll find in this book is fun, optimistic, escapist food you can actually cook and enjoy in your own home.' To buy now at £18 discount. Jamie Does...

Dundee from Flisk April 21st

Dundee from Flisk today April 21st. Clear sunny day but cold with the wind coming from the North West, ash free I think.

The River Tay from Flisk, it's a site that confronts me every day, I never tire of it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Black Orpingtons X

Black Orpingtons X. This wonderful chap fights with his sibling rival and needs to go to another home. Feel free to contact us if you are interested.
Meanwhile the skies above are unusually quiet. Flight activity can be seen real time by clicking here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cherry Plum Tree Newburgh

Cherry Plum Tree Whitecraigs Rd, Newburgh, every year there is this wonderful display and today I noticed pollinating insects so perhaps fruit will be in abundance later this year.
Cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera, syn. P. divaricata), also called Myrobalan (plum), is a species of plum native to central and eastern Europe, southwest and central Asia.
It is a large shrub or small tree reaching 6-15 m tall, with deciduous leaves 4-6 cm long. It is one of the first European trees to flower in spring, often starting in mid February; the flowers are white, 1.5-2 cm across, with five petals. The fruit is a drupe 2-3 cm in diameter and yellow or red colour; it is edible, and reaches maturity from mid-August to mid-September.
The fruit can be eaten fresh in some forms, being sweet with a good flavour, while others are sour, but excellent for jam making.
Cherry Plum is a very popular ornamental tree in gardens, grown for its very early flowering. Numerous cultivars have been developed, many of them selected for purple foliage and pink flowers, such as Prunus cerasifera 'Pissardii' and 'Nigra'. These purple-foliage forms also have dark purple fruit, which make an attractive, intensely coloured jam. Others, such as 'Lindsayae', have pale pink flowers and green foliage.
I have a stand in my garden which provide red and yellow fruit, originally grown as rootstock for other plum grafts but left to mature providing profuse yields.

Cherry plum blossom closer in on the same tree.

Ornamental Cherry Blossom in a Newburgh garden.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Birches, Cupar house for sale.

The Birches, East Road, Cupar for sale.
Offers over £360,000
* Property Type : Semi-detached
* Public Rooms : 2
* Bedrooms : 5
* Bathrooms : 2
* Garden : yes
* Garage : yes
Handsome, traditional stone built semi-detached property situated in sought after location. Full of character and beautifully refurbished the impressive accommodation comprises Entrance Vestibule, Reception Hall, Elegant Sitting/Dining Room, large Conservatory, luxury Kitchen with "Aga", Utility Room, four double Bedrooms, Study/Bedroom 5 and two Bathrooms. Gas central heating. Gardens. Tandem garage. Off-street parking.
Contact Ref. North Fife Blog.
Murray Donald Drummond Cook
Solicitors and Estate Agents
17-21 Bell Street
St Andrews
KY16 9UR
Tel : 01334 474200
Fax : 01334 476366

E-mail :
Website :

Hollydene, Freuchie, North Fife, House for sale.

Hollydene, Dykeside, Freuchie house for sale, North Fife.
Offers over £275,000
* Property Type : Semi-detached
* Public Rooms : 3
* Bedrooms : 4
* Bathrooms : 2
* Garden : yes
* Garage : yes

Delightful south west facing semi detached mid 19th century cottage with stunning uninterrupted views over countryside to the Lomond Hills. Bright spacious accommodation comprises entrance porch, sitting room, dining hall, sun room, country style dining kitchen, laundry room, master bedroom with en suite bathroom, three further double bedrooms, shower room, cloakroom and WC. Gas central heating. Partial double and secondary glazing. Integral single garage. Garden. Driveway parking.
Contact. Ref, North Fife Blog.
St Andrews Property Department
17-21 Bell Street
St Andrews
KY16 9UR

Property Tel : 01334 474200

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring Flowers Newburgh North Fife

Cherry Blossom Newburgh North Fife.

