Favourites Over The Fence In 2017

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Actually, despite knowing where we all are calendar-wise, I’m feeling most disorientated just now, and it’s got nothing to do with too much Prosecco. It seems as if the whole year has rolled by without my being wholly present. Where did it go? Perhaps I was too busy trying to bury my head in the proverbial sand, for although all was well in the Farrell household (for which we are truly grateful), there was too much happening in the rest of the world that was deeply tragic, or infuriating, or just plain bonkers.  It makes me want to re-wind the year and start again with all our grownup brains switched on. Ah, well. A new year. A fresh start. So let’s aim to do our best in 2018. In the meantime here’s a sample of this year’s seasonal ponderings – over the garden fence – a favourite displacement activity for this writer on the Edge:

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Happy New Year!


Daily Post: Favourites

The Changing Seasons December 2017 ~ A Snowland Gallery


Our week of snow in mid-December was probably the highlight of the month for many of us – more magical than mithering about Christmas shopping or if the larder shelves had enough food on them. So here are more scenes of ice art. Also a big, big thank you to Max for hosting the The Changing Seasons challenge.

The Changing Seasons – December 2017

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Thursday’s Special ~ Best Shot 2017


This week Paula asks us to post our best photo from 2017. I wasn’t sure where to start, but decided to reprise the cricket which, the first time around, Ark kindly identified as a Katydid or bush cricket. It is certainly my most surprising shot of the year – both for its clarity and the fact the cricket appears to have been watching me while I organised myself with the camera. I also like the curving grasses and the bands of light and shade, and the way the cricket appears to be super-illuminated. But best of all, it reminds me of Kalamata, and the mesmerizing views of the Taygetos and the Mani across the Gulf of Messinia for I find myself still badly smitten with the Peloponnese. Ah, well. Maybe next year…

Thursday’s Special

Magic In The Web Of It

I don’t think I’ve every thought about what spiders do in winter – apart from their sneaking into our house and lurking there for the duration. So I was mightily surprised on my way over the field to the allotment yesterday to find lots of webs like these among the tussocks of flattened, snow-emerged grass. I was also surprised to feel the sun warm on my head as I bent down to take this photo.

Up at the allotment, and despite the sudden warmth, all was in a state of post-snow-shock. The aged damson tree had lost a branch. The green manure mustard that I’d grown on several plots was sprawled about the place, and my pigeon defence system over the kale completely collapsed. It mostly looked damp and dreary everywhere.


But I did spy some field beans sprouting, and the self-seeded marigolds were flowering heroically. I plucked a few leeks, and leaves of perpetual spinach, chard and kale.


Then I wandered around other people’s plots, looking at what was what. At first I thought my only company was a wren, flitting like a little moth in the greengage tree.  But when I reached the big conifer on the allotment boundary, I spotted a Goldcrest foraging in its branches – our tiniest British bird (I think) apart from its cousin the Firecrest. And then there were the blackbirds feasting on a hoard of fallen apples. None of them stayed around to be photographed though.


And that included the kestrel who was using the summit of an ash tree as a look-out post. It flew off as I drew near.  And it was then I noticed a very strange mist creeping across the farm fields towards the town. Some shape-shifting solstice invader masquerading as miasma…?


P.S. “there’s magic in the web of it” is from Shakespeare’s Othello

Six Word Saturday  Please pop over to Debbie’s for more 6SW offerings.

Darkness And Light ~ Thursday’s Special

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Solstice – the longest night – a time for drawing in; earth quietness; immanence; a conjuring of new possibility.

This photo was taken a few Decembers ago – the view from the island of Anglesey looking across the Menai Strait to Snowdonia on mainland Wales, terrain of antique tales of shape-shifting princes and magicians, their black deeds and bloody conflicts.

Thursday’s Special ~ darkness and light

Wenlock Snow Walk


When I left the house I only meant to go to the Post Office, this to be in time for card posting to the US. But then just as I was setting off I also picked up my camera. From the start,  then, it was likely there would be diversions.

Outside the front door I had a choice – take the five minute direct way along the main road whose pavement was now heaped with dirty snow, or step straight across to Station Road and into Snowland.


Snowland won of course. If I went this longer way I knew I could see what was what along the Linden Walk. There could be photo opportunities…P1030771


…and then next I’d take the field path known locally as the Cutlins, from where, no matter the weather, you always have one of the best views of the town. This is where I stopped to take the header photo.


The path brings you to the perimeter of Wenlock Priory. Once you are down there and through the kissing gate, you can just see the ruins through the trees…


And it was at this point that I really did mean to turn towards town…but then, when I looked beyond the Priory towards the lane that runs through the ancient parkland, it was all too beguiling.

Just a little way then…




I did eventually make it to the Post Office, where I had to wait and wait in line, all of us standing in a lake of melting snow which we had tramped in with us.

Outside again, the town looked very pretty. On the Church Green the trees were scattering their snow like confetti, and the ancestors looked well tucked up in their snow quilts…



And as the sun was still shining I decided to take another path, back up the Cutlins but diverting along the Priory parkland boundary so I would end up on the old railway line below the Linden Walk.




It was totally silent there in the cutting beneath the trees; no ghost of roaring Great Western locomotive, but I could see that things had not been quiet. There were a number of casualties – saplings felled by the weight of snow. It felt like Narnia: those first steps out of C.S. Lewis’s old wardrobe. No sign of Mr. Tumnus though. Better push on before the White Witch whisks up on her slay.

Back on the Linden Field quietness there was broken by distant whoops of joy. On Windmill Hill a family and their dog were busy sledding. It looked like fun, and I was tempted to make yet another diversion. But no. My quick trip to the post had turned into a two hour meander. He who presently binds books instead of building sheds might be wondering where I’d got to. And somehow lunch time had been and gone. How did that happen?


Jo’s Monday Walk  Please visit Jo  for magic views from her walk around Belém, Lisbon. You will be glad you did.