Thames at dusk looking east from Somerset House

River Severn

Continue reading “rivers”

heads, hair, hats

Blue-rinsed and perm-headed
hydrangea matrons
eavesdrop our conversation.

blue hydrangea
As we breakfasted on a café terrace the other day, the great heavy mops of hydrangeas nodded gently at us like elderly women listening in and approving our plans for the day.

At least, that was my first thought.
Continue reading “heads, hair, hats”


The Jersey Tiger moth seems to be doing it wrong:

Jersey tiger moth
This makes me wonder about all the other creatures in the ivy hedge who have their camouflage right. Which makes lying in the hammock rather less enticing.

words & weapons

We went for a drive yesterday and, as usual, I took my camera with me. But I wasn’t really in the mood for taking pictures; I wanted to see things for myself rather than look at them through a viewfinder. Sadly, that means that although I have a few nice pictures of a reservoir, I missed a really good shot of black cows straggling across the Spanish hillside and another of a herd of bracken-coloured goats grazing on the scrubby roadside.

embalse Rosarito, reservoir Spain

We also saw an elderly rustic walking down the middle of the road carrying a seriously dangerous-looking rifle, apparently stalking something. I didn’t take a picture of him, either, but that was mainly because I think that pointing a camera at a man with a gun is not the wisest of acts.
Continue reading “words & weapons”

on holiday

Last weekend, the pueblo celebrated the fiestas of the local Virgin. (Not the summer fiestas – those were at the end of August, and not the fiestas for the patron saint – that’s next month: the Spanish are always happy to take days off work and chase bulls through the streets or set off firecrackers.)

Fireworks, Arenas de San Pedro, fiestas de la Virgen del Pilar
Now there is a lull in the village as the locals close up their shops to go and join the vendimia or take advantage of end-of-season offers to take their own holidays.
Continue reading “on holiday”

the sun and the stars

It seems wrong not to post to the blog with a poem for the Perseid meteor shower. Unfortunately, I don’t have any shooting-stars poems that haven’t been posted previously. Instead, the best I’ve come up with is a picture of this glorious miniature sun which is currently flowering in my back garden:

Those who want the poetry will find some if they click the link above. And I’ll go out and star-gaze later on and see if I can have something new written in time for next year.

flowerless thoughts

As I said in “what’s been bugging me“, the local insects may be impressive, but most of them aren’t very colourful – at least not the ones who sit still long enough for me to take pictures. That’s what I like about flower photography: the subject doesn’t run away when you point a camera at it.

At the moment, though, there aren’t many blooms around to brighten the blog pages. It’s partly because of the heat – all the vivid wildflowers of a month or so ago have dried back to straw, and even in the garden the few plants that are in flower are mostly wilting and ragged.

But it’s the insects who are responsible for the chewed petals and holey leaves, so I’m in two minds when I see a bright bug to know if I want it to stay put for a photo or hop, crawl or fly away and leave my plants alone.

green grasshopper