Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happy things

The weather has been so gloomy here in the UK for months with rain, floods, people being forced out of their homes, strong winds and even mini hurricanes. My heart goes out to all those poor people throughout the country who have watched helplessly as their lives were turned upside down by giant waves or fallen trees.

Indeed, the weather has been horrendous all over the world and I think we will all heave a sigh of relief collectively when this vile weather abates.

That's why I thought I'd share some happy things from yesterday when the sun shone briefly and I spent as much time outside as possible just enjoying being alive.

This is Mr Sunshine and he lives on the side of our garage. It's a terracotta wall plaque that I covered in mosaic about 20 years ago. I can see him when I look out of the kitchen window and he always makes me smile. I'm amazed that he's still in one piece except for the missing red glass lozenge by his eyebrow.

In the garden things are flowering and budding-up nicely despite the weather. I have many different varieties of Euphorbia but the 2 that are looking magnificent at the moment are these beauties, E. wulfenii 'characias' and E.'Redwing':

Oh, those glorious red stems!
Violas, still pretty, although a bit battered
Beautiful wild primroses - they self-seed everywhere
New chives poking through the old flower stems (which the birds have been pulling out for nesting material!)
Plants for free - a Borage seedling amidst the variegated oregano
The gravel garden, looking a bit bare compared to June and July last year. I've cut back most of the grasses now as the new growth is starting to come through. Their bare, dried stems have danced around in the wind throughout the winter.

In the previous photo you might have been able to just make out a rust-coloured shape. It's our windmill which looks like a flower when at rest but the arms whizz round in opposite directions when the wind catches it, creating a kaleidoscopic effect. It also has beautiful shadows when the sun catches it.

The cinnamon-coloured stems in front of it are the remains of Eutrochium (formerly Eupatorium Purporeum)  aka Joe Pye Weed and their stems have glowed throughout the dull winter months.

I found this little grub when I was cutting back the parsley in the herb garden - he's positively luminous!

There are also some photos from recent runs to upload but I'm debating whether to share any more of the recordings I've made of the 'sounds of my runs'. Someone asked me why I don't wear headphones when I run and I told them it was because I enjoy just being immersed in my surroundings and so I started recording birdsong, waterfalls, trees and other things.

Poor Mike has been subjected to the sound of flood water draining off the fields ad nauseum. Even he declared that my geekiness had reached it's nadir when I subjected him to the sound of the wind creating an harmonic on a metal field gate the other day!

Maybe next time……….

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