iggandfriends

Life, crafty stuff, long walks, thoughts, and little oddities.


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A resting place

A late walk this morning

Creates a different world.

The light on the water

Strikes and bounces

Illuminating hidden crevices at the river edge.

A sudden splash in the water

Shows the leap of a fish.

The wagtail is nowhere to be seen

In its usual spot.

The wild barley glows golden in the sun

And there, nestled in the seedhead

A ladybird seeks its rest.

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A moment in time

I blink

And before I stop to pause

The summer has been and gone

I stroll along the river bank

Wild grasses dance in the breeze as I pass

Bleached white by the sun and the wind

Leaves rustle overhead

Edges painted the first fiery tint of autumn

And the river rushes by

Heading at full pace into the future

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Sunflower and sunshine

In the morning light

The petals slowly unfurl

Centre revealed

Turning to drink in

The rays of the sun

 

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First sunflower of the year  opens in the garden to cheer me up. Sorry for the delay in posting – been ill for a couple of weeks and am slowly getting back to normal.


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Butterflies and brambles

Under a brooding sky the butterflies play, busy about their business.  A flash of red and orange as a small tortoiseshell flutters past, coming to rest on a bramble. I take a slow step, then a second. A twitch and up they fly – not one or two, but clouds of butterflies, spiraling round overhead. Bright in contrast against the rainclouds gathered. Blissfully ignorant of the approaching storm they return to sip, getting heady on nectar and sun.

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NB – back up north this week, attending an interview for a post up here. If prayer is your thing, then please pray for all those being interviewed and all those doing the interviewing, that God’s hand will direct us all to the right decision for this group of parishes. Thank you.


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Silver sun and rainbow cloud

Silver sun played across the sea today, chasing waves with shimmering light. The seagulls whirled and skirled in celebration, dancing in the gentle breeze. Out at sea a gannet dives, black silhouette against the brightness. And above a cloud shares its rainbow, rejoicing in the summer’s eve.

 

cloud rainbow


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Opening

Almost imperceptibly, the garden wakes to greet the rising sun. From the tight clenched night-time bud emerges a new beauty. Slowly, very slowly, one by one, the petals open up. Unfurling in the light. Vulnerable. Hot red radiating out from the core. The sun travels onwards, moving across the garden. There the face of the flower rotates, blossoms under its touch. Centred on the source of light. The heart of life. Until, fully open, it worships with unveiled face.

ranunculus


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Fairy rings and drunken bees

The playing-field was mown last week. Dry grass still lies piled in rows. Yet the daisies are back again, white stars shining. By the swings and between the goalposts the earth shows through, a threadbare patch of green. Trodden down by excited feet.  If you look closely, a fairy ring lies under the trees, where the little folk come and dance by moonlight. Through the gap and over the dry ditch on to the path homewards. The hedges are laden with may-blossom this year, white froth edging the track. Purple grasses wave gently in the breeze, a faint rustle at the edge of hearing. The flowers seem to smile in greeting as I pass by, buttercups gently glowing in the light. A bee bumbles past, weaving from flower to flower. Sipping the honey, drunk on summer.

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Forage and feast

Down the shore we crunch, stones rolling under our feet. Not far. A couple of steps. And there, within reach of the boat ramp, they lay. Bright yellow flowers wave in the breeze. Raggedy leaves. He stoops and picks a sprig. Sea radish. Tentatively we try it. A hot kick. Goose-grass sticks to our trousers. We sample a portion. A small patch of vetch curls up it’s tendrils – a taste of spring peas. Then on to the next plant – sea beet. A smooth oval leaf. Gingerly I tear off a portion of the leaf. Salad greens for the picking. The scurvy grass lays nestled under the shelter of the beet. Full of vitamin C. Not sure about the taste. Dandelion lies in the shingle. One tug and it comes out, roots and all. We move onwards to the stream that runs down the bay. Otter territory, this is. Usually I look for the spraint. But today we find water mint. And hemlock –  much to be avoided! We slither onwards across the shingle. Orache, sea kale, nettle. Getting braver, we sample all. Onwards again. There lies a clump of sea campion, heads nodding in invitation. Try me, it seems to say. Honeyed petals, sweet to taste. Delicious. Suddenly the shore becomes a dining table.

sea campion

NB this was a guided walk organised as part of world oceans day. It was led by Mark from Galloway Wild Foods. You can find out more about wild foods and foraging on his website, and you can find out about other events he runs. My morning run may never be the same again!


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Flatfish and crabs

Low tide and the sand stretches out in front of me, rippling out to the sea. The water in the rock pools has been warmed by the sun all afternoon. I take off my shoes and paddle in, gasping slightly at the cold. Not as warm as it appears! In the depths, the sea lettuce waves gently in the current. Gentle steps I take, staring into the water. Puffs of sand rise up as the tiny flatfish and blennies swim rapidly away. A young plaice – no bigger than my thumb nail – lies camouflaged on the bottom. Sensing my approaching toes it flees rapidly away. A crab stares at me from behind a curtain of seaweed, before burying himself in the sandy floor. Slowly I wade my way up to the head of the bay, stopping to stare now and then.

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Warm winds and sunset seas

Shimmering seas merging into blue skies. A fishing boat seems to almost float in the air, the line between earth and heaven barely visible. The warm breath of wind brushes past, whispering a welcome. A curlew soars above, singing greetings. Content, I sit and watch as the sky slowly turns golden, turning my face to follow the light.

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