DO NOT TOUCH

DO NOT TOUCH

Out on recent walks I came across some of nature’s curiosities. My DSLR camera has been busy. Me, well, I just edited in photos and edited out what I thought didn’t work. What was left seemed quite interesting. See what you think.

Frost And Wind Burnt Leaves May 2019
More Frost And Wind Burnt leaves May 2019

These trees were in a sheltered setting. In February this year we had an unexpected spell of very mild weather, plant life was confused. The trees leaved early, only to be caught out by a sudden dip in temperatures, frost, gales, and wintry weather. The trees will shed their leaves just like they should do in Autumn, and at a time when they should be bursting forth with the new spring growth.

Wild Life?

Sauntering down another path, we came across an interesting creature in the lee of a Gorse bush. If you peer into the bush you will see another.

Gorse Spikes

Do not touch! Nature has her own way of warning off marauders. Those Gorse spikes are nasty. You really would not want to be caught up in them. They flower all year round. At this time of year (spring/summer) Gorse puts on a good show, the flowers are abundantly at their best, as you will see in the photos above and below.

Pussy Willow Buds

We passed on by the Willow, the only one we saw.

Elegant Nettles

Nettles vigorously grew, as they do; these were in the early stages of growing and filling out, elegant and beautifully formed. Another one of Nature’s stings, best avoided. There were no Dock Leaves in sight with which to offer temporary nettle sting relief (first aid).

Silvery

These twigs were glittering like rods of shiny silver in the sunlight. The stunning effect, I knew, would be hard to capture. I guess the camera did its best.

We ambled on and near the end of our walk this tranquil scene came into view.

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HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW….

Allotments: they do seem to take a variation of shapes and sizes and growing practices, according, it seems, to the managing ethos of any particular place. The one common theme is that they exist for the soil to be worked and to produce. They offer a community gardening experience and a common social interest amongst the people who make the allotments thrive. With flat dwelling providing limited opportunity for gardening creativity, allotments gardening can provide an alternative.

The many ‘urban gardens’ pictured, in central Vienna, Austria, run quite some distance. They are set back from a main road.

The pictures show only half their length.  The fencing is made from responsibly sourced wood, (I always wonder what that means)  from state forests. The urban gardeners were taking their responsibility seriously and were investing a great deal of thought, time and money into their allotted plots. The ethos here was evidently, grow-your-own food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of sight there is a major park and within it, in a more unkempt spot, was a different kind of garden with allotted spaces grown with flowers and looking like cottage gardens. Moving on, an opening in a high hedge presented you with a wide rectangular space surrounded by trees.  Around the edges were generously wide and deep boxes filled with soil, essentially raised gardening beds.  Each of these boxes were ‘rented’ to people with a specific interest; many were experimenting, they were interested in the process rather than harvesting the finished product. This, I was told, was this urban garden group ethos.

FLUFF BALLS AND JUMPERS

It’s the time of year for a bit of exploring and it’s a great excuse to put oneself in the direction of pleasant temperatures and every likelihood of a breeze. Scotland has been benefitting from having a summer, so far, this year. So, what better than to  waft away from the sticky towns and cities and head to the countryside.

At a local agricultural show, I got chatting to Irene from Canberra, who like me, was admiring this super youngster.  “E’s not fully growed…it take ’em aboot five year to be growed”, we were told, by an equally admiring farmer.

A Prize Youngster

A brazen surprise was in store in the sheep pens.

Oops, we’ve got the same jumpers on!

These two Suffolk sheep got first prizes.

….and what about this one

A big fluff ball

Certainly not your usual style of sheep. She got a  second prize. I wonder which local hairdresser she went to, the back-combing is a little passée.  Fluff Ball has potential for a first prize, if her hairdresser develops her styling technique.

 

 

WHEN YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS…

…Surprising what you find:

Pretty Frilly Blue

 

Grounded in nature

 

Placed by nature -irresistible

If you peer in you may see the blue frilly butterfly on the right.

 

Crafted from  nature.

Nature blooming

 

 

Carved out woodland life

 

Dumbledore, or, could it be Gandulf…

The woods are different every visit, be it nature’s own changes with the seasons, or, things we have not yet found, all waiting for the next time we go exploring the woods.

©

This post, I uploaded for the first time, pictures taken with my phone camera. I don’t think I have mastered the art of uploading phone photos. All tips gratefully received.  🙂

WISHING IN THE WIND

Nothing in particular to report, though there is plenty to occupy my thoughts. There is is just too much.  I don’t imagine for one minute that I am alone in feeling I am on thinking and analysis overload.

