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The Dancing Poppies

The Dancing Poppies

The Dancing Poppies

“Through the dancing poppies stole
A breeze most softly lulling to my soul”

                                                   John Keats

From a fallowed field full of wildflowers and wildlife in Pyrford last Wednesday! Farming at it’s very best, providing such an important habitat for native wild plants and the wildlife that is dependent upon them. The poppies were utterly delightful but there was so much more besides! All this led to me finding and watching my first ever whitethroat (a bird of the warbler family)! I shall try to put a post together to show you the full range of wildflowers and the birds that I saw. In the meantime I’m posting these beautiful dancing poppies for Wex Mondays this week.

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Blue Monday: A River Runs Through It

Canary Wharf from The Thames Path

Blue Monday: A River Runs Through It

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”
― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

Also part of WPC: A Good Match. The quote just came straight to mind as I looked down the Thames toward Canary Wharf. It seemed the perfect match!

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A Bird For The Bard

The Wren

A Bird For The Bard

Happy Shakespeare Day!

Today marks the 400th Anniversary of William Shakespeare‘s death. It’s also 452 years since his birth! Forget St George, for me Shakespeare is our National Bard and I have decided to honour him with an artistic composite, picturing one of the Nation’s favourite birds, the wren. I had a few glorious moments with this beautiful little bird, early in the morning a week ago along the canal. The birdsong was such a delight and this wren kept me on my toes for a bit, flitting back and forth from one side of the canal to the other! I’ll share my other (more original) images another day as he really was a funny little character.

So why a wren you ask? Well I wanted to represent one of Shakespeare’s famous quotes within a typically English style landscape. I could have gone with a rose, a horse, a skull, the moon (done that one!), a crown, three witches, a dagger, a spot, an ass, a wall, two bees, a stage, a pound of flesh, lawyers, love (repeatedly) or dreams. Phew! But no, there’s a quote from Richard III that was astute at the time and still holds true today I think. One of The Bard’s many cutting comments on the nature of people. Wrens are fast and furious with their chatter!

Richard III by William Shakespeare
(Act I, Scene III) Gloucester to Queen Elizabeth

“The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch”

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity – Imagination

Flame Dahlia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity – Imagination

Humanity is a very BIG word to describe through photography or any other means I think! In terms of relating to the human race and the quality of being human, I think that there is one defining aspect of humanity – our ability to imagine. Throughout the history of our race, imagination has driven our capacity to learn and evolve as no other species. Only a very few animals show signs of this ability and they are among the most intelligent species on Earth next to our own. Many of the greatest minds in history have linked imagination and creativity to humanity. Here a few of my favourite quotes:

I don’t think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it.
Keith Haring

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
Albert Einstein

Creativity is putting your imagination to work, and it’s produced the most extraordinary results in human culture.
Ken Robinson

The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.
Aesop

Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which are everything in this world.
Blaise Pascal

Man lives by imagination.
Havelock Ellis

I imagine, therefore I belong and am free.
Lawrence Durrell

Below is a slideshow showing the basic steps I used to create an imaginative flower study. I like to learn through experimentation. The dahlia I had photographed made me think of a glowing ball of flames. I used Lightroom, Photoshop and my imagination to bring my interpretation to life.

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Monochrome Madness: Look This Way

Look This Way

Monochrome Madness: Look This Way

For Monochrome Madness Week 24, I delved into my files from our holidays in Greece. These two cats were living in Nikea on the volcanic island, Nisyros, which we love visiting by ferry when we’re in Kos. They made me laugh, almost seeming to be on watch duty!

Leanne Cole creates a gallery in her weekly post to share all our entries and I always enjoy reading everyone’s comments. Cybele from “There was a time” had us all laughing with her perfect quote from T.S. Eliot’s book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats on The Naming of Cats:

When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation.

I have to say that of all the cats that I’ve met, Greek Cats are the most Jellicle a cat could be! I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they had secret names in Ancient Greek, Roman and High Egyptian too 😉 I often define the cats I meet by one or other of Elliot’s great poems.  My old cat Pan was a mysterious Macavity type, always up to something but never getting caught out! Pixel was the magical Mr Mistoffelees incarnate! Luna and Juno are very much like two of the kittens, perhaps Electra and Etcetera 🙂 This Greek pair instantly made me think of Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer:

Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer had a wonderful way of working together.
And some of the time you would say it was luck
And some of the time you would say it was weather.
They would go through the house like a hurricane,
And no sober person could take his oath
Was it Mungojerrie – or Rumpleteazer?
Or could you have sworn that it mightn’t be both?

I’ve known a few Jellicle cats over the years and every now again I meet a Bagpuss, although they are more usually found in quintessential English cottages, curled up in front of a roaring fire, purring with contentment! I knew one called Mr Bigglesworth, a big ginger tom who loved a walk with the dog, a ride in the car (not in a basket) and when he was poorly, still managed to purr at the vet whilst having his blood taken!

That Bagpuss reference is especially for fellow blogger Laura Macky, who’s recovering from surgery at the moment. Wishing you a speedy recovery Laura and I hope this post gives you a giggle!