ruffled feathers

It’s autumn, and the hedgerows are bright with berries. But there are other flashes of red, too, competing with the bryony, hips and haws.

This feathery tangle is Robin’s pincushion, which I found on the wild roses around the racecourse.
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maybe not

Yesterday I wrote about walking around the racecourse and ended the post with a photo of cow parsley. Today the top photo is a different umbellifer. I think it’s probably common hogweed, which I’m assuming might be a relation, as it’s also known as cow parsnip.

For those who haven’t made the connection, umbelliferous flowers are arranged on short stalks that radiate from a common point, like the ribs of an umbrella.
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wandering and pondering

I’ve been trying to get out for a walk most days recently, despite the lockdown and I’ve made sure to take a camera with me, or at least have my phone to hand. With fewer people around, I am thoroughly enjoying the quieter atmosphere as it gives me more space for thoughts.

So, having posted some bits and bobs of early poetry drafts recently, I think it’s time to go back to the sort of photography and musings that is the other mainstay of this blog. There wasn’t any particular plan or theme here when I started, but having juggled the sequence of pictures, I think I’ve found a bit of a narrative thread.
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too early

I realised this morning that it’s been a long time since I went for a walk. That’s not to say I have been shut up indoors. Nor that I have been entirely sedentary: I may not complete my 10,000 steps each day, but I actually do walk quite a lot.

But taking the short-cut across the park in a rush to catch a train, racing off to the bus station, or scurrying round the supermarket in a lunch break don’t really count as going for a walk. Nor does tottering in high heels from the bus stop up the mile-long drive of a country hotel to attend a business meeting, however rural the setting and however much wildlife one sees en route. (I’ve noticed that many such hotels are on bus routes, though I’m pretty sure the guests don’t use pubic transport; I assume it’s so the staff can get there without them needing to be able to afford to run a car.)
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the crimson petal

I keep looking at the photos I took of hellebore flowers the other day and the only thought that comes to mind is about Byron swimming the Hellespont. Surely there should be some connection?

But, no. It seems that the Hellespont is the sea of Helle, who fell off a flying golden ram into the sea when trying to escape death with her twin brother Phrixus. Hellebore, on the other hand, although also derived from the Greek, combines ‘to injure’ and ‘food’.
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