Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Monday, 28 July 2008
Sunday, 27 July 2008
The umbellifers (wild carrot and cow parsley) alive with insects, the thin vivid red of soldier beetles, the rigid black of flies that move their wings to reveal lemon yellow bodies, the tiny irridescent black beetles that gather in groups.
A strange lack of birds, explained when we hear the call of a hunting sparrowhawk.
heat haze -
two dragonflies black
against the sky.
A walk along Colinton Dell
Saturday, 26 July 2008
Anyway, I spent part of yesterday clearing litter from the path connecting our stairwell's backgreen to the communal area. I left behind any biodegradable litter, such as wood and also anything that was being used as a home by woodlice etc. The photo below shows the path after I had cleared the brambles, nettles and overhanging branches but before I had cleared the litter. The gardens either side of the path belong to other stairs in the block and I can't do anything with those other than prune overhanging branches and remove the worst types of weeds and litter that are at the edge of the path.
The next task is obviously to do some more weeding. I'm a reluctant weeder, because I like plants too much but the path just doesn't look nice (though at least its really a path now!). I'm also going to sow seeds in some of the verges once I've weeded. I'll buy a packet of shade tolerant wildflower seeds and sow next Spring.
Friday, 25 July 2008
Vipers Bugloss (the wonderful blue and purple stem of flowers in the middle of the photo) has always been my favourite wildflower, even before I'd ever seen it in real life.
photo taken at the Thistle Wildlife Garden, Edinburgh
Thursday, 24 July 2008
It was really nice to be out there on such a lovely evening. We saw loads of swifts, and one of our neighbours pointed out where one pair are nesting. Now that we've seen how the backgreen maintenance is managed, we'll be down there regularly to help keep it tidy - and to watch the swifts. Photos will follow in due course!
Also yesterday I saw a beautiful spider on a plant at Gorgie Farm, looking through photos on the internet , I realised it was a Candy Stripe spider (Enoplagnatha ovata).
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
a batch of tumbling clockwork liquorice allsorts,
spruce, spliced, diced, learning to prance and hurtle
through evening and morning sycamores with what must be
something like happiness
My favourite poem in the collection is An Abandoned Culvert:
The daffodils sang shrill within the culvert.
Their almost acid notes amazed the darkness
culverts are happiest with.
For anyone who admires inventive poetry that fully engages with life, Edwin Morgan has to be on their reading list.
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Crows and Daisies (Polona)
Moments of Perfect Clarity (Julochka)
Ascender Rises (yes another!)
This is My Patch
Its wonderful that there are so many bees around in so many places, because they're having such a hard time. Find out how you can help bees in the UK at the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust website.
Monday, 21 July 2008
At the lower part of Gorgie City Farm, closest to the main road is the wildlife garden. it's so shady and overgrown that it feels really secluded despite being so close to the road. There's a wildflower patch, bird feeders, a pond and a hibernaculum (a nicely arranged pile of wood to encourage small animals and insects to rest and hibernate). There's also a nice bench to sit on, its a nice place to have a quiet lunch if I don't feel like the social buzz of the cafe...
Sunday, 20 July 2008
for the church and hospital -
straight on for Mozambique
of a mango tree -
(These photos are photos of photos and the strange shine on the first two is reflected light on the original photo, no spooky UFOs in Malawi!)
You can read some of my other poems about Malawi by following the links below:
Foreign Lands for Totally Optional Prompts
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Diana Moll at The Qi Papers - a blog about rabbits and art and philosophy
Liza Lee Miller at The Egrets Nest - poetry and nature
Na at Shadows and Clouds - nature photography and more
Lucy who blogs at Box Elder - poetry, nature and photography and at Out with Mol - short descriptions of her walks with her dog
Duncan Fraser at Ben Cruachan - nature, photography and poetry
Sandy at Gardenpath - nature, photography and poetry
Please take this as the honour it is and pass it on to some of the sites you enjoy. The rules of accepting are as follows:
1) Put the logo on your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on yours.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.
