Friday, July 31, 2015

Dragons stll be here

Thursday 30th July 2015

Another six dragonflies came out of the pond today. In total that makes 22 this year. (That I know of.) It is likely there are others as Southern Hawkers are so green they blend in the vegetation very easily. You have probably seen enough dragonflies from me so these will be the last this year. Unless a National Geographic quality shot gets taken.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dragons, Rockets and Sky

Tuesday 28th July 2015

Another four dragonflies came out of the pond today. In total that makes sixteen this year. It was a very cool, grey, rainy day so that puts paid to my theory that they only emerge in good weather and that they all emerge within a day or two of each other. If the weather doesn't improve soon they will wish they had stayed in the water.


The other highlight of the day was finding some orchids growing in the field next to the garden. This is the Common Spotted Orchid (so called because of the black patches on its leaves.) It is a small flower but on close-up is a perfectly formed and colourful flower. Common or not, I'll be glad of any orchids I can find around here.

Finally here is a picture of the sky today. Ah, the typical English summer. Black clouds are brewing on the horizon and a dreary drizzle permeates everything. Perfect, see you later; off to sunbathe. Well I am northern and it is almost 60 degrees F.
Enjoy the picture of Darwen Tower. You see where the inspiration for the NASA Apollo programme came from

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Evolution grows cold in its isolation
It follows now a retreat of fairness
There is no breath left
To let sail the ship of progress
We are moored in our regrets
Becalmed in the harbour of defeat
Furl the sails and drop the iron
There is no fair wind
To take us back out to sea
No more new worlds to inhabit
Save the ones we cannot reach

Monday, July 27, 2015


Rain falls upon streaming grass
Watery teeth biting upon growth
And slipping between the shades
Vampires of yellowing grassland
Flying on moistures twilight breath
Fearing sun and garlic
Swim in shady oceans of darkness
And a thousand piercing mandibles
Attack abundance as reward
Humanity is their gift of summer
And they nibble upon our softness
With the tenderness of a tickle

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Facing sun in new spatial quadrant
Gathering brown arms reach out
Landed rain damps wizened skin
Penetrates the deep, green armours
Leaves float lost upon sunless bough
Twist and curl in yellowing rage
Hurl Lammas leaf as last defiance
To the jaundice of autumns approach
The crows leave the hairy crown
Squirrels delve to the heart of the tree
Time comes now to slowing growth

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer summary

Well it has not been the greatest summer so far from a hot and sunny perspective but the rain had certainly made things grow tall. The Lovage and Gunnera is absolutely massive this year. I stood in the photo of the Lovage and Gunnera to scale it and I am just over 6 foot tall. The trees are growing so fast but already the leaves are limmed in that yellow cast that means summer is passing and the pergola I made in the winter is slowly being covered in clematis.
Rabbits have made a big comeback this year and are trying to eat every flower and plant. If the dog damaging the William Shakespeare rose wasn't enough the rabbits have now completed the job and decimated him. Shakespeare will not bloom here this year. 'So a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet and be just as tasty apparently.'
The lack of bees and wasps this year is disturbing. Even in previous bad years they have not been so appreciably absent. So to sum up this summer; lots of rabbits and rain and growth, but no bees, butterflies or bathing.

Around the lake are young ducklings and a family  of Cormorants (I always think of the seaside when I see them.) If you look at the picture there are Gulls and Cormorants so you could be forgiven for thinking that it was taken on the coast and not 30 miles inland.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Time freezes growth; suspends its advances
The great clock of summer rises and falls
And another summer settles into past
And so comes light to its declining  
The new moons swallow dusk whole
Swimming upon moist twilight breath
Like celestial whales devouring day
In nights wide oceans of increasing depth
Where we swim back to the longer days
To first days of spring that last evermore

Monday, July 20, 2015


Hopes are not absolute
Nothing ever was
We seek only the key
To unlock eternity
But each layer of encryption
Broken and unpicked
Releases more unknowns
Boundaries are pushed
Science stands to open door
A guiding light
To a bigger prison
That we built
Time is not ours to enslave
All we may do
Is live the less like heat
And be more like rain
And simply water existence

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The garden week

I've been counting dragonflies and frogs this week. I noted eight dragonflies over three days and all of them were southern hawkers. They have emerged almost one month later this year and it is still a wonder to me how they synchronise the event.

