Friday, 28 June 2013

Jam Making Commences

Actually it recommenced a week ago. The strawberries are giving generously, so I can happily put several kilos into jam. Amazingly, we've only just finished last year's frozen strawberries, almost all made into sorbet, and I'm stocking up again. Also good has been the rhubarb and strawberry crumble (many thanks to Gaynor for the supply of rhubarb, which sadly does not like my soil).

3kg of strawberries from 20 June. I calculate that's an average of about 3 ripe strawberries to pick per plant every couple of days.
 2 kilos of them macerated in the same quantity of sugar for a couple of days before boiling up for jam.
 With the help of some of my homemade apple pectin from the freezer I've got 6 large jars and 5 small of ruby coloured fruity jam, full of strawberry flavour.
Cicada for Tim F.
 So far as I can work out this is a female Tibicina haematodes. They like vines and pines (and presumably red currants if no vines available...) As I left Tim B and Gaynor's garden a male started singing from one of their conifers. Almost everything written about them in the last decade or so and available on the net is by Jérôme Sueur from the Natural History Museum in Paris.


  1. Thank you Susan...
    but I can't hear anything but white noise from those recordings...
    or is it just white noise?
    I notice that one of the papers mentioned on that page is to do with the agressive use of the calls...
    as someone who has non-selective hearing, white noise is one of my "deafening" agents...
    as is a crowd of assorted people talking in groups...
    a form of white noise...
    but not so "hissy"!

    So I can see how they might use it to "drown out" their rivals in an "I can buzz louder than you" fashion.
    Fascinating ...

  2. Tim: I suppose it does sound a bit like white noise. They seem to do a little two part warm up before buzzing continuously.

  3. In the States, at least on the East coast [Virginia], this is the year for the 17-year cicadas. We get also 13-year cicadas, not to mention the so-called annual cicadas.

  4. That colourful coat reminds me of samurai armour.

  5. chm: I've been getting the occasional reports from contacts in the US.

    PG: good call.

  6. Magnifique cigale! Nous venons d'entendre les premières dans le Var! Elles étaient bien sonores!
    Je suis déjà bien contente d'en avoir vu deux espèces : Lyristes plebejus et Cicada orni!
    Bonne fin de semaine à vous

  7. Lucie: that little bit of warm weather must have caused them to emerge. Thanks for the link to the OPIE article in your post.