Blue Monday: Of Dust Motes And Dreams

Of Dust Motes And Dreams

Blue Monday: Of Dust Motes And Dreams

The late holly blue butterflies are still flitting about our waterways, gathering near the budding ivy where this generation lay their eggs. There are still wildflowers blooming along the Wey Navigation canal path where I spotted this, and other males, seeking nectar. The beautiful light, streaming through the trees to shine on this tattered little beauty, inspired the poet in me again.

Of Dust Motes And Dreams

A little worn
And weathered

Faded hues

Summer blues
And greens
In light streams

At the rim

Paper-thin wings
Still holding on

Yet strong
Agile in flight

Daintily alight
Upon wild
Bowing blooms
As dusk looms

Steadfast sprite
Drink deep
This sweet

Stave off
The long sleep

Last notes
Of a hushed song

Impression retained
In glittering

Flittering away
To dust motes
And dreams

This is my entry for this week’s WexMondays challenge. Good luck to all taking part!


This Is Bliss

This Is Bliss

This Is Bliss

This image just had to be the one to share today for ShareMondays2018, Fotospeed and the WexMondays challenges! We’ve been away to Shropshire and Worcester this weekend visiting parents-in-law. Driving over the Long Mynd on Saturday afternoon was glorious! Fast-moving clouds shifting the light and shadow across the heathers and bracken, short sharp showers and a real freshness in the air. The countryside up there looks positively verdant compared to much of Surrey, still parched from the long, hot summer! I had hoped to see some ponies and got lucky near the second car park. I can’t walk very far at all, but they were just in range for me to ramble my way over. The group had five mares, a gorgeous foal and this fabulous stallion! He posed among the heather for a while, knowing full well just how beautiful and photogenic he is, but this particular moment brought such a grin to my face it became my instant favourite photo of the week. He’d wandered closer toward me and then sank to the ground to roll about with such a blissed-out expression on his face! That roll definitely hit the spot and reached that itch. They were a chilled-out family group, coming right up past me as they grazed. It was truly blissful perching on a rock watching them! Being away has limited how much processing I could get done so I will share some more images of the group later in the week, especially with the lovely foal!


Say It With Flowers

Common Blue Courtship

Say It With Flowers

The recent rains have brought green back to the slopes of Box Hill, along with a wealth of wildflowers! It was rather lovely to watch these male (left) and female (right) common blue butterflies courting each other upon the wild marjoram flower buds. Sadly their dance of love never reached it’s conclusion as the courting couple were rudely interrupted by a busy bee!

Common Blue Courtship


Bald As A Coot?

Coot Chick

Bald As A Coot?

While a young coot chick might look pretty bald, this is not actually the origins of the phrase. It’s in reference to the white frontal shield of the adult coot (see image below). This similarly applies to the name of the Bald Eagle, which has a fine head of white feathers. Bald also appears in the word Piebald, referring to horses, birds and other animals that are black and white. So where does this word for white actually come from? Annabel Rushton sheds some light on this in the RSPB community blog:

You often hear the phrase ‘bald as a coot’, but as you can see from the photo, they are covered in feathers. Even the chick, though a little sparse on its head, has a flame of red and orange down. So where has the saying come from? Well the word ‘bald’ is actually derived from an old English word ‘bala’ which means ‘white patch’. If you look at a coot, they have a white patch above their beak known as a ‘knob’ or a ‘frontal shield’. It is this that has given rise to the term ‘bald as a coot’, rather than because they are featherless.
Coot and chick

Coot and chick at Claremont Landscape Gardens

The Idioms website adds:

A coot is a water bird which has marking on its head that gives it an appearance of being bald. It does have feathers on his head but it is the way it looks from a distance that gives this expression its shape.

This phrase has been in existence since several centuries with the first literary use being in 1430 in ‘Chronicle of Troy’ written by John Lydgate.


I couldn’t find a specific name for a coot chick, such as duckling or gosling so I propose to start calling these cute yet odd looking chicks cootlings or cutelings. What do you think?

ShareMondays2018: On A Slate Grey Day

Pied Wagtail on a slate rooftop

ShareMondays2018: On A Slate Grey Day

Sunday was a grey old day! The views from Box Hill were muted and hazy. It tried to rain on us! Still, there’s good coffee and cheese scones at the cafe to accompany the delightful song of this lovely little pied wagtail, perched on the cafe roof. I really loved the tones of green and gold in the background, the moss and lichen topping the slate roof. The box trees are about to flower, catkins and buds adorn the branches just about everywhere you look. Even without the sun it was starting to feel a lot more Spring-like! This sight and sound was a highlight of the week for me so I’m posting it for all three challenges today, Wex Mondays, ShareMondays and fsprintmonday from Fotospeed.