Saturday, May 29, 2021

striking, intense, rain, behind with the garden and allotment, 'normal', crafty


A striking sky and an answering intensity in the field of young corn where the larks sing below where once was RAF Bampton Castle Signals Station.

Since this photo was taken, a week or two ago, there has been more rain and the lushness of the landscape continues. Only today does the sun shine with the strength one might wish for.

We're behind with the garden and allotment but are hopeful that we might catch up next week.

Also keen to get back to 'normal'. But what a crafty virus we're faced with.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

bird's egg, scene of? ..., mystery of the victorian cabinet, cabinet of mysteries (though with labels, if only it could be found)

Bird's egg seen in the Ham Court green lane.

A place of life or of death? Of a successful hatching or of predation?

I hope the former.

I don't know what bird's egg it is, I'm sad to say. Was never very good at identifying eggs. My dad knew and once had a collection. Somewhere, I don't know where, I think we have a Victorian cabinet of eggs with labels saying what they are.

Its whereabouts as mysterious as the egg I saw itself. And ours is not a big house.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

oxford saturday, set up, dandelions


Worked in Oxford today but made time to walk through the Highmoor Brook water meadows, the Plantation, and the Ham Court green lane before setting off.

Set me up, I think.

Dandelion clocks thick in the meadows.

Friday, May 14, 2021

zoom, swan's nest, talking ponds, happy weekend!

Took this using the Samsung's x100 zoom.

It's a bit 'early CGI' but it was rock steady and gives a reasonable impression of the swan's nest on the pond in the University Parks.

Talking of ponds, ours is a lot fuller after the recent torrents - no swans, though.

Happy weekend!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

lady's smock flowers, apple blossom, set?, nothing for it but to go with the year, swifts!, La ciociara


Came across a scattering of lady's smock flowers in a corner of Roy's meadow, just up from the Highmoor Brook. Also know as cuckooflower. The petals were pearled with dew. Lovely to see when I was out late, letting the walk settle the day's work.

A soaking yesterday, which has replenished and freshened the pond. But the downpours and high winds have scattered the apple blossom. Hoping it set. With such abundance of flowers this year, it would disappointing not to have a decent crop, but we can do nothing but go with the year!

J, out walking as I type, has phoned to say she has seen the first two swifts! Hooray! She looks forward to the swallows' arrival, I the swifts'. They are here and I hope soon we will sit at the top of the garden, as they scream round the church steeple.

Watching La ciociara (Two Women) (1960) on iTunes. It stars Sophia Loren (Oscar for Best Actress) and Jean-Paul Belmondo and one of the things I love about it is its re-creation of Italian rural life of the Second World War era. The usually quite reserved Oxford Companion to Film on the shelf above my desk (1970s edition), describes Sophia Loren's performance as 'outstanding'. And it is!

Monday, May 3, 2021

greater stitchwort, mount owen, gale


Saw lots of stitchworts when I was cycling the northern slope of Mount Owen.

I wanted to call them lesser stitchworts but the way the petals are cut - about half-way down - and the largish leaves suggest greater.

Apparently the plant was used as a remedy for stitches.

Had to do the last few yards of the slope on foot because the wind was too strong - and it wasn't as fierce as it's supposed to get later this afternoon.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

the gated road, marsh marigolds, beacon, hope, work, no reason not to have a.lie in


Cycling the gated road (no longer with gates and aka Calcroft Lane) from Broadwell to Clanfield, having crossed the Beeching-cut railway line over the steeply arced bridge, I searched for marsh marigolds.

None in the dried out ditches - brim full of water and plants last year. Only as I neared the end of the vast plain of the field to the south, Folly Hill far beyond, did I see the bright yellow. I fixed on it, getting closer, then stopped and took a picture. Not quite the only clump in the shallow clear water but the first sighted. 

Feelings of hope.

Flowers brighter than usual, I fancied, leaves more plump.

Since, a week of work - the feet not touching the ground kind. Work still, yesterday. Now a couple of days off.

Shame about the predicted rain but at least there won't be a reason not to have a lie in!