Mascot

Mascot of some sort of Falcon seen on a motor trike last summer at a classic car show. Lovely chrome with orange eyes. The green paintwork was fabulous. You wouldn’t want to get into an argument with this bird.

I do like looking at things and sometimes I can get a good photo of objects with my little caeon my phone.. The trouble is its getting very full of images and I have to scroll through a lot of them to find things, so mostly I chose more recent images. Hope you like this one.

Solstice

When the sum rose this morning it was on the shortest day of the year. Now the days up here in the Northern Hemisphere will slowly start to lengthen again. At first at a minute or two a day, but gradually a few more minutes around spring time. Then as the Summer solstice approaches the number of minutes slows down. Finally after that the process goes into reverse and the days begin to wane again. So the great cycle of light and dark tumbles along North and South. Only on the equator are day and night lengths balanced out. The cause? Earth is tipped at an angle, so for six months of the year one half of the planet gets more light than the other (which also proves the Earth is a globe).

Happy Solstice everyone!

Summer

When it’s warm, not hot, when the scent from plants wafts gently in the air. Then it’s time to visit the Dorothy Clive Garden in Staffordshire. It’s on the border of Shropshire and Cheshire. As you look down from the tea rooms you can look down over the three counties. It’s pleasant to sit out on the lawn with sandwiches and a cup of tea or scones and jam and cream. I’m imagining that I’m there now. That the cold chill in our living room is actually a gentle breeze blowing over the hill behind us and cooling me down! I might even indulge in an ice cream from the tea room. We would definitely be buying plants to take back to our garden.

The Dorothy Clive Garden was created in memory of her. It is built mainly on a slope with perennial plants in beds around beautiful and unusual trees. Some of the plant combinations are spectacular. There is also a quarry garden filled with trees and rhododendron bushes in glorious flower in the spring. There is a lovely view of a waterfall in the bowl of the quarry garden. Then an extended area of the gardens with drought resistant planting and a laburnum walk under planted with purple Alliums rings the changes. This year we also visited a hothouse with tropical plants at the lower part of the garden. It’s a good place to visit on a summers day.

Where are they now?

Butterflies, summer creatures

Hide in crevices

Overwintering

Blood like antifreeze

Or lay their eggs

Somewhere safe

To form a chrysalis

That will emerge next spring

Or flutter south

To warmer places

Migrating to survive

And moths?

Do they do the same

Flitting to darkened spaces

To wait out the cold?

Mild winters fetch them out early

Cold and hungry

Where can they feed

If plants are dormant

Not in flower

No leaves to eat?

A delicate natural balance

Disrupted

Summer has gone

The back yard in summer, there are still a few flowers out there now at the end of November, but nowhere near how these looked. Summer is a wonderful season if you live in the northern or southern latitudes you have that wait when the sun gets lower in autumn and only returns in the spring. I’m sure equatorial countries have some variations, but I don’t think there is such a change in temperature and light. I think plants bloom all year round. I wonder how climate change might effect plants. Will we have continuous blooms even through the winter? What have we done to the world?

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves leave the trees, wind blows and bowls them along the gutters. They flutter madly, sadly the end of summer edges away.

Sunshine strikes through low, dark grey clouds. Holds my eye as light streams by. Sky shimmers blue, high domed hue. Birds are leaving, wings weaving across the air.

Full of delicious fruit, trees reveal their loot of apples, pears, and sweet chestnuts fair. Mists and frosts, with mushrooms and toadstools found in field and woods.

Nature’s good, it gives and takes. It feeds at harvest time, crops gathered in, the end of summer win. And all the time, those leaves spin.

Shoes

Summers over and my sandals must be put away for another year. I will have to get my flat heels out again. I don’t bother to buy pairs of shoes. I bought three sorts of the same type in different colours, and never wore them! It’s strange, some women have tens or hundreds of pairs, and different ones for different occasions, I never got into that. I think it’s because I’ve never had much money. When we had a death in our family when I was a teenager, my mother gave us money to buy a dress and cardigan and shoes to wear to the funeral. I think that’s why I don’t get excited buying clothes or shoes. As long as they aren’t falling apart I keep wearing them….

Sun’s up

Sunlight through leaves, making patterns on the kitchen wall. It would be brighter but the wall is painted a pale apple green. When there was a partial eclipse a few years ago the light hitting the wall turned into increasing crescent moon shapes as the Moon passed in front of the Sun. This time of year, before the autumn sets in, there is a lot of shade from the trees in the garden. The pear tree is casting most of the shade on the wall, and a few pears have started to fall as the morning temperature reduces. I can almost feel a chill in the air this morning.

Soon it will be the vernal? Equinox, when the day and night time are in balance in the Northern (and also Southern) Hemispheres of the Earth. That is when both day and night are exactly 12 hours long. Soon the days here will shorten, whilst they grow longer in the south. I hope the nights are not too cold, I would like the leaves to stay on the trees as long as possible. I always feel sad when they become skeletal in the winter and the long wait till spring comes round again drags on. I miss my flowers as they wilt and fade, and I find it harder to motivate myself in the dark days of winter. But that is a while away yet, so I will enjoy what is left of the summer while I can.