There are many dandelion clocks (seed heads) in my garden. Some people don’t like dandelions and treat them as weeds, trying to wipe them out from their neat lawns. Not me. Apart from the fact that I like how they look, they are good food for bees when many other flowers are not yet blooming. And when they go to seed, you get to enjoy their fairy-tale fluffy seeds floating about, and if you’re lucky on a damp morning you may get to capture some droplets of water balanced on their fine fluff.
I went out to see what I could find in the garden this morning…
I love this photo in many ways… it’s just eye-catching and dramatic, but also on the top right there is the tiniest droplet that I didn’t even see when I was taking the picture 🙂 [Click on any of the photos to see them bigger]
This one looked a bit of a mess from a distance, but on closer inspection it has its own beauty:
This one has a lovely sparkle about it:
This one’s quite subtle – there is a droplet right at the bottom:
It wasn’t just the dandelion seed heads catching my eye. The grass was looking pretty too:
And if none of that is wet enough for you… how about this cute little frog in my pond?
I took a little video of Mr Froggie chilling there too, enjoying the sound of the fountain trickling and the birds singing:
If you really enjoy droplets on dandelions, here are a few older shots from 2015 when I went out on a very still morning, after some mist. Don’t think I’ve ever seen so many droplets!
This week I have been continuing to work on the Pandemonium CAL. I have been loving it, it’s such a fun, relaxing and beautiful blanket to make 🙂 I’m now all caught up so have to wait for more. Next part (11) is due tomorrow.
Here it is at the end of part 9 on Sunday. I love my little pink tulips in a row 🙂
And here it is currently, with part 10 done and waiting for 11.
Did you see what’s in part 10?!?! Yes! Dragonflies! I was so excited when I realised what those 2 little gaps in the rows (at the end of part 9) were going to become! As you will know if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, I LOVE dragonflies and damselflies. I mean, I love most of nature, but dragons and damsels are right there at the top of my list. This CAL is making me so happy, and I am reassured that I made the right decision in changing CALs.
As I now have some waiting in between parts, I fancied making something else in between. I have been frogging the lilac cardi so I could redo it to make it fit better, but frogging is a bit depressing so I decided to start something new. I was looking through the patterns I have and I found one called ‘Leila Sweater’ by Courtney A Clark of ilovetinderbox.com. I looked a the picture and thought, yes this looks good, I’ll make this. And then, when I looked closer at the pattern I realised it uses the same loopy braiding as we’ve done twice in the Pandemonium CAL… so that was it – it was meant to be! I bought a bunch of mint green yarn a while ago, so I’m using that:
If I’m lucky, in a couple of weeks, I may have the joy of watching Damselflies emerge from my pond in the morning before starting work (from home), or while I’m having a morning tea break. The end of April / beginning of May seems to be the time for it, looking back through my photos. Most emerge in the morning, so that’s the best time to see it. Once they’ve cast off their larval casing they’re pretty vulnerable as they have to wait until they are able to fly, which can take a while, so I guess the morning is the safest time for them to do this.
So while the coronavirus situation is horrible, it’s nice to find positives to the need to work from home. Fingers crossed there will be new damsels to see this year. Here are some freshly emerged damsels from previous years…
Hopefully I will have some photos to share of this year’s new damsels 🙂
Today I have officially freed myself from a feeling of obligation to finish the Kaleidoscope CAL. I really did want to have that beautiful finished blanket, but the pleasure of creating had gone. I kept doing other things because I didn’t want to keep creating lots and lots of triangles, and I was feeling guilty and pressured (by myself) to work on it even though I didn’t want to. Those who finish it will have my utmost respect.
So, having decided this, and feeling relief from all the ‘I should …’ thoughts, I decided I would do a different CAL with the yarn I bought, and any other bits and pieces I have in my stash. I am a member of a crochet group on Facebook that I joined when I did the Water Garden CAL (wow that was 2 years ago!) and on there they started a new CAL called Pandemonium CAL. I’ve been seeing lovely photos go by and have considered joining in, but those ‘shoulds’ stopped me. So now I’ve got rid of the ‘shoulds’, I’ve joined in! They’re up to part 6 at the moment, and I’ve spent this morning doing parts 1 and 2 and I’m loving it 🙂 It’s so much more fun and relaxing. Here’s how it looks so far:
That’s only a part of it as its 210 stitches wide. It will make a good sized blanket and is colourful and full of texture and interest.
I’m going to make a cushion cover out of all those squares I made for the Kaleidscope CAL, so they won’t go to waste!
My cardigan is progressing, but I’m unsure about it at the moment. I did the whole of the body and put some edging on but I just tried it on and was a bit dubious about the size. I think I picture myself in my mind rather slimmer than the reality! So I’m not sure whether I’m going to carry on and do the arms as it is, or frog it a way back and redo it… it’s always a bit deflating when you find yourself not entirely happy with how something is turning out. But there’s no rush, it’s not like I’m going anywhere where anyone will see what I’m wearing! Only glimpses in video meetings for work!
