This must be why I woke so early..
Are you free to seize the day (or even a little tiny bit of it)?
I dropped everything after breakfast to take a sunny walk this morning. The day had started out murky and dull and I was planning to do some plodding tasks which had built up, but suddenly the cloud lifted, the weather changed..
and so did my plans. Plenty of time in the dark evenings to do the paperwork.
I am so thrilled to have this outside my back gate.
I've discovered that the more I move the better I feel.
Especially with the sun on my face.
Looking back up the loch.
cloud was already coming down the glen
and I was so glad I'd taken my chance of a walk in the sun!
Contemporary sculpture in a wonderful natural setting on the Kyles of Bute. Today was the first day of the new season.
Details here - so worth a visit!
I was thrilled to receive these narcissus from the Scilly Isles today.
They are scenting the whole house with their perfume of springtime.
I am signing off for a week or so. Perhaps you would enjoy a browse through Simply Beautiful? Or Simply Inspirational?
I wonder if any signs of spring will have reached you when I return..
Swiss Rose mentioned in a recent comment her ambition to see the northern lights or aurora borealis. You can receive alerts from this website when activity is likely here in uk, but it is very frustrating if like me, you have a mountain (the one right in the centre of the header photograph) between you and the northern horizon. Most of the activity is visible close to the horizon and I see photographs of marvellous effects from just over the mountain the day after a red alert....
Have you seen the aurora borealis?
I like this quote from Julia Cameron's book It's Never Too Late To Begin Again -
The quality of our lives is in proportion, always, to our capacity for delight.
After a whole day of dealing with paperwork yesterday (I am using Marie Kondo's two categories of save and needing to be dealt with) I went into the damp garden and picked this luminous little posy. Photographed under the light of the lamp it looks almost fluorescent.
PS Posts may be somewhat erratic for a bit. Life tends to be erratic don't you find?! (like my weight..)
Spotted at the barbecue - a golden ringed dragonfly (I think?) I have just learned that a dragonfly holds its wings open when at rest, and a damselfly holds them closed....
Thanks to Jennie and Ross for the great photographs.
More on dragonflies and damselflies here.
I found it hard to choose which frosty morning car windscreen photo to use for a header the other day, so I thought I'd just post all three -
Wondrous, fantastical landscapes - I just had to stop and photograph them before we defrosted and set off....
Today, a walk in rain past thundering streams and crashing waves, with gales forecast for tomorrow.
..by this lovely book I found in the Oxfam shop (deposited about thirty books, bought only one!).
It is written by Rebecca Otowa who was born in California, grew up in Australia and married into a very traditional Japanese family.
It gives a little bit of an insight I think into Marie Kondo's thinking (see here).
A delightful find.
-of nothing much. Except that I've had this image in a file for ages, and I just love it!
I wonder who she is texting?
Should you find yourself on the McGills 907 bus as it sits in Port Glasgow with the engine idling, between 18.06 and 18.11 of an evening, look skywards! The most wonderful moving cloud of swarming starlings swoops over the town. I wanted to shout to all the sleepy going home commuters on the bus 'Look, look! Are you watching?' (but I didn't..) This 4 minute display will mesmerise you.
Isn't nature astonishing?
I was commissioned a few years ago to design a traditional cottage garden for Weir Cottage in Botolph Claydon, Buckinghamshire.
There was only grass and a very narrow path. I made the path appear wider by adding a strip of gravel in a similar colour to the brick to either side, and softened that by planting clumps of the lovely erigeron karvinskianus along it - the flowers are a pinky brick red and sprinkle about in a very naturalistic way.
To the left of the path is a border of blue - catmint, geranium Roxanne, linaria - foxgloves and feverfew (volunteers) were allowed to stay..
Apricots and pinks are predominant on the other side of the path - roses, apricot foxgloves, achillea, lavatera, rock roses and potentilla, and of course alchemilla mollis....you can see the pink foxgloves jumped in too - they were pulled out every now and then - but the feeling was of a relaxed natural mix so we weren't too ruthless about interlopers.
Over the fence is a duckpond with entertaining ducks and geese and a large willow. A fine bit of 'borrowed landscape' looked out on from the windows of the house (and the responsibility of the farmer...).
Looking back down the path from the house. There is a little sitting area surrounded by roses tucked in to the right with a young flowering cherry planted close by for shade. There is a small sunny lawn, a patio, and on the pond side of the house a flourishing herb garden.
A few metres of native species hedging will by now be screening the cars from the lawn you can just see on the left. (The gravel parking area will take several cars.)
What a lovely commission it was, and what a joy to stay there on many happy occasions - such a wrench to leave it, but pastures new....
To view the inside of the house estate agent details are here - do let me know if you decide to buy it!
I do hope it goes to a garden lover..
We saw Moscow Ballet's Swan Lake last night (a delightful Mothers Day gift - thank you both!). It is surely one of the loveliest of the fairy tale ballets. Nadezda Ivanova was a wonderful Odette/Odille but I think my favourite part is the corps de ballet in the moonlight in Act 2 - the music, the costumes, the synchronisation - enchantment!
This was the traditional Petipa choreography - see 4 min clip here. Have any of you seen Matthew Bourne's version with the male swans?
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)