Wordless Wednesday: In The Dawn-Lit Meadow

Meadow at Dawn 2

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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.

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.