May is my birth month; on the eleventh I had been on this planet for seventy-seven years. No-one is more surprised than me to find that I have survived this long. Three of the friends of my youth died early: Vic Wright (at 20), Cyril Parkin (at 30) and Chris Ibbotson (at 40); little wonder that I passed my fiftieth with some foreboding. These names will obviously mean nothing to all but a tiny percentage of my readers but I still remember them all fondly.
More pics, less chat
First of May
First view of the pond each day
Have you ever looked at one of our commonest weeds*? Dandelions are really beautiful and so intricate!
Once again I’m playing catch-up, I’m gonna drop loads of pics here and only comment briefly.
Reminder: if you click on a ‘what3words’ link (underlined words) you’ll need to click on the little symbol to show a ‘satellite’ image. Locations are most often (but not always!) of where the picture was taken from.
Second of December
Just round the pond and up the canal to the Lock Keeper. The cygnets aren’t often on the water as mum and stepdad get quite ferocious with them and chase them back to the land. They’re trying to make them ‘fly the nest’. The pair of adults tend to stay together and often go to t’other end of the pond, which explains how the four cygnets got to play ‘get your ducks in a row’. The flowering moss is clinging to a brick wall at the North-west corner of the pond.
From High Ground bridge at the Lock Keeper pub you can get a nice view of the two locks; the pic of Deep Lock is actually a combination of five pics; Stret Lock is at the far end of the pound in t’other pic. In the shrubbery around the Lock Keeper’s car park are some brilliant yellow mahonias (I had to ask on Twitter for the identification 😀). Back down towards home there’s the obligatory pic from Lady Lee bridge (clouds are excellent!) and then a couple of blackbirds, one eating and t’other drinking.
Every time I go out I take a couple of bags of bird seed. The ducks come swarming. I hope that it at least partly makes up for the bread that so many folk throw for them. There’s two or three blackthorn bushes that blossom earlier than all the rest. The flowers are quite intricate. Rain on spider webs can be quite abstract. Lichen is ubiquitous on hedges, and fences: both posts and rails.
Lady Lee bridge is cobbled ever since the towpath was “redone” and is a vantage point looking over the field at Stubbing Lane. A kestrel perched on the roof of the wire rope works – requires less energy than hovering. Incidentally did you know that kestrels have, genuinely, been known as ‘wind fuckers’*. There are often squirrels** in the trees along the canal.
**Is it true that non-english speakers have great difficulty pronouncing ‘squirrel’?
Seventh of December
Every time I go out I begin with a photo of the pond. Moss on the wall, again! The trees at the North-east side looking particularly autumnal. Encore a robin. Fairly big chopper passing over. Things grow in what seem to be the least welcoming of places. Trees reflected in the still water. There was a mini-flock of tufties looking like plastic ducks down nearer the town.
Eighth of December
The pond – a panorama generated from nine individual pictures using Hugin. A gorse flower – reminds me of the Rolling Stones logo – you know – the one with the tongue and lips. More lichen and moss. A squirrel making its way through an alder tree. Finally a robin bobbing about in the hedge.
Caught myself wondering where the phrase ‘so long’ in the sense of goodbye came from (my mind tends to wander off like that – [Querulous voice on: “I’m seventy-six you know!” Querulous voice off]) but a bit of research (Mister Google tries to be helpful) shows me that – no one really knows! It’s possibly from the Irish: slán; Norwegian: så lenge; Swedish: så länge or, most probably German: so lange. All from here which I always find a useful interesting site.
Eleventh of December
I wonder how many birds, mice and other small creatures are predated by domestic cats? There are almost always a couple lurking at the pond. Why does this swan stretch its neck to the farthest seed while there’s much nearer available. A couple of pondoramas. The much lichenated tree is a hawthorn.
The kestrel’s perched on one of the rugby goal posts where it often sits in lieu of doing the hover thing.
Lichen is often monochrome as here the lime green variety. What determines the colour? The sun setting across the pond often gives spectacular pictures
Fourteenth of December
The white flowers are Apiaceae (umbellifers). I have no idea which of the long list. Mosses, like lichens, give colour to the winter scene. Looking up the canal from Morse Lock. Naked willows against a clear blue sky. Stret Lock leaks much more than it used to ever since the metal strut was attached.
Sorry folk: it’s now April 1 and I can’t be doing with catching up on this.