Sunday 17 September 2017

...birthday flowers and soggy dogs

It was my birthday earlier this week. I'm feeling very lucky because I won this beautiful Wivenhoe plate, made by potter Pru Green, in an eBay auction which my lovely husband encouraged me to bid on for my birthday (I normally maintain a strict, self-imposed, £5 limit to keep my magpie impulses under control). I just love it - especially the detail in the flower heads and the pretty blue floral vase (it's like owning two pieces of Pru Green pottery for the price of one). It will be going on the wall in my kitchen where I can see it every single day.

The colours are a little more vivid in real life. 
The flowers on the plate look more like daisies, but their floaty petals and intricate centres remind me of the gorgeous lilac coloured flowers I photographed earlier this year and have been ever so slightly obsessed with ever since. I searched the internet and discovered that they are traditional cottage garden plants, called 'Scabiosa caucasica' - commonly known as 'pincushion flowers'.

Another of my birthday presents was a clever little collection of clip-on lenses for my cameraphone. I used the macro lens to take photos of the pincushion flower seed-head I picked (hoping to grow some plants from seed in my own garden next year). They are top and bottom right in the photo-collage below. To the naked eye/standard cameraphone lens the seed-head is just a non-descript beige cluster about the size of my finger tip. But up close, it is quite stunning - intricate, delicate, and tinged with pale green and purple just like the flower it came from. The photos I took are a little blurry - even tiny tremors are magnified and I couldn't hold the camera still enough to get a really pin-sharp picture - but they have a lovely ethereal quality, I think.
Here are some more:

Aren't they miraculous?

This morning's walk was through the woods that surround the park. It was raining, but we stayed quite dry beneath the branches of the trees while the XXSCat dog tried in vain to keep up with the squirrels. The last leg of the walk took us past the lake, which has patches of very dense duckweed growing around the edges (in the foreground of the picture below). To an inquisitive XXSCat dog the duckweed layer appeared to offer the perfect vantage point from which to inspect the water. I stopped her jumping 'onto' it once, but when I turned around again she had decided to disobey me and was doggy-paddling at the edge of the lake with very startled expression on her face! She is quite a fastidious little XXSCat dog, and would never knowingly choose to jump in a lake. I hope she will eventually forgive me for being helpless with laughter all the way back to the car! 

It was a very comical end to a rather nice autumnal stroll, with lots of stops for photos along the way.
This afternoon I will be doing more sifting and sorting - it is becoming a Herculean endeavour as the weeks progress, but my labours will be worth it in the end.  

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