on the top of rocks

Floral Findings 3 – Growing on the Edge

I’m not sure that I can truthfully say that this clump of thrift, on the edge of rocks looking out over the sea, is actually growing. The year has been so dry and they are clearly past their colourful flowering stage . . . but still I find them very attractive!

on the edge

The shoreline has as much to enjoy by way of plants as the coast has just a few yards inland. The fact that they all have a slightly different annual cycle to their growth patterns makes them that much more interesting.Continue reading

golden yellow

Floral Findings 2 – Golden Yellow at Cally

A visit to Cally Gardens near Gatehouse of Fleet is always a must for us when in Scotland. We were concerned for it last year after the owner, Michael Wickenden, died whilst flower hunting in Myanmar, but the place has been taken over by a like minded person who knew Michael and is developing the place in keeping with his philosophy.

Cally Gardens

It is probably the golden yellow flower that is most striking in these photos but I particularly like the fall of light and shade in the image above as well.

I cannot name the few plants I have picked out below but they are certainly different to the wildflowers of Britain presented in my previous post. For me, I do not need to know the names of plants orContinue reading

vetch

Floral Findings 1 in South West Scotland

This week I though I would bring you just a snippet of my floral findings while we were away in South West Scotland. Mostly they are common wildflowers but there was one where the location must remain hidden!

Pyramidal Orchid

The Pyramidal Orchid above was kindly pointed out to me by a fellow walker I met along my route. I might easily have taken it for clover as there was plenty of that about – Continue reading

Fleet Bay

Calm Reflection – Gull Contemplation

A calm, hazy, hot day and the stone buoys that mark the entrance to a small disused harbour reflect in the water and a gull appears in contemplation of its quiet surroundings.

stone buoy 1

Like the gull, I too sit in contemplation of the scene and objects around me – stopping from time to time on all my walks to look and listen and absorb the sights and sounds, the textures, patterns and colours of the environment and feel the connections I have to all that is there.

Whether the connection is slow and seemingly timeless, as in the wrinkles and folds seen in the surfaces of rocks, or quicker, like the more immediate ripples of the water blown by the breeze, pushed and pulled by the sun and moon along with Earth itself (see Tides), the influence on me of these interconnections is sometimes obvious and noticeable, sometimes utterly imperceptible, but there nonetheless.

Imperceptible or not, I am aware that they exist and enjoy contemplating, or perhaps imagining, the ties that hold me (rather than bind me) to the intricacies of the planet and all that exists and lives upon it.

Contemplating Quiet

rosebay willow herb

From Pink to Pink – Wildflowers in the Valley

My walk this week follows on from one taken six weeks ago when the pink wildflowers in our local valley were rhododendrons – now the field of pink comes from rosebay willow herb.

rosebay willow herb

You could argue about the name of the colour either in the willow herbs, thistles or the rhododendrons and foxgloves, but they all sit within a narrow range of pinks/mauves/purples in Cwm Dulais. The rowan tree (also known as mountain ash) brings a touch of orangeContinue reading

rusty tangle

Naturally Tangled

Rusty old coils of wire tend, naturally, to get tangled in time – take a close look at the grass seed head below to see the naturally tangled growth within it.

seed head

I was amazed to see the apparently squirming life going on inside its bulbous form. The patterns on the longer seed heads also provided me with visual excitement about the fast Continue reading

footpath

My Walk this Week – Keeping To the Footpath, Following the Rules

My walk this week follows the rules and my local marsh footpath down to the old St Teilo’s churchyard. It is a walk I love and have done (and posted about) many times. But there is always something new to see as the the conditions are always different. One of the first things you come upon when leaving the park above the marshes is this metal gate notice telling you to “KEEP TO THE FOOTPATH”.

keep to the footpath

I’m not one for sticking to the rules but I am sure that, like me, most people walking here do keep to the footpath because it takes you were you want to go and follows a very attractive route.Continue reading

open park

Looking at Lavender on Leaving the Park

I think it was probably volunteers that planted this beautiful lavender in our local park, and a beautiful addition it makes ¬†too! The park is managed and developed through a combination of the Friends of Coedbach Park and the Swansea City Parks Department and they’re doing a great job.

lavender

The park has many different features including two oak woods known locally as the first and second woods. They are divided by a driveway that leads past a playground, tennis courts, bowling green, BMX track and pond to the rugby club and playing fields. It is a very well used park Continue reading

undergrowth

Dry Weather – Overgrowth and Undergrowth

In the park woodland the undergrowth is seeing an overgrowth and we have had so much unusually good weather lately that the water level in the park pond has dropped dramatically – the bullrushes are going well but the mud is being exposed.

empty pond

Where once there were bluebells, now there is a rapidly thickening jungle of bracken. Above, in the oak trees a son thrush sings and it’s little one (?) down on the ground looks slightly bewilderedContinue reading

yellow flag

My Walk this Week – Wildflowers in the Park

One month on and my walk this week is in our local park again and the wildflowers are different. Out with the blue (bluebells) and in with the yellow.

Wildflowers in the park

It’s a playground for children and animals alike and the squirrels are still going crazy, scampering all over the place – there seem more of them this year than ever before.