Pay Attention; Be Astonished ...

Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
~ Mary Oliver
 
 
 One day earlier this week D spotted a Red Kite gliding over the hills as he was returning home in the car.  He rushed in, collected his camera and binoculars, and decided to walk back down the road to try and photograph it.  No such luck; the Kite had hit the thermals and was long gone.  But, after living with me and my exclamations of  'Oo look' when I spot something on one of our walks - the habit seems to have rubbed off on him and he came back with some lovely pictures of the surrounding countryside and wild flowers which he didn't know the name of.  I have trained him to be observant - I have trained him well.  My work here is done :).


 
The flowers were Corn Marigolds which, because of the use of herbicides, you don't see very often any more - I was well pleased with his find.





As for me - well, I have been walking in the rain, breathing the sweet fragrance of the May blossom and loving the sprinkling of buttercups and Queen Anne's Lace in the hedgerows, and of course, taking a multitude of pictures of the garden for your delectation and delight.









D spotted a rare visitor to the garden the other day - a Yellowhammer - and managed to get a quick snap of it before it flew away.


I was going to try and do a movie of the garden for you - but it wasn't very skilful, a bit wobbly - and I felt slightly embarrassed talking to myself, so that my voice came out in a whisper that was barely audible - I also had trouble loading it - so, not one of my better ideas.




Elaine

p.s. On the home front - good news for us - the de-humidifiers have now been removed and we have been declared ready for the next stage of operations.  It has taken two months to reach this stage.  At this rate the work should be finished sometime before the end of the decade :)








Comments

  1. According to some old antiquaries, when the animal tracks converge on a wall opening and then diverge on the other side, this is the earlier ancients utilising underground - detectable by dowsing - 'track lines' for siting gates. I have an open mind about it.

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  2. Are you trying to blind me with science. I presume you are talking about the field - I just thought they were sheep tracks going down to the ditch at the bottom to drink or cross over into the next field.

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  3. I'm so glad that your house has dried out sufficiently now to enable the next stage in getting your home back in place. Your photos show just how late my own garden is in coming into flower - I blame all that rain and the wild winds we had. My young lilac tree had four blooms on it last year and I was hoping for more this year, but so far there's no sign of anything resembling a bloom. :(
    Strangely, there are no Shasta Daisies outside the kitchen door where there used to be a large clump last year; instead, there are clumps of them growing up from between slabs on the patio. I haven't got the heart to strim them down until they have finished flowering!

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    1. Thank you Rosie. Things do seem to be a little bit behind this year compared to the same time last year.

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  4. Wonderful news Elaine. Your pictures are incredible. A nice trip to where you are.

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  5. It's a beautiful time of year, so much to look at and admire. Lots of wild orchids and meadow flowers here; wonderful.

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  6. Such lovely, lovely photos, just what I dream (imagine) that your end of the world looks like. I especially like the photo of the apple blossoms with the lilacs behind. So pretty. So are the corn marigolds. Sounds like your sense of humor is returning. Reclaiming a ruined house can take so very long. I have learned that seldom do you get a second chance when it comes to photographing birds. You simple must have the camera in hand in order to get a shot--good or bad-- or at all. But don't let that discourage D; he took some lovely photos. I always enjoy sheep in meadows. Enjoy your week.

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    1. Thank you Ann. Yes it will be a long job but we can only take it one step at a time and being miserable doesn't speed up the process so I might as well be cheerful :)

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  7. A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. I especially like the pot marigold and poppy pictures. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty. I only put that poppy plant in last year and it has grown so much it is practically taking over the whole flower bed.

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  8. I've seen that farm in your photos before. You have trained him well.

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    1. The farm is very picturesque - he is a good pupil!

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  9. Lucky you having a yellowhammer visit and well done D for managing a photo. It's a real challenge to photograph a red kite. Glad you have had some progress house wise albeit slowly

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    1. We haven't seen them around here for years so it was quite a treat - just lucky he had his camera to hand. Yes, progress is slow but at least the room is dry now which is a relief!

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  10. You have captured some wonderful color! So many blooms. We are just struggling into bloom around here, in a very quiet way. How lovely to see your colorful surroundings!

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  11. Thanks Marcie - the garden is at its best right now with plenty coming into flower - but also lots of hard work to keep it that way :)

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  12. Dear Elaine by the looks if the gorgeous photos your work does appear to be done. :)! Golly your flowers are really flourishing. Makes me want to come visit. Hope things will soon be restored in your home. Seems like it has been a long time coming. Hang in there- hopefully soon. Hugs!

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    1. The garden is full to bursting at the moment - I have had to pull out loads of forget-me-nots to make room for the annual summer plants that were growing rather long and spindly in the seed trays. Such a lot of work at this time of year I seem to be in the garden non-stop - always something to keep me occupied. We are having to send in estimates to the insurance company for replacement furniture and carpets now and are waiting for a work schedule from the company that is dealing with it all - it is certainly a lengthy process!

