Category Archives: seasons

After Nature

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I belong to a book group and we read a fairly wide range of books: mainly fiction, but not exclusively. I wrote an earlier post on Moran’s “Like a Woman” which was a book group read. Recently we read “After Nature” by W.G. Sebald. It’s a prose poem about three men: The painter, Matthaeus Grünewald, the botanist Georg Wilhelm Steller, and Sebald himself. It was translated from the German by Michael Hamburger (translation approved by Sebald apparently who lived in the UK until his death) It is something I would never have thought about reading, but I really liked it. It made me laugh, and made me think, and made me research the characters and events to which it referred. It also seemed a timely read given my current fixation with nature and with seasonal changes. (see several previous posts).
“At the moment on Ascension Day
of the year forty-four when I was born
the procession for the blessings of the fields
was just passing our house to the sounds
of the fire-brigade band, on its way out
to the flowering May meadow. Mother
at first took this as a happy sign, unaware
that the cold planet Saturn ruled this hour’s
constellation and that above the mountains
already the storm was hanging… ” (p.86)

The book isn’t very long if you are tempted.

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Dancing butterflies

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What you cant see on this picture are the dancing butterflies. I sat in a quiet hidden part of Millhouse Gardens, Richmond North Yorkshire and watched a pair of butterflies chase each other, flirt with each other, and I’m pretty sure: dance.

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Elecampane smile?

We’ve grown elecampane before, and it’s a huge sunflower like plant. It gives some height in the garden and bees like it. But our current plant has a strangely deformed flower, which looks like a strange yellow smile

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Garden pleasures

I’m in the garden, in the evening quiet, knitting today’s portion of my sky scarf. I’m an intermittent knitter who is easily bored so I never can manage big projects like sweaters. Instead I search out small projects: socks, wristlets, easy scarfs, tea cosies. I also tend to have several projects underway at once if I’m in a knitting phase. I have fads if I’m honest! and probably because of this flighty approach to knitting (maybe to any ‘leisure activity’?) I was delighted to discover the sky scarf project, and I am about three weeks into my own sky scarf as the picture attests. if you are interested, here is the website for the project, with lots of pictures of sky scarfs! http://www.leafcutterdesigns.com/projects/sky-scarf.html BUT given my boredom threshold for ‘hobbies’, it will be interesting to see if I finish the scarf.

But I have wandered off into the sky scarf and knitting story, when I intended to talk about the pleasure of sitting in the garden enjoying my senses: the sound of a distant train and the last bird or two settling for the night; the rich smell of night scented stock; the sharp sweet taste of the first raspberry of the summer; and the glorious sight of the deep pink sky and the half moon already hanging large and bright.

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Watching swifts under a solstice moon

It’s been a strange Spring and Summer so far. Both Spring and Summer seem to have come together! Everything is growing at once having had such a late start. Tonight it’s the solstice, and the moon is big in a light sky. We’ve been sitting enjoying the smells of the season (whichever it is!) and the sounds of the birds, and seen a few swifts dancing the sky.

So, while everything, in theory, has a season, maybe that season isn’t quite when we think! Some things come late, and run into the back of the next thing. Life isn’t quite as ordered as we hope; but the swifts, even if few in number this year, are still dancing.

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Watercolour sky

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June 2, 2013 · 8:11 pm

Maybe Spring at last?

The garden is still really bare, despite Monday bringing the middle of April, but today, at last it feels like Spring. We wrapped ourselves up and had breakfast in the garden.

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