Nothing is so beautiful as spring – Gerard Manley Hopkins
Birds are singing. Landing on the fencepost they pause, check all is clear, dart to the feeder and back to the post in the blink of an eye. A robin, blue tits, chaffinches. Magpies launch themselves at the fat ball holder, blackbirds peck at fallen seeds. Two pigeons, one fat, one thin, drink from the pond.
Flowers are opening, welcoming the sun. Crocuses, hellebores, cowslip, primroses. The tulips are appearing, still wrapped up tightly.
Glossy green leaves of the Laurel gleam in the shining sunlight.
The first giant bumblebee of the year buzzes past my ear.
Frog spawn wobbles in the pond and we stop to watch two woodpeckers on our walk.
Spring is here. The seasons roll on.
Wishing you all good health and peace.
I am reading ‘The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland’ by Catherine M.Valentine
Yesterday I wrote this blog post and then thought, with so much going on in the UK at the moment my wee blog seems more insignificant than ever. Then I read the news on the BBC website this afternoon and saw this small item. ‘Cottingley Fairies Hoax Photo Sells for £1,000.’ Talk about coincidences. So, it may be a ramble and a potter along but here’s something different to read.
This year the holly tree in our garden has an abundance of berries. Does this mean it will be a hard winter ahead? Has Nature made her preparations to feed the birds? Blackbirds, blue tits and wrens among others are swooping into our garden and like them my mind flutters, darting here and there.
The Latin name for holly is Ilex aquifolium. I’ve been trying to learn the Latin names for some of the flowers and trees in our garden using this beautiful book.
This reminds me of a book I found in a second hand sale this year, ‘Airs and Graces’ by Erica James. In it she uses the poems of the flower fairies as epigraphs.
A distant memory from childhood finds me looking up the Cottingley Fairy photographs. Taken over a hundred years ago, some were recently put up for sale. Although the photos were fake, one of the girls always maintained the final one was genuine.
Who knows? In this time of dark winter days perhaps we need the magical and the fantasy world. It is a time for enjoying the music and dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Time to tuck up with a good book.
First though, I’m going to make sure our new pond isn’t frozen so the birds can have a bath and refill the bird feeders. Just in case there aren’t enough berries.
The other morning a lovely friend asked if I had written a blog post recently, in case she’d missed it.
Well, I hadn’t. The question, and the discussion that followed, inspired me though. I did have something I wanted to say, to share.
I wrapped up warmly and watched a blackbird as he sat on a branch eating rowan berries. I listened to the cracking of ice on a puddle when I couldn’t resist stepping on it. Then I went home to switch the kettle on for a hot cup of tea.
Reflecting on this I realise all the senses are covered apart from smell. Well, I think it was too cold!
Still, I have actually baked our Christmas cake – super early this year for me – and the smell of it baking was a real treat. This preparation, the making of the cake, is filled with hope.
As was planting the Hyacinth bulbs at the weekend and even, for my first time ever, planting an Amaryllis bulb. Watching Carole Baxter in the Beechgrove garden has inspired me and I thought I’d give it a go. Watch this space!
So a simple question about this blog has made me reflect on so many things, made me be grateful for friendships and realise how much hope there is at this time of year.
To see the iconic Marilyn Monroe images up close was an amazing experience and I was blown away by the gigantic ‘Vulcan’ sculpture by Paolozzi. Anyone who’s read Ted Hughes ‘The Iron Man’ will surely love it!
Having enjoyed the post on the Novel Points of View Blog about where writers write; I really appreciated seeing the studio of Paolozzi which had been gifted to the nation.
So what is the link to the Ali Smith book? Well, by reading it I learnt about the artist Pauline Boty who was the only female British painter who took part in the pop art movement.
Yet the borage, geraniums and cornflowers are still blooming. They’re not giving in yet!
Many times over the past month I’ve walked into a room thinking I’ve left a light on only to find it’s the warm, golden sun streaming through the windows.
It may be starting to get colder but the beauty of the autumnal light and the bright burning colours of the leaves are a real gift.
Mother Nature is teaching us again. Who else reminds us day by day, minute by minute to appreciate what we have before it is gone? Always with the reassurance that bright days will return.
For the cherry blossoms bursting forth are fleeting, the bright gaudy summer blooms will fade, the burnt reds and oranges of autumn leaves will fly away and the frost sketchings on our window panes will melt.
It’s in the name, seasons. Only there for a short time. Enjoy, revel, take time, notice, appreciate.
Do you have a favourite season and, if so, is it the one you were born in?
September spiders, weaving webs from window to washing line.
A new academic year, time to refresh, rethink, reconsider.
Will we look at the web we’ve built for ourselves?
This is a new beginning, brighter, warmer, sunnier than January 1st. Life is full of hope and possibilities. New opportunities.
September sun shining after a cleansing downpour and it’s time to declutter. Do I need quite so many things? Can they be recycled, reused?
It’s the same with the garden. Time to tidy up, wash out all the pots ready for next year.
Amidst these thoughts for the future, I’m going to take a moment to think of all the good things. Yes, it’s exhilarating to plan new adventures but I think the starting point must be where I celebrate all the lovely people in my life and the successes, large and small.
Wishing you a happy, sunny and successful September! What will you celebrate?
“By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”
– Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885