By viewing nature, nature’s handmade art,
Makes mighty things from small beginnings grow.”
(John Dryden, Annus Mirabilis, 1667)
The images in the seasonal notebook are actually from several sketchbooks. I’m always fascinated to see the combination of colours that I mix with watercolour pencils. I’ll keep adding as I scan them.
I’ve always thought there’s a special magic to hawthorns. It’s one of those plants that has it all, tiny, white, fragrant sprays of blossoms in the spring, red berries and leaves in the fall, and sharp tangled structure in the winter. I’m sure I’ve had more scratches collecting branches than anyone, but hawthorns always remind me of protection. It’s the small white dove desperate to dodge a hawk thing. Doesn’t it make sense to head for a hawthorn? I would.
One of the funniest moments in my life was when R put a sloe berry in the mix of C’s candy stash in the theatre. He was chuckling so hard he couldn’t watch the movie. C, totally oblivious, kept munching her candy piece by piece. After a while he didn’t have the heart not to tell and she found the berry before she accidentally put it in her mouth. We’ve had the how-long-can-you-hold-a-bitten-sloe-in-your-mouth-before-you-spit-it-out-wars on several walks. What are we like?
One of my favorite thing to do is preserve the season. I love to make jam and would love to get to the stage where I don’t buy any jam all year. I hear you saying, “who’s got the time?” But I always find a day to make a few pots of blackberry jam. My favorite are the small, tart berries in the hedgerows in Oxfordshire rather than the huge water-loged Vancouver ones.
These delicate little dragonflies flitter in the reeds at the Thames. (Ok, you say, flitter, dragonflies? really) I’m sorry they do. They don’t flutter, or soar, or swoop, or…ok, maybe they dart a little.
I tend to ignore ivy for most of the year, but in winter it really is the star in the garden. What other plant is so green and lush in the frost or hangs in the heated house staying fresh looking for days?
The beech woods in Oxfordshire look like something out of a fairy tale. In the summer, when the sun is shining and casting round shade spots on the ground, the beech wood is my favorite place to walk.
This is a branch from the Aspen which grew beside my cabin 200 km north of Vancouver. It was a funny sort of clump of maybe seven 20ft tall trees. They all died back and we cut them down and used the wood to heat the cabin. But the aspen shot back up agin. It’s loveliest in the fall when it’s all golden.
The snowberry and I had had a lot of arguments in the past. It’s a mineature Napoleon! It lives in a corner of the garden and insists on invading all the surrounding land. I’d love to chop it down but it reminds me of my childhood, walking to school, picking a few of the pinky-white berries and throwing them ahead of me so I can squash them with my shoes. Be grateful for your space snowberry, you’re not that charming!