Thursday, June 23, 2016

After the rain

The weather has been rather challenging of late, one minute baking hot, the next torrential rain and we Brits, me included, have been whingeing about it as usual!

There is however a good side to a rainy day in that it makes you look at things differently and that's exactly what happened the other day after I'd checked on the horses first thing. I was struck with how beautiful everywhere looked, with colours intensified, raindrops on petals and leaves so I thought I'd share some of the photos that made my heart sing:

Beautiful Rose Veilchenblau climbing around our front porch

The colours were so intense and the scent was sublime!

Seen next to a golden Jasmine

Reds, yellows & silvers really shone in the dreary light

The deep red leaves of this Cotinus seemed even darker than usual

It's common name is the 'smoke bush' because of the froth of flowers it produces (seen here bejewelled with water droplets)

Luminous, heart-shaped leaves of Catalpa biginoides aurea glowed and the wet leaves seemed to reflect the light.

The leaves of Melianthus major look as of they are studded with diamonds

The strappy leaves of Leymus (which will take over the world if you let it!)

Beautiful ridged leaves of this hosta, 'blue boy' I think (with a few nibbles by slugs!)

Euphorbia 'Humpty dumpty'

Dark red Sedum (I think it's 'Matronalis'?)

The ubiquitous Alchemilla Mollis, beloved by flower-arrangers

The fluffy leaves of Stachys byzantina aka 'Lambs Ears' contrasted with the deep red leaves of Acaena 'Purpurea' (one of my favourite ground-cover plants) and a bronze-leaved Ajuga.

Raindrops on a spiders web

The intense mauve of this geranium stopped me in my tracks - wow!

I was fascinated by how the raindrops dissipated on the needles of this pine

Although the raindrops were pretty, it was the gorgeous new leaves of this Corylopsis pauciflora that caught my eye!

Whilst I was out there I spotted some seeds forming on my beautiful Tragopogon (aka Salsify) so I was quick to capture them in  a paper bag and took them indoors to save them for sowing later:

The seeds each have a parachute attached to them and are carried away by the wind (collectively they look rather like a Dandelion clock but I forgot to take a photo)

Seeds, cleaned and ready to be sown asap to get some plants for free

Ladybird, ladybird.......

A few days ago I spotted this little ladybird larvae on my variegated pineapple mint, which I use for pot pourri. When he was still there a day later I decided to document his transformation as best I could:

Day 1. The grub prepares for the transformation.

Day 3 - starting to shed his old skin

The rest were all taken on day 5 over a period of just over 1.5 hours before he made his first flight. I was pootling back and forth from my potting shed so each time I passed I took a photo and it was fascinating to see the changes:

As I type this there is a massive thunderstorm raging across the UK. On the day in which we are voting to either stay or leave the European Union it feels rather like a portent. Whichever way the vote goes I hope that the hatred which has been generated doesn't flare up again. Yet again I am reminded of John Lennon's words in 'Imagine' - "Imagine all the people living life in peace". If only!

Time for a bit of therapeutic crochet to calm my nerves (which of course reminds me that I must take some photos of what I'm working on at the moment).

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