The Indian Bean Tree

Tree House

seek shelter

beneath broad leaves

find renewal


I’ve loved the tree house tree from the moment we moved into our new house. At first, though, we had no idea what sort of tree it actually was. Generally, I’d simply admire the way the evening light lit the leaves.

During July, however, we were given a few more clues to its identity. Blossom! At first it looked like a popcorn tree as white buds exploded into existence. Soon these buds opened up and covered the tree with beautiful white blossoms. A Google search for July flowering trees allowed us to finally identify it as a Catalpa, or Indian Bean Tree. This is actually a type of tree native to the Eastern United States and introduced to the UK in 1726. They’re not particularly long lived – the oldest known UK specimen is a 150-year-old in a Reading churchyard. As they take 20-50 years to reach their full growth of 10-15 meters, I’d say that ours is possibly now in, or at least nearing, its later years.

I’m now in my final few days of CampNaNoWriMo, with only a last few thousand words to write, so hopefully I’ll be back to a more complete blogging schedule soon.

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In Appreciation of Hoverflies

Hoverfly on Hydrangea 2

they tell you

that you’re nothing

a nobody

*

merely a pale imitation of the

bright celebrities

and less dangerous than those high fliers

with stings in their tails

*

but still you carry on

with no praise or appreciation

you get the job done

*

after all

what else can you do…?

*

except

maybe

demand the respect you’re due

Hoverfly on Hydrangea

Hoverflies are one of those garden insects that I’ve often thought to be overlooked. After all, they’re not cute and fluffy little honey-makers like bees, and they’re not likely to sting you like wasps. I’ve often heard, and even spoken, the dismissive phrase “It’s just a hoverfly.”

But I think the hoverfly actually deserves a little more appreciation than that.

There are over 200 species of hoverfly in the UK alone, and over 6000 worldwide, and they’re thought to be the second most important group of pollinators, after bees. Unlike bees, though, little research into their role has been carried out – according to Wikipedia, at least.

Gardeners might also find a fondness for hoverflies for another reason. Whilst their main diet tends to be pollen and nectar, many species are also known to eat those insects generally viewed as garden pests, such as aphids and leafhoppers.

My favourite thing about hoverflies, though, is that they stay still long enough for me to take lots of pictures of them!

Hoverfly on Hydrangea 4

I’m still CampNano writing at the moment, which means that I’m still not really back on my blog, I’m afraid. This is one of several posts I got half ready before the month began. In case you’re curious about my progress, I’ve just gone past 41,000 words – all of them handwritten. I’m currently working my way through my third notepad. Amazingly, my hand is hardly aching at all!  I’m into the home stretch now, though. Only one more week of CampNano to go.

Watch the Rising Sun

Meadow in Dawn Light

sit amidst the

long grass and watch the rising sun

lovingly caress the meadow

*

golden rays revealing

the innocence of daisies as they sway

to a light morning breeze

*

breathe deep the

blissful quietude and embrace the

awakening of your soul

Long Grass in Dawn Light

These pictures were all taken at the meadow in my old village last month. I might not live there any more, but I just couldn’t stay away. Hopefully I’ll manage to get there again sometime soon. Unfortunately, getting there for a dawn photo shoot now includes a half hour drive, rather than simply a stroll around the corner!

Grass

I’m joining in with Camp NaNoWriMo again this July, which means my blogging is going to be taking second place to working on my novel for a little while. I have got a few photography and poetry posts (like this one) sat in my drafts folder, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep things going on the blog for a little while, even if I have no little stories to share.

In case you’re interested, the novel I’m working on is the same one I began last November’s NaNo. I’m hoping to get it to a point where it’s actually a coherent whole – which, as I don’t generally write in a chronological order, but rather leap around the story wherever my imagination cares to lead me – can be quite a feat! The novel is a young adult, otherworld steampunk fantasy, and, while it doesn’t really yet have a title, here is the initial blurb:

Centuries ago, the Kennithi-born mages ruled the world with an iron grip, their magic giving them the strength to subjugate any and all lesser races. Their reign only ended when the Order of the Veil learned how to bind their powers.

The world moved on, with science and steam-driven technology taking the place of magic. Marked by the silver web of magic frozen in their veins, the Kennithi became the downtrodden people – feared and despised. Their only protectors became the very Order that kept them chained. 

But everything changes when an inventor, experimenting with electricity, accidentally sets free his Kennithi assistant…

With any luck, I might even manage to complete it sometime this year!

As the Wisteria Grows

Green Man Close Up 2

you could

simply watch through weary

eyes as an ever-changing world

ebbs and flows

*

or you could

keep on stretching fearlessly

higher refusing to accept

defeat

Green Man on Pagoda

When my sister and I moved in to our new house, there was a pagoda in the garden that was barely standing beneath the weight of dead wisteria branches. We cut the wisteria back until all that remained was a stump with a couple of green shoots. These we decided to leave, hoping it would make a comeback. We then replaced several rotten pagoda posts and found the perfect place to hang the green man wall plaque.

We’re now considering whether or not to move the green man. The wisteria has definitely made a comeback! Those little shoots didn’t take long to grow, or to multiply, and they quickly tangled themselves around the post all the way up to the top. We worked out that they’re growing at a rate of six inches a day! When the photo was taken I was lucky enough to go into the garden when one of the shoots had tucked its tip into the green man’s mouth. Needless to say, it didn’t stay there long. At this rate, the whole pagoda will be covered again in wisteria soon, and, if he stays there, the green man will be well and truly hidden.


This post is for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is Delta, and we’re asked to share a picture that symbolizes transitions, change, and the passing of time.