Spring Flowers in Newburgh, North Fife. At the East end of the town there is space for a floral display, here now, defunct coble boats once used for salmon fishing are put to use as large planters. Civic pride is in the ascendant and through local initiative Newburgh is looking good all the year round.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring North Fife 2010

Spring, It has been a long winter and suddenly with the warmth of the last few days everything is bursting out and quite soon all will be in leaf. A good feeling, as always when the sap rises though today there is a distinct sulphurous atmosphere from the Icelandic volcano eruption.

Cherry Plum, Prunus cerasifera Blossom. We have many in the Garden, they provide a good root stock for grafting other prunus types.

Ash flower buds.

Willow flowers, sometimes called pussy willow, now being visited by bees, butterflies and other insects. Willows are dioecious with male and female flowers appearing as catkins on different plants; the catkins are produced early in the spring, often before the leaves, or as the new leaves open.
The staminate (male) flowers are without either calyx or corolla; they consist simply of stamens, varying in number from two to ten, accompanied by a nectariferous gland and inserted on the base of a scale which is itself borne on the rachis of a drooping raceme called a catkin, or ament. This scale is oval and entire and very hairy. The anthers are rose colored in the bud but orange or purple after the flower opens, they are two-celled and the cells open longitudinally. The filaments are threadlike, usually pale yellow, and often hairy.
The pistillate (female) flowers are also without calyx or corolla; and consist of a single ovary accompanied by a small flat nectar gland and inserted on the base of a scale which is likewise borne on the rachis of a catkin. The ovary is one-celled, the style two-lobed, and the ovules numerous.

Horse chestnut flower bud, yet to reach its full magnificence.

Sea Buckthorn, worth growing for the berries which are medicinal too, make good relishes.

Lesser Celandine is a native perennial common throughout the UK in damp meadows, woods, lawns, hedgebanks and beside streams and ditches. It thrives in nutrient rich soil and is a troublesome garden weed. It is shade tolerant and in woodland lesser celandine forms part of the pre-vernal community. It grows on soils with a pH of 4.4 to 6.9. Growth is poor in dry conditions but the plant dies down in summer and then becomes resistant to drought. It grows in my garden in local woodlands, here photographed on a roadside verge.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Earthquakes and Volcanoes

Our home, the Earth is in constant change sometimes unobtrusively, other times with violence. Both are happening the now. Here in North Fife there are the remains of ancient volcanoes, the Lomonds for instance and across the water Dundee Law. Geologically Fife is rich.

"Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes, Third Edition" brings the excitement of an ever-changing field of science to the fore-front. With the increase in natural disasters in recent years, the burgeoning world population is clearly expanding faster than our disaster reduction technology. This new edition provides a single source on historical earthquakes and volcanic eruptions from throughout the world. Updated with the most current information, this illustrated resource includes not only new geologic events, but also as many examples of historical earthquakes as possible for contrast or comparison. Coverage in the Middle East has been significantly expanded to include recent natural disasters, as well as events such as landslides and avalanches. Also, many tables were added to supplement the content and put the recent disasters into historical context. To Buy Now:> Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes (Science Encyclopedia)

Volcanic Ash Fife

Today was naturally spring like, enhanced by the absence of overflying aircraft due to the Volcanic ash Plume spreading towards the UK and Northern Europe. I thought the sunset tonight would be enhanced but alas not, here anyway.

An image made available by NEODASS/University of Dundee, just over the River Tay from where I sit, which shows the volcanic ash plume from Iceland, top left, to the north of Britain as received by NASA's Terra Satellite at 11.39 GMT Thursday April 15, 2010. All flights in and out of the UK and several other European countries have been suspended as ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland moves south. The UK's air traffic control service (Nats) said no flights would be allowed in UK airspace until at least 0700 BST on Friday amid fears of engine damage. The airspace restriction was the worst in living memory, a spokesman said. Pumice, acidic and abrasive volcanic ash, natural pollution. As if there isn't enough about.

Last evening April 14th over The Tay.