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  13. Lovely set of flowers and images, OH is getting better at noticing things here too, even if he pretends not to be interested.
    Very pretty the Corn Marigolds.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Thanks Amanda. D is very good at spotting birds but everything else seems to pass him by, so I was very surprised at the photos that he took - there's hope for him yet :)

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  14. Wonderful shots of the English countryside and your lovely garden at this time of the year! Love the bird shot!

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    1. Thanks Sandra. It is all very green and lush at the moment, the hedgerows are full of may blossom and the froth of cow parsley - it all just takes your breath away.

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  15. Dear Elaine, these photos are beautiful! I am utterly enarmored with photo number three - great perspective, wonderful choice! Glad to hear that the work on the house is going on, step by step, but nevertheless in the right direction.

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    1. Thanks Britta. I agree that photo number three is rather special - those fields are very steep and go down to a stream at the bottom which gives it that unusual perspective. Yes, everything is going in the right direction, slowly but surely.

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  16. Good news about the house ... next stage coming up!

    These photo's are so lovely to look at and enjoy, I like the words that accompany them to.

    Take Care

    All the best Jan

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    1. Oh absolutely Jan - can't wait for the next stage to begin and to get the house back to normal once more. Glad you liked the photos.

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  17. Wow - all those columbine blooming and the poppy buds ready to pop! I've trained my husband well, too. He doesn't use the camera, but he has a good eye and will stop and wait patiently as I snap. I really love that shot of the sheep! It's so green by you! I'm glad the moisture problem is getting resolved.

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    1. Yes, there is so much going on in the garden at the moment I don't know which way to turn with my camera! Luckily we are both keen on photography and often take the same shots and compare notes but I am definitely the more observant one :)

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  18. What a wonderful set of images, everywhere looks so beautiful at this time of year.

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  19. Fabulous photographs Elaine { or should I say D !! } ..... my favourite time of the year.
    ..... and, my favourite photograph is the field with the sheep ....... great composition.. { I reckon D is really David Bailey !!!! } XXXX

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    1. Ha ha - this post was a joint effort - he has got a good eye though, when he choses to use it :)

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  20. I'm drinking in your images Elaine, especially the lilacs, (my favourite flower) and the yellow hammer, (I'd never heard of those before, and very exotic to me in this part of the world).
    I'm always astounded by the beauty, amongst which you live. Warmest wishes to you. xx

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    1. The lilacs are magnificent this year they must be liking the mixture of sunshine and rain that we have been having. We are surrounded by beauty at the moment.

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  21. pics are really amazing ,loved the flowers too soo pretty and unique

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    1. Glad you liked them - thanks for visiting.

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  22. My husband isn't a gardener, but some of my passion has rubbed off. Hubby came home just yesterday with pictures that he took with his camera phone of a Swallowtail butterfly sitting on his hand.

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    1. My husband isn't a gardener but he does like being outside so I give him small jobs to do like turning the compost in the bin - he can just about be trusted with that - otherwise I have to keep an eye on him as he has a tendency to dig things up thinking they are weeds when they are in fact cherished wild flowers :) How lovely that a Swallowtail should feel confident enough to land on your hub's hand.

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  23. Oh....glad the dehumidifiers have finally gone, fingers crossed the work steams ahead now! I do hope you have another go at a video, I love to see one!
    I love that quote and am jealous that you have red kites AND yellow hammers in the vicinity! You have me smiling re your training of hubs, mine is paying dividends too but a gal does have to have endless patience, years it takes...years! I love those corn marigolds, how fab to have them thriving again. I do like that aerial shot of the sheep too.
    Your pics are gorgeous, I loved the greens in the poppy shot, the lilac and the apple blossom, bet that mantana smells just gorgeous too! xxx

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    1. Hi Dina
      I have been spending so much time working in the garden that I haven't had much time to get out and about to take photos so I am glad D brought back some good photos for me. He sat in the greenhouse this morning taking photos of the birds on the feeders (it keeps him out of mischief, that's what I say :)

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  24. I do love those corn marigolds I shall be on the hunt now you have mentioned them. So glad to hear the dehumidifiers have gone, you must be relieved.

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    1. I actually grew some a couple of years ago they go so well with the blue cornflowers and poppies - I shall have to try them again I think - but it is still lovely to see them out in the wild. Yes we are relieved, they were so noisy but we were also glad that the room has now been officially signed off as being dry (at last)!

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  25. I love the picture of the yellowhammer...so beautiful :)

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    1. Nice to have a rare visitor to the garden

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  26. Your pictures are just amazing! You live in such a beautiful country. I'm glad the home repairs are progressing. Hopefully, they'll be finished before 2020!

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    1. Thanks Tammy it is beautiful around here at the moment - very lush.

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