HGSQ7108

© M-Digital Doodles

Living in such tumultuous and shambolic times it would be easy to behave like an ostrich and bury my head in the sand.  In the Russian equivalent analogy,  the ostrich  is  ‘hiding its head under its wing’.  The Russian Ostrich would have a cosier and warmer hideout, with the ability for an occasional surreptitious glance out to see if worldly things were a little quieter: peaceful would be really good.

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© Photo By M-Wishing-In-The-Wind

TALKING WITH STRANGERS IN THE CITY

Talking with strangers in the city is always interesting.  A man I sat next to on a bus told me he had accompanied his very elderly neighbour, when she had been admitted to hospital the day before.  She’s 93 years old, compos mentis, he said  She hadn’t seen the inside of a hospital since she resigned as a senior nurse in the 1940’s. (Probably  had to leave her post upon marriage).  The modern, 2017, hospital environment was, no doubt, a bit of a shock to the lady.

Pointing out a young girl working in the ward wearing a light blue dress the elderly lady observed, with some disdain, that  the hospital management had left the housemaid to look after the ward!  The man explained the ‘housemaid’ was wearing a staff nurse’s uniform.

Staff Nurse 3

Late 1950’s Staff Nurse

Why is she not wearing her [starched] hat?” … And   “Why aren’t doctors wearing their white coats,” and so on.

More explanations were required.

On the other hand, the senior nurse, (equivalent of a ward sister) who arrived at the bedside in her dark blue dress and her I.D. badge pinned to it, no frilly starched hat though, was received without query.

Marian Chaikin 3rd wife

1960’s Nursing Sister

SUCH IS THE VARIETY OF ONES LIFE

It has been the [wet and damp] season of Garden Parties at the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Is One going to a Garden Party?”  I was asked this week as the rain teemed down…….

No, One is not”.

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One was wearing an all weather peach outdoor coat with hood up.  One was  also carrying a soggy, exotic fruit patterned cloth bag with a book in it; in addition, One had a casual, very wet sloppy, but, almost weatherproof, plum- coloured shoulder bag slung crosswise on Ones torso.  The look was finished off with rain-soaked black trousers and a pair of damp trainers on Ones feet.  Not exactly a picture of ‘My Fair Lady’ attired to meet the requirements of Royal protocol, One thinks.

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DROPPING LOOPS,MAKING HOLES AND STUFFING THINGS.

A feature on yet another revival of homely hand knitting reminded me…….  At primary school, the girls’ craft classes were the bain of my life. Could I knit as a seven year old? Much as I tried, sitting at an old wooden desk, with oversized knitting needles and a well re-used ball of wool, made the whole experience a clumsy affair with little to show for it. There were some loops on the needle and maybe I managed to put some wool through a loop or two, I don’t really remember. I do know, that there were some stitches,  on the needle that did not seem to be very productive.  I was glad when the tortuous efforts came to an end and another lesson began.

Then there was the class where the better little hand-stitchers made bunnies with lovely fluffy cloth already cut to shape, probably by the teacher, a grandmother figure, who took that girls’ class.   Once stitched to the required point, busy little hands had lots of fun stuffing the bodies, arms, legs, hands and ears of their creations, through a small open seam, with what I believe was Kapok.  Polyester fibres were not in use all those years ago to stuff things. The opening was then closed up with even and neat little running stitches.   We, the ones relegated to the ‘untalented’ corner, (the majority of the class) had a bit of rag each plus a needle and thread to practice with. I cannot say what others may have thought, but it seemed to me the three or four  bunny-makers looked more than a teensy bit smug.  Just a bit of me would have liked to have been with them bathed in their success.

A couple of years later I discovered the Grandmother figure, really was granny to two of the girls in her ‘better’ group. Also, another teacher in the school, who was French, was her daughter-in-law. By then, I was old enough to understand that a big war ended not so many years before, so, it was likely that the girls had no dad.   Mum and granny were supporting each other and the two girls on prescribed lower women’s salaries, much lower than their working male teacher counterparts.

From the amount of time we spent in church and on religious education, I wonder if there wasn’t some hope of recruiting future nuns and priests.  This primary school was certainly schooling the girls, for at best, domesticity, sweat shops, or, subservient jobs and the boys, to be unskilled. We weren’t seen as having much potential.

Scott Monument and Poppy Memorial Princes Street Gardens Edinburgh

When we all divided up to move on to our next secondary stage school experience, it was really surprising how many children started to thrive in a different educational environment, even though the development of domestic/service skills was still a major theme for girls.  Many of us as schoolchildren, were undervalued.  Notwithstanding, most of my school friends, both genders, broke the expected mould.

YaY !!