We great danes, Stellar and Venus, love to be near him and her. We look at her as she taps that box thingy. She goes click, click. I come to sit beside her. She says my name and scratches my head. Mmm it feels good.
Stellar loves having her head scratched.
Venus tries to push me away as she wants pats too. We sit and stare asking for more strokes.
Venus pushes Stellar aside.
I lift my paw but she catches it before I can put it on the box.
Stellar, you can’t type too!
Me- I raise my hands and say sit. This enables me to stroke the dogs and prevent their drool dripping on to the laptop and me!
Many years ago I planted two one metre high Araucaria trees in the plot of land around our house. I love monkey puzzle type trees. The dark foliage, needle type leaves and beautiful peeling bark are attractive. One of the two trees was sickly with yellowing branches and a couple of brown dead ones. I was given a discount for this one. After planting it flourished and the two trees provide shade and are taller than a three storey block of flats. During the hottest months irrigation keeps them healthy.
The Araucaria tree towers above me.
Tree sap oozes from the “painted” tree.
Recently someone was spraying with a can and some black paint landed on the bark of one of the two trees. The response was interesting. The tree was “wounded” and reacted by releasing sap. Lesson-respect nature.
Groves of pale pink blossom decorate the area. The pink petals arrive before the leaves, giving a delicate look to the trees. Some farmers use irrigation to give the trees a head start. So many recipes benefit from almonds. Ground almonds for cakes, Italian macaroon biscuits and marzipan, blanched almonds for large fruit and nut cakes plus sliced almonds for a pilaf or Indian recipes like Biryani.
An almond tree in spring
My guilty secret……un-skinned almonds tossed in salt!
Just a leek, mushrooms and cream cheese make a delicious filling.
Pancakes after cooking
Sometimes just a quick visit to the kitchen is enough to make a tasty dish. Pancakes are popular at any time of year. Just fry a chopped leek and some chopped mushrooms. Once tender, remove them from the heat and stir in a tub of cream cheese. Season and spread a large spoonful of the mixture in the middle of a prepared pancake (bought or made) that is folded in half. Roll up and place each one in a buttered a dish. Left over filling can be placed around the edge of the dish. Heat in the microwave for about five minutes or the oven for longer.
Sometimes we need to share a special meal together and enjoy the romantic feeling. Champagne and fish are light and can be delicious.
Brrr, We great danes, Stellar and Venus want to hide away. For a warm place, it’s been very cold here. I hear them talking. They say it’s three something outside. We run around sniffing where the cats have been in the garden but soon we want to come inside to be warm. The scared cat comes and sits on the mat by the front door. Here we can’t reach it. Ants and toads hid while it was cold. We are alone and have enjoyed long sleeps under woolly covers.
The whip snake moves fast up a tree-trunk like a corkscrew..
Me-We have been here in Cyprus for a long time but I did once see a snake in our garden. Shh don’t tell friends and relatives or they may not wish to visit us again! It was returning and slithering rapidly along by a wall in the woody, doggy section of our garden that is covered in leaves. To get there, there was only one way. The snake must have moved along through our trees. The thought of a snake above me is slightly unnerving. At least it was a non-poisonous brown whipsnake, not the venomous viper. Whipsnakes move fast like whips. Now all is safe as they’re hibernating. What to do when the weather warms up? We have removed the leaf litter mulch and lightly thinned the trees. The tall shady beautiful Ficus and Araucaria trees remain.
We great danes, Stellar and Venus love our night-time crates. They’re warm and snugly and just for us. We hear sounds of birds when we wake. One of them keeps going. The same sounds. Over and over again. It’s ok. We see them fly over us in the day time. I wish we could catch them but we can only bark.
This black francolin is hidden in evergreen variegated Pittosporium.
Me-Each morning a repetitive cry rises from the trees. It has five notes. It continues for a couple of hours. It signifies the early, rainy months of each year. What is it? The black francolin is about the size of a chicken. In spring, it calls for a mate, sometimes all day when the breeding season arrives. It’s plaintive call repeats itself. It doesn’t give up. It’s black and grey belly plumage doesn’t stand out when flying over our house in flocks but once it has found a mate it sticks with her. Persistence and constancy win. Maybe such a humble creature is a good role model for humans.