Apparently it’s easy to grow from its seed and I might try it. I found quite a bit of information on how to go about it. Germinate Seeds from Spindle Trees – BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine
And here is another website link, it is full of information about this interesting bush. Tree Lore: Spindle | Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids (druidry.org)
I just want to add a little note here. I am not being very active at the moment both in posting and in reading posts from others. I am very busy but also my inspiration seems to have taken a downturn. I know this won’t last so I am just going with it. It is good to have a period of reflection as well as a period of posting a lot. I’ll soon be reading all your blogs again dear friends and followers and I wish you all the very best. Thank you for reading my words.
We woke this morning to an icy cold and beautiful sunny morning, yes it had frozen even here in usually mild West Cork. So I could not wait to get out and feast my eyes on all this frozen beauty, and I was not surprised to find that everything in the garden was gleaming in a sparkling white coat. Yes, old man winter had walked the land that was plain to see. The temperature was 4 degrees Celsius. But the sun had already come out and I could feel its warm rays on my skin, I had gone out without a coat or boots and soon my feet were freezing. The bright, beauty of the morning filled me with energy, it is such a change from all the rain.
The landscape that I am thinking about if not some wild stretch along the coast or hill side here in West Cork. It is, rather, my immediate surroundings – our garden, where I have access any time of day or night and can make observations in any season of the year. Let it be during my early morning stroll past the vegetable plots to the back where everything is disorderly and where wild things grow, or let it be during the height of day when the sun is streaming through the tree canopies, or at times when Irish mist engulfs us and brings the clouds real close to the earth. Night time too is good to find and learn to understand the many creatures that are about.
Our garden is small, it slopes down slightly and it has four mature trees giving shade, a chestnut, silver birch, hawthorn, and a Mediterranean oak. These all provide shelter for the many birds that frequent on a daily basis, from the little wren to the hooded crows – all are very welcome.
I find it a source of immense pleasure and joy to observe not only all the plants that grow, but to see and know all the wildlife – every little creature, to find out their species, their lifecycle, their name. To take photos of them helps me sometimes to study one or other aspect of them in more detail. There is always more to learn and discover, and I find a lot of information on Google as well as in books.
Why my garden, and not the larger landscape around me. Well it is down to logistics really, my garden I can go into at any moment, it is a daily ritual, a meditation that I have got so used to that it would be hard to live without it. The wider landscape does get observed too, but not that frequently.
In the garden next door the people keep a pony, this attracts a certain amount of flies to the neighbourhood and that is good. The other neighbour keeps a small hive of bees, and it is nice to have those come into the garden at times. Behind our dilapidated sheds at the very back, where some rotting wood also gives shelter to a variety of insects, the ground, covered in wild plants and grasses, slopes down towards the town, well below us.
And so this small bit of nature, filled with wild plants and herbs has an eco-system all of its own, rich in variety and brimming with creatures, a goldmine for anyone with an interest. Great joy can be found in reading this landscape and finding new discoveries every day. The changing seasons, even the high temperatures and drought recently brought about unique or forgotten surprises, like the very large wasps that we had not seen for many years.
I watch, and listen, and observe, and I find that the natural world is a great source of joy!
A bumblebee that was sitting on the bathroom window, not moving. I grabbed my camera to take some shots and then got out the honeypot and as soon as I touched the surrounding area of this beautiful insect it put out its proboscis and started to suck the honey with gusto, lovely to see this. It gave me another chance to take photos. I see this little bumblebee type in the garden a everyday, feeding or at least looking for nectar on the flowers of the large comfrey bush. They are very small in comparison to other bumblebees and move fast, never been able to take a photos until now. Just found out something else interesting, from observation, they do not go into the comfrey flowers, rather they bore a little hole in the tip of the flower petals and suck that way (I guess). I’d love to have a proper identification. I’ve looked at all sort of websites without any luck. Now I came across a blog post of a fellow blogger that looks very interesting, it is at https://standingoutinmyfield.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/cheat-guide-to-the-irish-bumblebees/
Could it be a young male B.Lapidarius I wonder? And no it is not! I have since learnt from a very reliable source, one of my fellow bloggers who is an ecologist, see her blog at https://murtaghsmeadow.wordpress.com/ that our little bumblebee is a bombus pratorum, or early bumblebee worker. It is not a male because males do not collect pollen and in the photo we can see lots of pollen on its legs. Only the queens and the workers collect pollen, the males do visit the flowers for nectar though (Murtagh’s Meadow).
Just adding two more photos of other bumblebees from the garden.
This one is also small but it has two bands of yellow and a white bum, so different from the previous bumblebee.
And this is a large one orange top, a lovely one. Must get better photos though.
I would also like to pass on recommended reading: Dave Goulson’s book – A sting in the tale –
“It’s like living in a light bulb, with the leaves
Like filaments and the sky a shell of thin, transparent glass
Enclosing the late heaven of a summer day, a canopy
Of incandescent blue above the dappled sunlight golden on the grass.”
From John Koethe’s ‘Sally’s Hair’.
Breakfast under the Hawthorn tree is such a summery pleasure, birds singing in the trees all around us, what a beautiful start to the day.
Today I was inspired by the shadows of some trees along the road to town, what I saw reminded me of some of the impressionist painters like Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Paul Cezanne, and others, also more modern painters like Marc Hanson or Terri Ford. I have always loved the way these guys painted the shadows under the trees, and indeed I love walking under trees during sunny weather for the same reason, the sun playing among the leaves, the shadows in all shades of grey, the dappled sunlight interesting and playful. The shade under the trees giving perhaps cooling to an overheated brain.
How I wish I could paint these shadows, and that light.
So much is happening all around us in nature this month, insects abound, blossoms and wild flowers are everywhere, and a soft rain that makes everything green and fresh, and brings out the tender young shoots of trees and shrubs, falls with regular intervals on the slightly warmed soil, it is a delightful time.
I’ve seen quite a few Bumblebees, a reassuring sight – hoping for good pollination. Then I came across this large Wasp, my first this spring, I could not resist taking a series of photos. The Wasp itself became irritated when I disturbed it and went standing high on it’s little legs, it’s wings flapping vigorously.
Along the hedgerows Foxgloves are already starting to come into bloom. The meadow flowers like Buttercups, Daisies, Speedwells, Dandelions, and the Cuckoo pints are found in abundance. The Willow Catkins, the Cherry- and Apple tree blossoms are out in full glory, a wonderful sight to behold. Along the hedgerows are seen the lovely bunches of green flowers, they are called Sun Spurges and they grow in abundance around here, mainly in sheltered hedgerows, and not too high above sea level.
Above: Cuckoo pints and a Willow catkin
Above: some sort of House Fly
Above: The Sun Spurge
Above Apple blossom
Above: First Wasp of the summer.