Well, it’s another bank holiday here in the UK, or should I say dank holiday! It’s certainly dark and dank this morning but I actually love the rain as it freshens up the garden after several dry and very windy days which saw many of my perennials almost flattened. I opened up the patio doors which lead onto the back garden and the scent of the fresh rain on the plants was just heavenly. Looking down onto a small planter to see how the newly planted nasturtiums were coming along I noticed this little fella in the photo. He was upside down and clinging effortlessly to the underside of one of the nasturtium leaves, wings folded, with a few grains of pollen and water droplets visible on his furry body. I tried to look up what he was, I assume he is some kind of bee……but could not identify him clearly, however he seems to be well prepared for an English bank holiday…..using the leaf as his umbrella!!
Well Friday has rolled round again and what a week it has been. It started off on a positive note but unfortunately went down hill, however this seems to be the norm at the moment and so when Friday comes around it’s a relief. The tension in my neck and shoulders seems worse than ever and I think I need to see about some serious massage therapy, but until then I have my flowers to cheer me up and put the smile back on my face. Gardening has always been an outlet for me, more so now I have the greenhouse! This evening has been a treat as although it is cool, grey and damp the droplets remaining after the rain storms look beautiful on the emerging flowers and leaves, the plants seem as relieved as I do that it’s Friday, their stress has been lack of real water for weeks and so now they look refreshed and revitalised. Here is the sole surviving Allium, sadly last years terrible slug fest seems to have destroyed the other bulbs, but this one is a treat, I hope you like it! Have a lovely relaxing weekend and thanks again for all your views, likes and comments!
On a recent visit to a English Country House I took a wander into a very special greenhouse. I believe its actually called a hot house and boy were they right! On a cold crisp English Spring day I sought shelter in its warmth, opening the door of the hot house that has stood for over a hundred years and stepping into a subtropical world. The warmth was so welcoming, with every step further in I felt myself carried to a far away island, the scent of the plants from distant shores, oblivious to the freezing world beyond the window panes. My layers of clothing suddenly began to feel heavy and unnecessary the further in I walked, the flowers reaching up to the blue sky above yet their scent hung low and intoxicated your every breath. Through a second door and the temperature rose substantially, almost sauna like conditions prevailed here, plants resembling bananas, flowers more like aliens and exotic fruit trees bursting into bud. Within seconds my camera had completely steamed over! As I cleared the lens I looked down and below the Camelia tree was a single fallen Camelia blossom, still beautiful but in the early throws of death, petals turning a subtle shade of brown against the radiance of the creamy heart, the gold tendrils like a crown still strong and proud, lifted to the light, still hoping for attention, timeless beauty now against the clock of nature, the cycle of birth, life and death in a corner of a hot house, on the coldest of English days……
Some months ago I took a shot of this view across a field entitled Gold and Black, the rapeseed oil crop was in full effect and against the grey heavy sky of an oncoming storm it looked so dramatic. So, on my way home from Coombe Abbey I decided to revisit the same location to see how it looked against the stark grey and white of the recent snows. I love the contrast between the two images, one alive with colour, the other devoid of anything remotely interesting, although I actually really like the contrast between the dark grey foreboding skies and the crisp white of the recently fallen snow, a few twigs sticking up through the blanket of white, a few outlines of trees in the distance creating a natural break between grey and white. Something of a step away from my usual image but then again isn’t that what this blog was supposed to be about, to try something new, to achieve something different, to capture the old and the new……and to occasionally break the mold!
Driving to work a few days ago I couldnt believe the amount of rain that had fallen, flooding lanes and villages on my route, turning ploughed fields into shallow lakes. One field in particular borders the lane that I drive and the water had risen to almost the height of the road, swamping the fences and overflowing into the ditch, luckily it had not breached onto the lane! The light at that time of the morning was soft and low and the colours it cast across the water was so soft, like a watercolour painting. As I drove past I saw 2 swans appear from the edge of the flooded field and glide regally into sight, taking great pleasure in their new found home. I just had to stop! but as always there was so much traffic behind me so I drove to the end of the lane and then promptly turned round and headed back, stopping a few yards away on the grass verge, careful not to go to close to the saturated ditch. Then, would you believe it! My batteries died in my camera!! Admittedly it was only my small pocket camera but I was livid! Marching back up the lane to the car I had only one option, to use my phone camera, so not quite the shot I wanted, definately not as crystal clear and sharp as I would have liked but still a pleasing shot.
As soon as I arrived home tonight I was determined to photograph something, even though it had started to rain quite persistently. So, I wandered around the garden looking for something, anything, but then turning around to have another look I saw this little chap flutter from the safety of a conifer tree and land un-elegantly on to the wet grass. There he (or she) sat for some minutes, at first quite still, almost statuesque, stuck like glue to the bubbles of rain before managing to find the energy to launch back towards the conifer and disappear into the thick foliage. So, having got a couple of quick shots I too headed for the shelter of my house, and disappeared like the butterfly out of the rain!
The legend goes that at the end of every rainbow lies a crock of gold, now ever since I can remember I have been told this story, but I have yet to find it! The thing with rainbows is that they are transient, here one second gone the next, so how can you ever find the end and arrive there before its gone again? Maybe you have to be Usain Bolt??? Or maybe you have to be an Irish Leprachaun! Either way I still have that childish hope that there really is a crock of gold, or maybe its just a case of finding something that is just as good, a true friend, some good news, or that illusive lottery win! I think I will stick to the legend of the pot of gold, somehow I think I have more chance of finding that than winning the lottery!
Following my weekend of wanderings around my home town the weather has yet again closed in and shooting outdoors would be somewhat of a damp affair! So I decided to find a subject indoors. The first issue of shooting anything indoors in especially grey fading light is to decide how to light it. Not on this occassion. I just aimed and kept my fingers crossed! Thankfully there was enough light to give quite a nice warm glow to the object, almost as if it were bathed in sunlight…..that really would be hoping for too much! Pine cones are fabled to have the ability to forecast the weather…..I think mine have issues! I’m not sure if this task is related to pine cones still attached to the tree as mine seem to be in a permanent state of ‘open’ denoting sunshine and warm weather……of which we have had neither for at least 2 months! I prefer to think that my pine cones are simply eternal optimists!
I can honestly say that I have never known it rain so much! It seems like months since we had a dry day with sunshine…..no wonder they call Britain green and pleasant land….although pleasant maybe pushing it weather-wise! Getting out with the camera is proving challenging, even if my Pentax is one of the better weather sealed camera’s out there, I just don’t like risking it! But, tonight I went for a wander down the garden to check on my runner beans (not doing too well at the moment although the snails seem to be doing very well!) and noticed the tiny glint of water droplets held by the leaves of some of my plants. They almost look frozen, tiny mirror balls reflecting the clouds above, it makes you wonder how far that droplet has traveled down to earth to land on that leaf, nectar from the gods, and to think that without it none of us would be here!