I love the rituals associated with both winter and summer solstice. We make some of our own in my family and we follow some traditions. This week the first sweet pea flowered in the garden, the scent reminding me of mothers and grandmothers…
Blue forget me nots in my garden sprinkle the ground, tiny blue stars..
Bluebells in the garden and the shaded glades – there are cool woods not so far away but not visited this year, where my eyes scan a hazy sea, glowing and ephemeral..
Trees after some heavy but much needed rain – walking a path looking out over a spectrum of greens and greys
Some vetch spied in the wayside hedgerows peeping out
Clover, beloved by the bees, is starting to flower in our grass and in the fields
I think it is the rain that drew me to look at these cool colours in the stillness that followed, whilst a few days ago it was the creamy white cow parsley dancing in the wind.
I made some field recordings of skylarks rising from the fields nearby. The swallows swoop the old farm buildings and this one was singing and twittering on the wires
And then last week we heard them coming, and lifting our gaze saw the first returning swifts overhead. These are sounds that mark out the turning year for us and are a backdrop to the rhythm of days and evenings and eagerly anticipated.
Cowslips in the fields – more this Spring, or is it me looking more carefully. I have been looking inside the flowers as part of a survey and the little orange flecks are a delight.
A frosted dandelion. Many early mornings of frost followed by dry cold sunshine.
They are one of my favourite dye plants – especially for solar dye – for a slow thoughtful dye process as Spring deepens. Never the first flushes – they are needed by pollinators, so watching and waiting a while. The hope and energy of Spring returning.
Walking and watching and waiting in a daily rhythm, the fields then become studded with starry yellow – little suns
…and then, it feels to me like the moon follows the sun and the fields are ethereal with moon globes of seed
In the garden we see birds with little beaks filled with these seed heads and in a never ending long tradition we blow the seeds to tell the time and to remind us about time…
And now buttercups follow and the recent rain has helped them bloom overnight
There are yellow poppies in the garden – I must remember to take some snaps of their crinkled petals…
An overwhelm of too many images I can’t seem to select from! So, where to start to unravel my thoughts
Lets go back to neutrals – those I wanted to notice before the beauty of Spring blossom distracts my attention
Textures, shapes, tones, patterns – the way the eye notices these more when the colours are more muted. There is restfulness on my eyes and in my brain when I look at neutrals.
Against the pale blue sky I see starlings on a line. I have always loved these birds, their chatter, their characterful interplay, and especially those iridescent colours within what – at first glance – looks like oily black which then sparkles with a myriad of colours. That I like – the initial colour that reveals so many more on a closer look
I like the lines, the marks on a line too. I often think of stitches that resonate with something I see
Twining stems and wrapped stems – another thought of stitch, wrapping, weaving
This time the weather. Hail, so strong the sound of wind preceding the ice roars and we shelter under the trees in the garden as the hailstones forceful power strikes
Standing against the trunk of an apple tree at the bottom of the garden – a tree that fruits with small bright red apples – the kind where the flesh of the apple is tinged with the redness of the skin. It isn’t a large tree and is a little too hidden by a beech and a poplar. I leaned against the trunk and felt it warm and strong on my back. I nestled further in and found a sense that this tree seemed to hold me and as I leant into it I was rocked as it swayed in the wind – gently rocking. The rocking was a balm to a day when my heart was hurting for many reasons and I felt so deeply that connection.
The past few days the sight of bees on the heather has filled me with joy. It is only a few steps of walking – out into the garden.
The sound first, then catching sight of them. We wait with anticipation each year as Spring emerges and this is one of the key moments we look forward to. Research tells us they are most attracted to violet, purple, blue colours. A mix of bees appear and the heather is there waiting for them…