A Beltane Bouquet…

Well perhaps it wasn’t the best of nights for jumping over fires or other more intimate May Day rituals – I lay in bed listening to the rain pouring down outside and thought that if anyone was out there celebrating the start of summer, I hoped they’d taken their best waterproofs with them…

My rather more sedate if still fairly soggy celebration, is a little virtual bouquet made up from the flowers I saw on the lane this morning.

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Happy May Day 2014

Oh and just because it’s May Day, here’s my oak today.

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Tree time: April…

Well, what a difference a month makes…

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A whizz through the month – (if you want to see every day’s picture, they’re all on my Instagram site, you can get there by clicking the Instagram pictures or icon in the left sidebar).

You can see that at last the oak has leaves. I first caught a glimpse of pale fuzzy browny greenness towards the end of the first week in April, but I couldn’t get close enough to see really well, but other oaks along the lane started to unfurl at that time too. Within a week, you could see them for sure on the sunny days.

So I’ve learned that the oaks come into leaf a lot later than the horse-chestnuts, which are already sporting a full head of leaves and lots of candles, but there are still a few trees on the lane without leaves – now I have to go out with a book so I can work out what they are…

The last picture here was taken yesterday – quite a change from mid March.

The weather has been much better over the last few weeks, but the most noticeable thing by far for me, is the huge explosion of growth in the hedgerow and the banks. The sheer amount of plant life that has sprung up in the last couple of weeks is incredible. It’s easier to understand how important this time of year was to our ancestors when you see the rapid increase in green leaves suddenly appearing everywhere. The blossom has been and now is largely gone. Today I realised that the brambles have practically doubled in size as their new leaves seem to have shot out of nowhere. What a relief it must have been after the harshness of winter to welcome back all this plant life.

I try to post every picture I take on the same day on my Instagram site – if you would like to watch the oak more often, follow me on Instagram

 

 

 

 

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Blossom…

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If you walk down the lane most mornings, you might well see me holding onto the Delinquent Dog with one hand, while attempting to snap using the mobile camera with the other. Trouble is, for close-ups you really do better with two hands, and unless I take my reading glasses – and really, who does take their specs when they’re walking the dog – I can’t actually see what I’m doing.

Which is why I was particularly pleased when I downloaded the pics to the Mac and found this.

The hedgerow is really coming alive this week.

 

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Green, blue & wet…

This week there’s been rather more blue sky than grey – leaps up and down with joy! Even the wet days were beautiful in their own way.

)O(

All pictures taken during the morning dog walks this week.

)O(

Over in the sidebar, are my Instagram pics of the Daily Tree Project, with the occasional stitchy update and other random snaps from daily life around here.

Do feel free to explore, or follow on Instagram or Twitter.

Tree time: February…

It’s nearly a month since I posted about my challenge to photograph the same oak tree every time I walk past it during 2014. so I thought today I’d show you what’s been happening since mid January.

If you want to see every picture, they’re all on my Instagram site (you can get there by pressing the little button that looks like a camera under the Instagram feed in the sidebar), but I’ve put a selection here – I think I’d have to say that on the whole grey has been the word of the month. Each picture has been taken at roughly the same time of day – between 8.30am and 10.30am, but difference that the weather makes is enormous.

Even on the rare days when the sun was shining, it mainly went on to become grey and wet – there was even one day when I got soaked about five minutes after taking a sunny picture – typical…

Waiting now for signs of spring. There are catkins in the hedgerow, a few shoots showing, and occasional mornings of rampant birdsong – will it be soon?

 

)O(

 

Patterns in nature…

IMAG4019The recent high winds, have wrought havoc in the hedgerow along the lane where I walk the Delinquent Dog. Three times since November the lane has been blocked by fallen trees.

The farmers have done a good job of removing the debris, but this gnarled and rotten old trunk has been left at the side of the field, no doubt a wonderful home for tiny wildlife. I’m just fascinated by the shapes and textures. Every day I seem to see something different.

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)O(

 

Drip, drip, drip…

In which dripping feels like the appropriate word.

It’s raining here this morning. This is good news, as we’re in the official drought zone and hose pipes are a no-no, probably for the rest of the year, according to the man on the radio.

The girls are back at school today. Unusual for the weather to take a nose dive when they go back – more often it’s the other way around.

It feels quiet in the house now. I’ve done the chores and I’ll be sitting down to stitch once I’m finished here. Progress as such, has been very slow over the last couple of weeks. I always find it harder to get into the stitching when the girls are around, and anyway, there’s just too much going on.

But I’m also feeling that tingly sensation that heralds the need to move on to something new. I think the sketch book might come out this week.

Little droplets of inspiration flit across my brain and then are gone.

Happy stitching/crafting/creating.

 

 

Inspiration from nature

This morning we tried out the new path that links the road we live in, with the riverside path that until very recently was a long diversion to reach. It’s simply wonderful, because now we can leave the front door and in just a couple of minutes be right in the countryside. I feel as if I’ve moved house and gone to live in the country, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.

Now we can get straight to the school without having to cross roads and we have the benefit of a lovely nature walk instead.

If I set off in the other direction, I can be on the towpath of the Grand Union Canal in about five minutes from leaving the house, and if I walk northwards, I’ll be in countryside for at least eight miles.

This is so liberating, I feel as if I’m on a bit of a high.

So as I walked home this morning I was fascinated by the way that spring has suddenly started. Well it is Imbolc today so I suppose that’s as it should be. Welcome spring, and a happy celebration to all pagans.

A heron flew along the river for a minute or two with me – sheer delight.

I’m still having to do my preparation mentally at the moment, but the work is coming along well, so with luck, by the end of the week I’ll be able to get the paints out.