Garden Creatures, Mississippi Style

Artwork of possum and flowers in Jackson MS

2020 was a year we’ll remember for the worst reasons, but there were a few highlights. I learned, for example, what this was.

The artwork was covering a window or gap in an alley in Jackson, MS. I immediately took a shine to it because of the fierce creature’s eyes, the flowers and the (almost) heart shaped nose. But I had no idea what it was – it could have been imaginary for all I knew. We don’t have opossums in England. The nearest I could think of was an alternative badger with a tail and a decidedly uppity expression. Continue reading “Garden Creatures, Mississippi Style”

Footprints in the Snow

Bird prints in the snow

We had a scattering of snow on Friday, so around lunchtime I wrapped up and went out to see if there was any fun to be had.

One of the pleasures of a fresh covering of snow is the chance to lay down a trail of footprints, and to follow other people’s. (Unless that’s just me being childish!) Finding this bird print pattern in a quiet part of town was a small treat. Two or perhaps three visitors had left their traces on the pavement before me. Continue reading “Footprints in the Snow”

World Soil Day is 5th December

Barred Plymouth Rock chicken with single red comb

Earth’s name should remind us of its thin layer of soil that provides 95% of our food, but how much do we know about the soil? It’s one more thing most of us take for granted. I certainly found no pictures of good old plain soil in my files and found myself wishing I’d taken a picture of a giant molehill I noticed a day or two ago.

Scientists compare our soil to a living skin, vulnerable to rough treatment, chemicals and erosion. And rough treatment is often what it gets.

UK readers may be feeling outraged that one of our beautiful, meandering rivers, Hereford’s River Lugg, has been reshaped by landowner(s) who almost certainly knew of their legal duty to protect it. A site of special scientific interest, the river and its “riverbanks, gravels and beds of water crowfoot are home to crayfish, otters and salmon, lampreys and dragonflies and a host of rare river wildlife” to quote The Wildlife Trust. Continue reading “World Soil Day is 5th December”

Kinda Bold

Rosebay willowherb autumn colour
Chamaenerion angustifolium (Rosebay willowherb)

Rosebay willowherb is a colonising weed that appeared in the final picture on my recent post about Darwen moor. While few of us who know it would care to cultivate it, I have seen a white form in some fancy gardens. The pink form, shown here, is eminently overlookable, not because it lacks beauty but because of its ubiquity. It would be impossible to take a countryside walk round here without meeting it along the way.

I found these plants growing wild on the edge of farmland and was struck by how lovely they looked in their autumn colours. Early evening light and a blue sky added a little magic. Continue reading “Kinda Bold”