beginnings and endings

The long hot summer is forgotten, the grass is green and straggly again and there is a distinctly autumnal nip in the air.

The horse chestnuts seem to have really suffered from the drought – rather than turning colour with the season, their leaves are all shrivelled and mottled – and I’ve hardly seen any conkers, though there are at least some sweet chestnuts.

There’s also more beech mast than I thought possible, and a fair number of acorns, too, so hopefully the squirrels should have a reasonable chance of surviving the winter.
Continue reading “beginnings and endings”

another day

According to the hash tags on Twitter, today is #worldphotography day, a global event that aspires “to create positive change in the world through photography”.

I should probably have been out and about in the local community taking photos of the dull grey morning, the suddenly, surprisingly, bright afternoon, or the rainbow-hued local Pride event.
Continue reading “another day”

not so seedy

Last month, when I wrote the post a little focus, which featured a yellow-flowered tree in the park, I didn’t know what type of tree it was. I tried searching on Google, but had no luck.

Now, the tree is a mass of three-sided “bladdery” green fruits, tangled and jostling each other like Chinese lanterns in the breeze, and I’ve been able to discover that it’s actually a Koelreuteria paniculata – a Pride of India or Golden Rain tree.
Continue reading “not so seedy”

change of view

The shortest – or, at least, the most picturesque – route into the centre of town from my home leads through a walled garden owned by the church. It’s a wonderful space and many of the photos on this blog – witch hazel, bluebells, cyclamen, crocuses, spring blossom… – have been taken there. I’ve sat there often, sometimes to read, occasionally to write, but more often just to think and watch the birds and squirrels.

As far as I know, the garden is open every day; certainly in the two or three years I’ve lived here I’d never seen it closed. Never until this week, that is.
Continue reading “change of view”

a little focus

Once more I’m sitting here with a host of possible topics to write about and, once more, it’s proving difficult to zoom in on one specific idea and get a blog post written.

As I said last weekend, “When you’re stuck for something to write, it is often because you are looking vaguely around you and there are simply too many potential subjects.”

Pinning down a single idea is like trying to find the queen among the heaving life of an ants’ nest or a hive of bees, a specific car in a multi-storey carpark, one precise tree in the forest…
Continue reading “a little focus”

naming memories

On a visit to south Wales this week, when I stepped outside the back door, I found the iridescent creature pictured above sunning itself on the rosemary bush. Without doubt, it was one of the most eye-catching beetles I’ve ever seen.

I don’t claim to recognise all the insect life of the UK, but I was surprised just how unfamiliar this one seemed: I was pretty sure that even if my Observer’s Book of Common Insects and Spiders were not stuffed in a box at the back of a storage locker somewhere in rural Spain, it would not help me to identify it.
Continue reading “naming memories”

reading not writing

I really thought that I would do better today and actually find something to write about, especially as it’s midsummer’s day.

It would have been my grandmother’s birthday and Grandpa always gave her a poetry book. But I have no new summer poetry and I’ve been too busy reading this weekend to do any real writing.

As the reading hasn’t all been for pleasure, I did slip out for a short walk this morning, so I will once more fall back on posting pictures instead.
Continue reading “reading not writing”