Starting as I mean to go on* – a few more comments on the pics and so on.

*but I don’t forget that the road to hell is paved with good intentions

I live about fifty metres from Godfrey’s Pond, or Sandhill Lake as it’s officiallly known.
What Three Words ///clown.sparks.shiny

The ‘Godfrey’ bit of the name comes, I am told, from the former owner who was a pig owner and butcher who’s sties were where my flat now stands. Godfrey also sold fly maggots for anglers.

Pond: about CE 1300 “artificially banked body of water,” variant of pound “enclosed place”. Applied locally to natural pools and small lakes from late 15c.
(Interestingly: “Jocular use in reference to the Atlantic Ocean dates from 1640s.” I thought it was a modern usage.)

Sandhill refers to the origin of the pond: excavating sand for ‘export’ on the canal.

Lake: “body of water surrounded by land and filling a depression or basin,” early 12c., from Old French lack and directly from Latin lacus “pond, pool, lake,” also “basin, tank, reservoir” (related to lacuna “hole, pit”)
There was a Germanic form of the root which yielded Old English lacu “stream, pool, pond,” lagu “sea flood, water, extent of the sea,” leccan “to moisten”. In Middle English, lake, as a descendant of the Old English word, also could mean “stream; river gully; ditch; marsh; grave; pit of hell,” and this might have influenced the form of the borrowed word.

Tuesday the First of September

There are houses on two sides of the pond and consequently an excess of cats.

Speckled wood butterflies are increasingly common although there don’t seem to be as many as in former years.

I don’t know what this fly was feeding on – possibly bird dropping?

Echinops has completely gone to seed but retains its almost perfectly spherical shape.

The hawthorn stems at the base of a hedgerow are a gnarled and twisted memorial to the years of growth.

Himalayan balsam is an invasive weed* that propagates along water courses by catapulting its seeds quite a distance.

*A weed is a plant in the wrong place. In the Himalayas it’s probably excellent but here it’s just a bloody nuisance.

This is the field up the green lane at the other side of the A57.
What Three Words ///frogs.jump.lots

Robin’s pin cushion is caused by a gall wasp and does the rose little harm.

Himalayan balsam flowers come in any shade from almost pure white to brightest red/pink. Whatever the colour, bees love ’em, forcing their way in and out of the heart of the bloom.

The beautiful blue-green of the fly contrasts with the brilliant yellow of goldenrod.

True flies (order Diptera) are an immense group with over 100,000 known species. They all have their hind pair of wings reduced to pin-shaped structures called halteres which act as gyroscopes to maintain balance in flight. Most feed on liquids, including nectar and blood. So I’m not gonna try to identify this one.

Small white on the omnipresent ragwort

Moorhen standing on a submerged stump in the pond.

Generally moorhens keep to the canal and coots to the pond, There’s always an exception though.

Great crested grebes always seem so aristocratic.

The moon was partially hidden until about eleven o’clock.

03 09 20

The number 3 is a very mystical and spiritual number featured in many folktales (three wishes, three guesses, three little pigs, three bears, three billy goats gruff). In ancient Babylon the three primary gods were Anu, Bel (Baal), and Ea, representing Heaven, Earth, and the Abyss. Similarly, there were three aspects to the Egyptian sun god: Khepri (rising), Re (midday), and Atum (setting).
In Christianity there is the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Plato saw 3 as being symbolic of the triangle, the simplest spatial shape, and considered the world to have been built from triangles. In German folklore a paper triangle with a cross in each corner and a prayer in the middle was thought to act as protection against gout, as well as protecting a cradle from witches.
Three black animals were often sacrificed when attempting to conjure up demons. On the other hand, a three-coloured cat was a protective spirit. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth (1606–07) there are three witches, and their spell begins, “Thrice the brindled cat hath mewed,” reflecting such superstitions. Also, three is the dimension of the smallest magic square in which every row, column, and diagonal sums to fifteen.


A bee ‘buzzing’ a spider.

There were three of these ducks born a couple of years ago to a since deceased female. Two of them now live on the pond and one on the canal although they will occasionally switch.

It’s coming up to spider season; the brambles on the north side of the pond are a favourite site for webs.

A spider in the brambles

Blue tailed damsel fly

Twilight across the pond.

