bee aware

I’ve mentioned before KWP, the minister at the church my family attended when I was a little girl and the stories he used to tell. They were simple stories with morals, usually based around small domestic occurrences – like the Green Shield stamp that had lost its stickability and was therefore of little use. (The notion of “stickablity” as a value to be cultivated and encouraged has remained with me all my life.)

Once KWP told of having been in London with a friend who was an ardent nature lover. As they were walking, the friend suddenly stopped; he paused while the rest of the crowds surged past them, then turned and in a moment or two had located a tiny green grasshopper sitting on a kerbstone.
Continue reading “bee aware”

knobs, knockers and bosses

I could just as easily have called this post “door furniture and architectural details”, “wall anchors, pattress plates and more”, “green men and bears” or a dozen other titles, but I’ll admit it: I’m childish enough to have taken pleasure rounding up a selection of local photos that I can post together under the title “knobs, knockers and bosses”.

In fact, as I’ve been researching what this set of photos show, I’ve learned that there are precious few bosses among them. Perhaps we’d better get them out of the way immediately, with this over-sized lego brick that I came across by the race course months ago. I have no idea what it was for, but presumably whatever its purpose, they really didn’t want people to sit on it.
Continue reading “knobs, knockers and bosses”

of pests and petunias

I used to love petunias and geraniums and all the vivid windowbox flowers whose colours brighten up grey days and grey urban spaces. But I fell out of love with petunias when the ones I was growing in pots on the deck in California developed an infestation of caterpillars. I can’t bear to kill creatures of any sort, but nor am I impressed to see my small gardening efforts reduced to the buffet at a bug-feast.

Later, in the early 90s in Spain, my love of geraniums was sorely tried when there was a plague of butterflies – Cacyreus marshalli – in Madrid. Their larvae bored into the stems of many plants around the city and wreaked havoc with the traditional Mediterranean balcony displays of scarlet flowers bursting between wrought iron railings.
Continue reading “of pests and petunias”

looking down on stars

Wikipedia shows that there are many plants known as “starflower“, including shrubs, succulents, alpine plants, bulbous perennials and the summer-flowering herb that I know as borage.

Although the flowers of borage are undoubtedly star shaped, and usually a really rather lovely heavenly blue, they tend to face earthwards and grow so low that you end up looking down at their backs, which is not the usual angle for star gazing.
Continue reading “looking down on stars”

edges and angles

Many of my photographs seem to be images of juxtapositions of spaces: of fences with flowers poking their heads through, of blossoms cascading over garden walls and into alleyways, of plants growing incongruously on manmade vertical surfaces.

In the countryside, there are hedges and ditches, river banks and the green verges of country lanes, all rich with wildlife. In urban spaces, these borderlands are formed by iron railings, razor wire, wooden planks and panels, brick and concrete walls, gutters, kerbs and drains.
Continue reading “edges and angles”