Friday, 18 July 2008
Sandy over at gardenpath has been taking bee photos recently too, you can see them here.
AscenderRises also posts plenty of photos of bees, which are listed here (click on the titles to see the photos).
I recently posted a poem about bees here and on Bolts of Silk a poem about bees by Howard Good here.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
dead trees reach branches into endless sky
chasing insects, aerobatic swifts dance
never stopping as they caress the sky
people with umbrellas rush through the streets
as grey clouds move slowly across the sky
the town is surrounded by factories
pumping toxins into poisonous sky
scientists stare at their computer screens
as rockets launch progress into the sky
(for a more optimistic view, please feel fere to read the couplets in reverse order!)
ghazal for Totally Optional Prompts
I also have a ghazal in the ghazal page Moon Radif Challenge, which went live today. The main page for the challenge is here and you can read my poem if you scroll down on this page.
You can read my earlier ghazals here and here.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Monday, 14 July 2008
the sunstroke migraine under sun blonded hair
crops wilting in the fields, cornstalks breaking brown
fish struggling in shallow waters
wildfires raging in tinder dry forests
while from my rainy city I dream
of gentle sunshine on my face.
The sun for Read Write Poem
Sunday, 13 July 2008
buzzing with bees -
rosebay willow herb
Oak trees rise from their undergrowth, the ends of their branches heavy with numerous new acorns. A shield bug like a jewel sits on the end of one branch.
Further up the hill, the woodland takes over, branches meeting overhead, the light green and quiet beneath the myriad leaves. A squirrel runs along a wall, a rabbit jumps through a fence. The air is alive with insects and birdsong.
A song thrush sings -
Corstorphine Hill, Edinburgh
Crowded for Weekend Wordsmith
You can see some of my photos of Corstorphine Hill in earlier posts here, here and here.
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Friday, 11 July 2008
The third photo shows a display made from recycled materials with plants growing over them. This display was made by pupils from a school that has worked with the Suntrap. As well as being a wonderful garden, the Suntrap is an adult education centre, part of a local college, offering evening classes in garden design and amateur gardening and working with adults with learning disabilities, secondary school pupils and using volunteers to do a fair amount of the work of the garden. Suntrap is also open to the public most days and plants are available for sale.
As a haiku writer, I think the bonsai trees deserve a post of their own, so watch out for that in the next week or so...
Thursday, 10 July 2008
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
Behind the main farm buildings of Gorgie City Farm is a steep hill where most of the sheep live, here are just a few of them, photographed the week before last, before the sheep were sheared.
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Monday, 7 July 2008
here in the desperate dust
that scratches and clogs.
Plains stretch forever with distance.
A lone horseman plods
where his ancestors roared
to the mountains,
light glinting on the metal
of their weapons,
shadows beneath them.
A photojournalist stares
through her grimy lens,
dreaming shadows into being,
blinded by light
glaring through glass.
She cannot see the mountains
so the lone horseman plods
forever into nothing.
All that is clear
is she does not belong here
and can never convey
Previously published in Curlew magazine
Light for Read Write Poem
Sunday, 6 July 2008
Saturday, 5 July 2008
thousands of miniature toads
clamber through the grass.
We wandered round Arthur's Seat today and we saw thosands of tiny frogs and toads making their way away from Dunsapie Loch. This is apparently the second day that they have been coming out of the water to make their way to find swampy crevices to hide and grow up in. It was good to see that the Ranger Swervice had put up signs to warn people about the frogs and toads, had shut off traffic through the park and had covered up drains to prevent the young frogs and toads falling in them. Knowing that frog and toad species are in crisis across the world, it was particularly wonderful to see all these youngsters!
Frog Migration on Arthur's Seat (story on BBC website)
Year of the Frog (Amphibian Ark)
Friday, 4 July 2008
taller than the rest
at what point did the herd reject
begone giraffes - you are not of us
or did they just diverge
antelopes grazing, eyes to the ground
giraffes browsing, looking upwards
moving imperceptibly apart
until one moment they realised
they were strangers?
The First Giraffe for Totally Optional Prompts