The frogs I have seen have all been immature adults of about two thirds of normal size. Don’t know what has happened to all the adults but judging by the lack of frogspawn this year something pretty calamitous. Let's hope there are more breeding pairs next year.

There is something magical about dragonflies. In part it is the mythical name but also its transformation from an initial aquatic state to that of air.  It is a natural form of the mythical 'alchemy' where something base is made to become precious. It is one of the most visible of the summer insect emergences and as it happens around water it is relatively easy to locate them and it lasts for many hours. I have never seen a butterfly emerge from its pupal case; have you, and where would you even look to find one? Nature is a force that captures innocence or rekindles it; even if that innocence is the birth of the most fearsome insect predator flying the July skies.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Terror transfers from water to air
To birth upon the sunlight
Monstrous nymphs climb bulrush
Unfolds, reborn, remade, redesigned
Wings stiffen and fill;
    Like collagen plumped lips
Jewelled chitinous covering deepens;
   Into organic enamelled art nouveau
You were late to wake this year
Metamorphosis is served cold
But no less the magnificent for it


Tuesday, July 14, 2015


It is inexplicable
Unmovable, intractable
Truth is inconvenient
But its application
Now that is a study
Of a glorious deceit
For alone
It has no story to tell
Truth would always lie
To keep the peace

Monday, July 13, 2015

Friday, July 10, 2015


My velvety coat is black as coal
My temperament that of a gentle soul
Above my head in all that grows
Where the shadows fall I do not know
There is no light that I can see
No morning sun or starry sky for me
I'm quite content to live below
The biting frost and raging snow
It's true I'll ruin your vegetable patch
Ever hunting nice worms to snatch
And all I ask I one thing from thee
Please leave me alone to burrow free

Found this mole underneath a brick yesterday - he looks like he has hurt his paw. Probably all that digging! Rare to find them like this. He initially tried to dig his way out of the situation and then scarpered like greased lightning.

Thursday, July 09, 2015


We are temporary
Insubstantial consequences
Like summer rain
Falling ever downward
In a living dream
Till we too reach an end
And dissipate into memory
Absorbed again by earth
Having watered existence

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Rainbow Swarm

With the call of sunshine
Colours of every hue
Are hauled from brown earth
By the clear, clear water
Rainbow swarms invade gardens
Upon stingless wings of growth
They are the engine of creation
To build elegance from dirt
Infinite scents, shapes and colours
Not in the whole universe
Though there are more stars
Than blades of grass on Earth
Could there be anything so unique
As our splendid flowers

Tuesday, July 07, 2015


The moon rises over her
Silver wolf fur gleams
A she-wolf comes
Torn from western isles
White fur and wide paws
But she is no sibling
And deadlier than the male
This distant ungentle canine
Soft and yielding naught
Thus does the alpha male
Look up to the full moon
Upon the summer night airs
And wish for the peace
Of his glorious yesterdays
And he shall have it
In just a little while
Ere she returns home

Bees and Butterfly in July

Buddleia globosa (Orange Ball Tree)

Sunday, July 05, 2015


This transformative masque
Performs in one morning
And to anything smaller
Entering its orbit
It is a releasing havoc
Upon the summer days
In these temperate forges
The combination is found
A watery lock is unpicked
And the dreadful nymph
Scourge of the deep and airs
Becomes fearsome dragonfly
To leave the water in peace
And fill the air with dread  

Saturday, July 04, 2015


Nothing may hurry now
Warm days rise like bread
Sun and sin, bake and brown
Flowers becalm turbulent airs
Of a thunderous approval
It is the oven spring of summer
And watch everything cook

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


And possibilities boil
To incredible vapours
In the vessel of older age
What thoughts appear
When wisdom and caprice clash
Yet the mind is fragile
A cerebral heart beating too fast
Thrumming overtime in wonder
I cannot sleep so well now
In these days awash in gravitas
My ideas now all unhorsed by time
And we cannot reason on everything
And expect to survive; for long