of taxis and trees

Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken a number of photos of trees in their autumnal finery, but for the last few days it has hardly stopped raining and most of the trees are now bare, which makes them less photogenic. Not only that, but when it’s pouring with rain, it’s not always easy – or appealing – to stop and take a photograph. So this post intersperses some thoughts I had during the recent rain with photos taken during brighter weather.

I was brought up in a London suburb, but taxis were not a common mode of transport except when we went on holiday as a family, or on occasional excursions in the capital when we would hail a Hackney in the street – always the old black cab that could turn on a sixpence and that was driven by a bloke who had done “the knowledge”.
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no more tulips

I recently wrote a couple of posts inspired by a bunch of tulips I had bought. I talked about the personality they reveal when they are picked and subjected to the constraints of a vase, and about the way they twist and writhe in a kind of dance of death.

Unsurprisingly, those flowers have now been discarded – even I can’t live with dead flowers on the kitchen table for very many days, however interesting the photos of decay may be – and I don’t suppose there will be any more tulips to be found at the supermarket until next Christmas.
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november notes

From the crimson feathers of the Japanese maple to the bright eyes lurking in the hedgerows, there are so many things to see in nature’s autumnal colours.

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letting go

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when, all around, trees show us how things should be done: how easy it is to cut all ties and shake off old habits; to get rid of everything that really isn’t needed, ready to start again afresh.

Sadly, we tend not to be as good at decluttering as our deciduous neighbours.
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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.
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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…
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jellyfish and jungle blooms

What with Hurricane Ophelia last weekend and Storm Brian this weekend, the UK has taken a bit of a battering recently and the local park is ankle deep in mud and sodden leaves.

Clearly, though, the weather has produced the right conditions for growth for some organisms. One particular fallen tree was host to all sorts of alien growths, and looked very impressive indeed decked out in its finery of tiny beads and flounces, frills, ridges and ripples in all the autumnal shades from bright orangey russet to a deep aubergine that made me think of grapes or mulled wine.
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