So anyway – here it is at the moment… it may grow sleeves, or it may get smaller again and regrow!
Over the long Easter weekend, I took part in a local photo marathon: Ffoto Marathon Pasg (that’s Easter Photo Marathon in Welsh). As we’re all on lock-down, the idea was to take photos on various topics while staying at home. On each of the days of the 4-day weekend, a new topic was given out in the morning and we had to submit our one best shot on the topic in the evening. I didn’t win anything, but it was fun taking part, and I thought I’d share my photos here. If you’d like to take a look at other entries you can find the ones on Instagram (the medium of my choice) here: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/ffotomarathonpasg/
On Friday the topic was ‘wood’. I pottered around the house and garden thinking about what I could take a photo of, and then noticed, in the garden, that the wasps were taking an interest in the shed, as they do. They like to nibble the shed, and my garden chairs to make their nests with. So I positioned myself where I could see them landing on the shed and pounced to get a shot of one nibbling. This is the shot I chose to submit:
On Saturday the topic was ‘yellow’. This almost made me wish I’d taken a photo of something else for the wood theme, as the wasp would have worked well for yellow too! But I had to come up with something different. The main yellow things that kept catching my eye were the dandelions in the garden. I took some photos of the dandelions alone, but in the end I decided on a shot with a bee in it. There were several to choose from, but I ended up choosing this one:
On Sunday the topic was ‘number’. I was a bit flummoxed at this one. How was I going to find something natural that involved numbers. Of course I could step out of my usual type of photo, but that’s hard when it’s just part of who you are! I considered a dandelion seed head for a while, as when I was a child we used to pretend they were clocks – you’d blow it repeatedly until all the seeds were gone, and the number of blows it took was meant to be the time! Silly nonsense, but I thought perhaps that would work. In the end I decided to go for something more literal when I realised that an old outside light attached to the shed had numbers on it. And when I realised that the visiting solitary bees were flying past it quite a lot while investigating the bee hotel and surroundings, it made me choose this as my shot. I never managed to get any with a bee in focus, but in this shot you can see it’s a bee, and that was good enough for me.
On Monday the topic was ‘reflection’. I was looking at the water in my pond thinking how it was a shame it wasn’t really showing me a nice crisp reflection of the garden, when I thought about the sun making it sparkle. Which then led me to remember a Lens-Artists challenge not so long ago where I included a photo with sun-sparkle bokeh from the reflections in the pond. So I decided to take a photo of my last Snake’s Head Fritillary with lots of lovely bokeh in the background from the reflections of the sun on the pond surface and fountain. This is the shot I chose:
There were some close decisions with some of the photos I submitted so here are some of the almost-chosen photos…
These 2 dandelion photos were up against the bee in my decision making on Saturday:
Also in the running for yellow was this much subtler one, but I wasn’t sure it was sufficiently yellow:
On the Sunday, the dandelion clock idea looked good but I wasn’t sure if people would get it:
I did also think about featuring some of my crochet being measured, but lighting for indoor shots is difficult so I gave up on that idea:
On the Monday I had 4 different shots with the Fritillary and the bokeh to choose from but they’re all very nearly the same so I won’t show you the 3 that didn’t make it. Instead have a look at my other idea for that topic, with reflections of the sun in the droplets from the fountain. I love the Fritillary bokeh, but I really came close to choosing this one instead. I find it a very joyful image, and I love how there are little lines of sparkly reflections like you get when you wave a sparkler around in the dark! I wished I could submit 2 for Monday as I was so torn. Anyway, you get to enjoy it instead 🙂
Hope you have all had a happy and peaceful weekend, and it isn’t too much of a struggle being back at work if that’s the case for me. I’m back to working from home today, and my brain was convinced it was Monday all day, which was very confusing!
When I was out walking in the woods, I saw a few bluebells. Not a carpet of blue but a few, here and there. It was definitely still the time for Celandines and Wood Anemones, not the Bluebells’ turn yet!
On the way back I spotted this Dock Bug taking a break on a Bluebell. Not the usual plant to see them on, but it makes for quite unique photos! As the name suggests, Dock Bugs are usually found on or near Dock plants (or related plants) as that’s the food for their nymphs (babies).
I love it when Cuckooflower season comes around. I love their delicate pink, and the beautiful veined petals, and the contrast with the green of their stamens and stigma (the bits in the middle of the flower). If you want to see more photos, take a look at the Cuckooflower page in the wildflower section of my nature guide.
When this is over I will not rush to people to shops to restaurants, bars, cafes to once-again busy streets I will rush in the opposite direction to disconnect to sit here to be to feel to observe to drench myself in quiet immerse myself in nature and let it restore my soul
And after I’ve sat for a while, I’ll go and look for some of my favourite things …
All photos taken at Cors Caron, a local nature research that I can’t currently visit due to the coronavirus pandemic. My garden is lovely, and the village pond and woods are lovely, but I miss Cors Caron and I want to go back.