Thursday, 30 April 2009

May Day.

"The May pole is up,
Now give me the cup;
I`ll drink to the garlands around it,
But first unto those
Whose hands did compose
The glory of flowers that crown`d it."
Robert Herrick.

May day welcomed the end of the harsh winter days, and welcomed the beginning of Summer.
The houses would be decorated with garlands of flowers, freshly picked from the countryside, and there would dancing around the Maypole.

"But I must gather knots of flowers,
And buds and garlands gay,
For I`m to be the Queen o` May, Mother,
I`m to be Queen o` the May."
Alfred Lord Tennyson.

A girl would be chosen to be Queen of the May, and it would be her duty to take a garland of flowers, or a hoop decked with flowers to the church, where it was placed on the screen and left there until the following May Day.

The fair maid who, the first of May,
Goes to the fields at break of day,
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree,
Will ever after handsome be.

It was believed if you washed yourself in the dew from the hawthorn early on May morning, it would ensure that your complexion was beautiful for the rest of the year.
"Now the bright morning star, Day`s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire,
Mirth and youth, and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of the blessing,
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long."
John Milton.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

A trip into town.

This morning, I needed to pop into town, I decided to take the cliff path, but before I did I stood on top of the hill to look at the bay, which looked very nice and calm this morning, and the weather bright, but cool.
I noticed the may is breaking out on the Hawthorn..

The cliff path was bathed in sunshine, in the hedgerow there was more May

I love its pretty flower, and the heavy scent it has, there was Apple blossom too..

with lovely pink tinged flowers..

The Ash was beginning to look `knotty` with buds...

I didnt spend long in town, just a little shopping, and take some library books back. I wanted to get back and do some hobbies, when you work you never seem to have much `spare` time.. I came back up the dreaded steps, through the little wood, the bluebells edged the path..

I noticed the cherry still has some blossom left after all the wind we`ve had.

I`ve been keeping an eye on the sky...for the first swifts, they should be here soon, Pete and I always have a competition every year to see who spots the first one. Well its got to be me, as he saw the first Swallow!!

The ash that set itself in the garden, has just started to shake out its leaves, I`m glad it picked my garden, as I love watching it in the summer dancing in the breeze, and casting its shadow on my lounge wall.

The gulls are just beginning to nest in the bay, you can see them flying around with beaks full of nesting material, making their nests on the roof tops. I know lots of people hate them, and are always moaning about them, but I love them, as I do all birds and wildlife. We`re lucky enough to have a pair nesting on one of the roofs further down the street, as you can see she`s made a nice tidy little nest. Pete was watching them yesterday, and he said the male flew in with a beakful of nesting material, which it dumped on the nest, but the female was obviously not impressed with the standard of it, and chucked it over the side! ah well we girls can be very

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

New Bridge

Today, we were lucky enough to wake to a lovely sunny day, although there was a distinct nip in the air. We decided to get out early before the bad weather arrived, so headed up to New Bridge a wooded area on Dartmoor. You cross this lovely old pack horse bridge to reach the car park.

We followed the river dart, which was rushing and gurgling over the boulders after yesterdays heavy rain, through the pretty woodland, with the sound of thrush and blackbirds fluting from the tree tops

On one side was this lovely lake covered with pretty flowers, which had the most gorgeous perfume..

there was a Grey Wagtail flitting about on the leaves, probably had a nest nearby. In one corner was a lovely clump of yellow flag irises

We carried on down the path, past little patches of Lords and Ladies

and starry carpets of celandines

there were interesting holes to be investigated

In a nearby field, two lovely ponies were waking to another day

their field was surrounded by a lovely old wall, with mossy coated stones

and in the corner a magical tree...

scattered beneath the dainty wood sorrel

the path gradually drifting away from the river, and ran between stony walls where stitchwort grew..

and there were nice views across the fields to the lovely houses nestling amongst the trees

Evenually we reached a clearing where some lovely Beech spread their magnificent branches

and we caught up with the river again, which run in icy peaty brown coolness, down and round and over the stones..

It must have been an enchanted clearing..because there were dancing trees

and the whortleberries were covered in berries like rubies

and the celandines would only grow in the crook of the silver birch

evenually the path got narrower and narrower, till it petered out, and there was just rocks to scramble over...someone had thrown a bridge over the river to cross for better access, but some how I didnt fancy using it.....

so we headed back, noting the tree stump studded with bracket fungi, like white dinner plates

and the lovely patch of wild strawberries beside the path, you`d only need a very tiny basket to PYO when they`re ripe!

As we were walking, we could hear the throbbing of a helicopter in the distance, `Chinook`says Pete in a knowledgably way (as they do) it certainly sounded big, but we couldnt see it, it gradually got louder, and suddenly appeared roaring over the tree tops...

I just managed to get my camera out in time, and take this picture, it was a Chinook, you can just see the rotor blades, amazing, its probably from Okehampton wheres theres an army camp, it may have been on some sort of excercise. Well it was certainly an interesting walk, filled with the unexpected, and lots of charming things too.

Monday, 27 April 2009

A new Moon.

It was my first day off today, and we woke to lashing rain, so no interesting walks, instead we went out and did the weekly shopping, then I caught up on all the chores, that have to be left when you`re working a long ten hour day, like cleaning the house, washing, ironing and I filled the tins with some baking. My mixer gave up the ghost on my last baking day, so I decided against baking a sponge, but made the old favourite fruit cake.

I put the lovely cloth my Mother gave me, when we visited her, on the table, she`d embroidered it herself some years ago. It has all my favourite things, a crinoline lady, hollyhocks and lots of pretty flowers, its also has a pretty border..

After a very unsettled day, with constant showers, and I could have sworn the odd hail stone, it cleared after tea, so I looked for the new moon..

and was thrilled to see it, a tiny silver sliver riding high...

so beautiful...

and the clouds were a lovely pearly grey..
and over the town, a pretty navy against the lighter blue sky, an nice end to the day.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

A mixed day.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you;
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I;
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing through.
Christina Rossetti.

And where suns peep, in every sheltered place,
The little early buttercups unfold
A glittering star or two till many trace
The edges of the blackthorn clumps in gold.
John Clare.

The roofs are shining from the rain,
The sparrows twitter as they fly,
And with a windy April grace
The little clouds go by.
Sara Teasdale.

Today the weather has been very mixed, with sunshine and showers, and theres been a very cold brisk wind, more of a March day than April......

Thursday, 23 April 2009

A walk at lunch time.

I was back to work today, the weather was decidedly cool after the last lovely warm few days. I went for a walk in my lunch break, the mist was beginning to roll in from the sea. On the beach the tractor was out, clearing the seaweed, and raking the sand.

The flower beds in the park were beautiful..

Such lovely colours..

and flower strewn shrubs..

lovely hot colours in the main gardens

In the rock garden, the pink daises were tumbling over the grey stones

and there were forget me nots, and Solomon`s seal...

I took a walk down to Torre Abbey, where this lovely Pines new growth looked like candles.
The bluebells softened the railings..

and the Ramsons grew like a white carpet under the trees, the air full of their `onioney` smell

I walked down to the little brook, which gurgled merrily under the road, and the Horse Chestnut was in new leaf, but no candles yet..

the Poplars had lovely bronzey leaves..

and there was a nice clump of Green Alkanet..

I loved the acid green of this beautiful flower..

I walked back to work along the beach, the tide was out, and the rocks exposed,

the gulls were paddling about, enjoying themselves, but the wind was very cool, so I headed back for a nice mug of tea.