Moon at half past ten

Freitag, der vierte September

Freitag: from Middle High German vrītac‎, from Old High German frīatag‎ (9th c.), from late Proto-Germanic *Frijjōz dagaz‎ (“day of Frigg”)*, calque of Latin dies Veneris‎. Compare Low German Freedag‎, Dutch vrijdag‎, English Friday‎, Danish fredag‎.
*Frigg was the Norse goddess of fertility, motherhood, and the household. As the wife of Odin, she was queen of the Norse pantheon and mother to Baldur and Hermod.

Fourth: From Middle English fourthe, an alteration (due to four) of ferthe, from Old English fēorþa, fēowerþa, from Proto-Germanic *fedurþô, equivalent to four +‎ -th. Compare West Frisian fjirde, Saterland Frisian fjädde, fjoode, Dutch vierde, German Low German feerde, feerd, German vierte, Danish fjerde, Icelandic fjórði.

September: late Old English, from Latin September (also source of Old French Septembre, Spanish Setiembre, Italian Settembre, German September), from septem “seven”. So called because it was the seventh month of the old Roman calendar, which began the year in March; Julian calendar reform (46 B.C.E.) shifted the new year back two months. Replaced Old English hærfestmonað, haligmonað

Hærfestmōnaþ: harvest month. Ælfric’s Grammar XVIII calls the month of September hærfestmonoð ‘harvest-month’.
Hāligmōnaþ, holy month. According to Bede’s De temporum ratione, ‘Haligmonath is the month of religious rituals.’ The Old English Martyrology says that this was the month when pre-Christian Anglo-Saxons sacrificed to their ‘devil-idols’.*

*From here

Cygnets lining up on the pond

Spiders and their webs

There are still bramble (blackberry) flowers blooming although the numbers are dropping rapidly. Bees will find the few there are.

The Pond

Saint John’s Wort seeds have turned to rich blue-black.

Fungus all around the ‘fungus stump’.

Saturday the fifth of September

next after the fourth; being the ordinal number for five.
being one of five equal parts.

in the fifth place; fifthly.
a fifth part, especially of one.
the fifth member of a series.

Moon at half past three in the morning.

Spider! spider!

Very ragged speckled wood

Canal and rugby field from Morse Lock.

Ivy is host to a myriad of bees, wasps and hoverflies harvesting nectar from the insignificant green flowers and in doing so passing pollen between them.

Sunday September the sixth

Having set out to walk round the pond and maybe up the canal as far as Wood End I eventually walked as far as Turnerwood in the company of a friend I bumped into by chance.

Three of ‘our’ cygnets scudding across the pond.They strangely all have one leg on their backs. There’s a story that a guy saw swans like this and ‘phoned the RSPCA thinking they were ill or had something wrong with their legs. 😉

All the oak trees around the pond, and there are many, have a fine crop of acorns.

Spiders, this common or garden variety at least, sit in the middle of their webs with a finger on various threads. When anything flies into the sticky threads and struggles to free itself the spider is alerted and dashes to capture the interloper.

This is recently one of my most liked pics on Twitter, possibly because I captioned it: “Pretty, innit?”
It’s Chesterfield Canal above Haggonfields Lock at Wood End.
What Three Words ///class.panel.linen

I don’t see many blues so when I do I leap about with my camera at the ready. This one’s nectaring on knapweed on Shireoaks Woodland as the old pit tip is now known.

Micromoths aren’t the easiest beasts to catch on camera; they often hide, wings folded, underneath grasses and plant stems. Can’t ID this one – feel free.


At Boundary Lock, just below Cinderhill this cheeky little murderous beast was hanging about.
What Three Words ///scale.husbands.sway

I’ve seen mink nearer home but this is the most pics I’ve got of one.

At the Hewett Arms Fishing Ponds a couple of swans seem to have newly taken up residence.
What Three Words ///directs.decoded.propelled

Don’t see many pure white cats about.

It had rained on and off throughout our walk and this had brought out slugs as I approached home.

Published by Roger

2 thoughts on “September!

  1. Thank you for introducing me to the Old English Wordhord. What a splendid resource.
    And the cygnets with their legs on their backs.
    I know a man who rang the vet about the lumps on his cat’s belly.
    He hung up when he was asked to feel whether they were in pairs…
    Oh how I laughed.
    For weeks and weeks. Told all the neighbours. Laughed some more.


  2. Strangely the Wordhord is a Canadian’s site.
    A canal boat resident thanked me for showing a pic of an adult swan with foot on back a few years ago – she’d been trying to tell someone that it was quite normal with little success.
    Love the cat’s nipples!



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