Over the garden fence a week ago. More snow forecast.
Over the garden fence a week ago. More snow forecast.
This is probably the last shot of the ‘guerrilla garden’ for this year. I’ve been enjoying the silhouettes over the fence, so have yet to raze the dead stems of our unofficial planting along the field edge. Golden Rod, Fountain Grass, Teasels, Michaelmas Daisies and the crab apple tree, and in front, the winter’s light on the ash log sundial that a good chum made us one year as a Christmas present. I’m sorry you can’t see what time it’s telling, though I’d say it’s around noon, the sun in the south. And talking of sun, in the northlands the days are already lengthening. Soon there will be signs of spring in my Shropshire garden. You will be the first to know.
Happy holidays to all who visit me here on the Edge.
And a big, big thank you for the many kind words you have posted here in these strangest of times. Wishing us all better days ahead.
Scenes from town picnics and fair days: the way we were.
Or it could be a parliament, a building, a storytelling of rooks.
The people who lived in our house before us called it Rookery Cottage. We didn’t adopt the name. The house actually sits beside the main road out of Wenlock and the rookery is behind us on Sytche Lane, with a stretch of Townsend Meadow in between. Even so, we do hear its clamour, especially on spring and summer evenings. And we do have ring-side viewing of the whisking-whooshing corvid ballets that feature over the field in the twilight hours of early autumn. These aerial displays are a sight to behold, and are among the Farrells’ household treasures.
It does seem perverse to photograph the guerrilla garden’s very colourful crab apples in monochrome. I anyway didn’t much care for the result. Then I started tweaking the exposure and contrast in my editing programme and thought that this was quite an interesting ‘take’ for Cee’s challenge this week of circles and curves. And then I had a look at the photos I’d taken of the dewy grass over in the field – some very gentle curves and glittery droplets, blue or sepia tinted. Pleasing, I thought.
The other morning I found the frost had left this ice skin on the very top of the garden water butt. We’ve had days of rain and it was filled to the brim with downpourings from the old privy roof. Most curious, I thought. It looks like a pile of actual leaves, some reedy plant, say. Or else in some mysterious way the water’s surface had replicated, as it froze, the flattened leaves of the Crocosmia that grows a few feet away over the fence. So does this mean that a common or garden water butt can make art; or create, when the elements conspire, its own version of monochrome digital images? It would seem so. I herewith proffer the evidence.
This week Cee gives up lots of close-up inspiration. Please pay her a visit.
Of course November in the northlands comes up with its own monochromal schemes. But yesterday and this morning there was and is bright sunshine, and since this week’s black and white theme at Cee’s is things we sit on, I thought I’d take a few photos (using the monochrome setting on my camera) of the back garden seat, which if not beautiful, has its moments in certain lights and with the sage growing through it. It is also of great utility on warmer days and we have indeed sat on it a fair amount during lockdown lunacy, and then arisen all be-saged, and hopefully the wiser for the herbal infusion.
Also linking to Jude at Travel Words and her excellent 2020 Photo Challenge, which this month is featuring black and white photography. Please pay her a visit.
Part of me wants the frost to hold off. Part of me would welcome some frigid temperatures in the parsnip bed so we can start eating them. But mostly I hope the winter cold will save itself for January. This photo was taken a couple of years ago, maybe three. It was early December and we were spending a few days in Hay on Wye, the world capital of second hand books. It was only an hour and half drive from Wenlock and we set off in mild, don’t-need-a-coat weather. By the time we arrived, a heavy Arctic chill had descended on the land. You could have sworn that the Snow Queen had just whisked through the Welsh Marches, or that we’d somehow stepped through one of the wardrobes in Hay’s many vintage shops and pitched up in Narnia. Any too-long exposed flesh tingled painfully, as if one had nicked one’s finger ends and drawn blood. Serial stops for hot chocolate were called for, and it was hard to leave the town’s many welcoming, if steamy cafes, for a trawl around the catacomb-like book stores. Anyway, we survived, and this photo of crisply frozen ferns, captured as we headed home, is a good reminder of that trip. It has its own magic.
When we lived in Nairobi the Giraffe Centre on the edge of the city’s national park was a favourite place to visit. It was set up in 1979 both as an educational resource for city school children (50,000 visits a year) and as a conservation project to protect Kenya’s endangered race of Rothschild giraffes. The centre runs a breeding programme and over the years some 40 young giraffes have been settled in safe game reserves across the country. Now in 2020 the initiative can proudly claim to have helped restore Kenya’s wild population from 130 to a little over 700, and that has to be good news.
As you can see, the centre provides for head to head contact. The resident giraffes are much addicted to the ‘giraffe nuts’ which visitors hand out to them, though I have to say, from the donor perspective, a slurp from a long giraffe tongue is not the best of experiences.
The old saying of not seeing the wood for the trees has deep resonance now. We need to start seeing. The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Oxford is a good spot for some illumination; lots of informed common sense on matters covid from Professor Carl Heneghan who is also a practising doctor.