Spring, a time of renewal, a point of change and regrowth as in these emerging horse chestnut leaves, soft, limp, vibrant.

Sycamore flowers, the fronds turn and hang down with the growth of leaves yielding the seeds that we are more familiar with. Just now fresh green growth bursting through, an uplifting time of the year.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cupar House for sale 20 Meadowside Road

Cupar House for sale, 20 Meadowside Rd.
Offers over £295,000

* Property Ref : 20meadowside
* Property Type : Detached
* Public Rooms : 3
* Bedrooms : 4
* Garage : yes
* Garden : yes

* Home report available

An individually designed villa with integral double garage offering a flexible layout and extensive landscaped gardens. Ideal central location for town and station. Internal viewing highly recommended. Lounge. Sitting room. Kitchen. Sun room. 4 bedrooms. Bathroom. 2 en-suites. WC. Utility . Gardens
An individually designed Detached Villa located in a sought after area of Cupar. The property has been well maintained by the present owners and is positioned within an impressive garden offering fine views over the town. The accommodation comprises of reception hallway, lounge, family room, breakfasting kitchen, utility, downstairs W.C., sun room/ dining room and guest bedroom with en-suite. Upstairs is the master bedroom with en-suite and two further bedrooms and a family bathroom. There is gas central heating and double glazing throughout. There is an integral double garage with access to the property via the utility room. Externally there are extensively landscaped gardens to front and rear. The front gardens are principally laid to lawn with a wide driveway, which provides off street parking for several vehicles. The gardens to the rear are terraced and have been well laid out and stocked with herbaceous plants, trees and shrubs, with various level areas for seating etc. Viewing is highly recommended to fully appreciate the size of the plot and the flexible layout of the property and an appointment to view can be made by contacting Pagan Osborne.
Meadowside Road is a popular area of Cupar and is convenient for shopping at the Tesco supermarket, primary schooling and the railway station. Cupar also has excellent leisure facilities with a fitness centre and swimming pool. There is also a rugby club and golf club. For the commuter, Cupar is in a central location for travel throughout Fife and has a mainline railway station and regular bus services for throughout Fife and on to Edinburgh.

Travel Directions
From the office in Cross Gate, travel round into South Bridge. Turn right at the junction and follow the road round going past the Tesco supermarket. Just after that turn left into St Michaels Drive, then first left into Meadowside Road. Number 20 is located on the right hand side, as numbered and indicated by our For Sale Board.

Pagan Osborne Property Services
Solicitors and Estate Agents
1 Crossgate
KY15 4HA
Telephone 01334 653777

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Forgotten Skills of Cooking

At this time of the year the roads almost awash with pheasants, not the brightest of birds, it needs considerable caution to avoid hitting them. This one jumped up to the roadside stone wall as I came to a halt. A hen, dowdy compared to the cock but still attractive. Many meet their end on the roads, I'm not averse to picking up road kills if they're in relatively good condition, it's either me or the local raptors. This cookbook provides recipes to cover such gain.

Forgotten Skills of Cooking. Author: Darina Allen
In this much-needed new book, which has already sought high appraisal by winning the Andre Simon Food Book Award, Darina reconnects you with the cooking skills that missed a generation or two. The book is divided into chapters such as 'Dairy', 'Hens and Eggs', 'Bread and Preserving' and forgotten processes such as smoking mackerel, curing bacon and making yoghurt and butter which are explained in the simplest terms. The delicious recipes show you how to use your home-made produce to its best, and include ideas for using forgotten cut of meat, baking bread and cakes and even eating food from the wild. The Vegetables and Herbs chapter is stuffed with growing tips to satisfy even those with the smallest garden plot or window box, and there are plenty of suggestions for using gluts of vegetables. You'll even discover how to keep a few chickens in the garden. With over 700 recipes, this is the definitive modern guide to traditional cookery skills. Click to Buy.Forgotten Skills of Cooking: The time-honoured ways are the best - over 700 recipes show you why