Apologies - Have you have been trying to contact us through the website and thought I was ignoring your emails?! At present the link doesn't seem to be working. Now I have realised we are putting it right and hopefully normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. I think it may have had some connection to my recent and not altogether happy computer update. I do answer all the emails and it has taken me a few weeks to realise I wasn't getting any post from the website. Will let you know when it is working again
After trying to find out this morning why the 'contact us' works most of the time and then misses a few emails we decided to change to a gmail account. If you would like to contact us please use -
I have just been checking the PTES site - People's Trust for Endangered Species - a lot of very interesting information about orchards and the wildlife to be found in them - well worth a look. We first became involved with this some years ago taking part in the Orchard Survey on the Isle of Wight which was very interesting indeed and led us to several heritage apples and new places. Steve Oram from the PTES was also very helpful sending us samples of Frogmore Prolific from Brogdale so we could check them against some unidentified apples we found in an old orchard, duly checked, Frogmore Prolific features on this websiteThe PTES site is well worth a browse, espiecially on such a grey, cold afternoon like today.
A slight change of subject, we have been bird watching through the window and I have been trying to take a picture of our resident garden pigeon in action on the Siberian Crab tree. When I succeed I will put the picture on the website but all I have taken so far is the tree with a disappearing pigeon in the corner. We watched one afternoon as he stuffed 14 crab apples one after the other without stopping, he seems determined to strip the tree before the blackbirds can get a look in. Where does he put them? We can watch but as soon as I lift the camera he is gone. Two blue tits have moved in to the nest box in the James Grieve tree. Mrs Blue tit is busy moving bits of grass etc. in but he (I assume it is he) is determined to scare off the rival he can see in the car wing mirror and spends all day jumping up and down. When I covered the mirror with a cloth he decided that his rival was hiding inside the car and transferred his attentions to the car windows. We have moved the car which is inconvenient but I couldn't bear to watch him any longer and felt he would starve to death if he didn't eat something.
BRIGHSTONE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY - SPRING SHOW - Saturday 19th March - 2.00pm -4.00pm
Traditionally held on Twelfth Night 6th January or the old Twelfth Night, 17th January. I have more information and a couple more pictures but has anyone else anything to add, any bits of folklore, any Wassail party stories to share etc.
Standing around the corner tree in the orchard after making a noise - note the pans and spoons! I think this is when we were singing the Wassail song.
Last weekend we went to a Wassail Party - a new experience - in a newly planted cider orchard on the Isle of Wight. Wassailing is to ensure a good cider crop in the coming year and is more common in cider growing areas such as Somerset, Devon and Hereford. We ate and drank, walked up to the tree at the edge of the orchard making a lot of noise, sang our Wassailing song, tipped cider over the tree and tied a piece of apple cake soaked in cider in the tree ( the cake was delicious - I ate some of it for the 'pudding course' of the meal later). Traditionally the cake is for the robins which are the good spirits of the orchard.
The apple cake tied in the tree after everyone had taken it in turns to sprinkle cider over the tree
The Fire pit which was very welcome and much needed to stand around on such a cold day, note the large pan of 'chilli stew' and the small pan of mulled cider in the corner and the potatoes wrapped in foil.