Thursday, 31 March 2011

angel's breath

is it just the breath of angels
that keeps the sun up in the sky?

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Poplar Catkins

what promise do these buds hold?

1st march

I think they are a grey poplar... which is a hybrid of the white poplar & aspen, or perhaps they are white poplar, but i'm still a bit unsure in my identification. If any one can help confirm, or give specific differences between white & grey poplars, i'd be grateful! From everything I've read they seem very similar.

Little grey catkins beginning to emerge... at this stage they remind me of the pussy willow that is also out at the moment. It seems that the poplars are actually part of the willow family.  

While I was looking & taking pictures, 'bits' of something started falling around me... no, it wasn't starting to rain... catkins were raining down though, some whole ones & some small pieces...

There was no wind at all, & as they were only just starting to flower it was too soon for them to fall of their own accord. I scanned the branches above me & soon spotted the culprits...

Blue-tits were pecking away scattering catkins all over the place. They cheerfully ignored my presence & entertained me for quite a while with their acrobatics, spiralling around branches & hanging upside down to seek their prey!

The bark is quite grey and has some beautiful patterns of algae on it.... and the lower part of the trunk has  loads of diamond shaped fissures... a gorgeous texture!

 14th march

In a couple of weeks, the catkins have elongated... you can see the individual flowers that make up each catkin. On both white & grey poplars, the male flowers are red. The trees are dioecious, which means they have either male or female flowers on a single tree, not both.

All the trees in this group seem to be male... apparently this is not uncommon, female trees are much thinner on the ground and have green-ish yellow catkins. 

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Come & play...

... there's a little give-away & news of photo-quotes
 & collage material over at Suzi's Scribbles!!

She smiles... and I feel her light fill my soul
8 x 10 inches print

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A Blanket of Comfort for Japan

May we join together in our thoughts... sending healing, love & calm across the ethers...

May those threads of energy twist together, forming ever stronger strands... weaving together with the thoughts of others across the world and beyond...
forming a healing blanket... infused with love & calm & hope...
Let us spread that blanket over japan & the ocean where the effects of the earthquake are felt....
A blanket of comfort & calm... gently soothing the Earth... absorbing the anguish & pain... gently transmuting them into loving, peaceful energy... a blanket of calm gently soothing & settling the tremors... feel the earth's heart beating steadily once more... calmed by the blanket of love...
A blanket of comfort & calm... gently settling the ocean... absorbing the anger & fear... transmuting them into loving peaceful energy... quelling the tidal reactions.... feel the ocean breathing easy once more, soothed by the blanket of love...
A blanket of comfort & calm.... settling over the nuclear reactors.... gathering in the radiation... absorbing it into the strands.... gently soothing & transmuting.... settling unstable energy... converting it to loving, positive energy.... feel that power reigning in... calmed under a blanket of love...
A blanket of comfort & calm... surrounding the people... absorbing their shock & grief, their fears & uncertainties.... comforting & healing... scattered emotions & physical pain... all being absorbed... and transmuted through the strands of our blanket... into loving positive energy... see them renewed with love & hope & strength... comforted under a blanket of love...
See the blanket growing.... boosted by every thought... every energy transference... see it extending out around the world... tucking it in around everyone affected... around creatures of land & sea & air... a blanket that never wears thin... a blanket that renews & heals & grows...
settling itself over the world.... calming & loving... comforting & healing... people in every walk of life... gently reassuring & encouraging... helping more & more people to breathe easy & feel their connection....
...& feel free to share this...

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Alder... Catkins, Cycles & Continuity

The alder, like the hazel produce male catkin flowers... very similar at first glance, but last years female flowers that have developed into cones give the game away. The catkins began growing last summer and over winter they paused, tightly closed as they waited for spring....

And they are so worth the wait.... this, i think is one of my favourite photos... in good old morning sunlight again. They have a reddish tinge to them and they are bursting out all over the alder trees right now. They are at so many different stages across a single tree, spreading the fertile season for a couple of months.

A beautiful mass of catkins dancing & shaking their fertility dance... young lads strutting their stuff in front of the ladies... both last years cones & the tender new buds of femininity share the same branches as the cycle of new life continually revolves... the spiral of flowers down the catkins & the ridges of the cones echoing the continuity of all life...

See those younger sisters... small red cone like flowers. I always feel that the alder is a representative of balance & continuity... symbolic of god and goddess in harmony, male and female visible all year round at various stages of their cycle. Right now there are two generations of the female flower.... later the mature female cones will drop & next generation of male flowers will begin to grow before the last of their brothers have fallen, whilst the fertilised females will continue to swell & develop... a continual cycle of new life & re-generation....

Seeds have already been fluttering from the cones and will do so til long after the last cone has dropped... the seeds will be carried by wind and water, the alder being well suited to watery and marshy landscapes. The wood is very durable in water, but less so out of it... much of Venice stands on posts made of alder, but an alder fence on dry land won't last at all. It's leaves however decompose quickly in rivers to provide valuable nutrients...

I particularly love this picture too... capturing the smouldering fire energy that is associated with alder... yes fire, for it's ability to fix nitrogen from the water in which it thrives and breath life into poor quality soil... passing on it's essence of continual life in earth wherever it grows... an alchemical fusion of all the elements blessing the land for those that come after it... a tree of life indeed.

This photo is from this week last year... our harsh winter has slowed things down a touch, but the catkins will rapidly lengthen and the leaf buds will soon catch up! I sat nestled into the base of one of these inspiring trees the other day and asked if it had any message for me... the answer? "just look around..." I smiled... and didn't have to look far. One of my first posts was about sitting under an alder and i remember it so clearly... mmm a truly special tree.

The Festival of Trees for april will be about Celebrations & Festivals.... why not head over & offer a contribution?

"This month we invite you to share the news about tree festivals, Arbor Day tree plantings, and other celebrations of trees and forests. Tree-lighting ceremonies, chain-saw competitions, logging shows, wood crafts, tree-planting events, and giddy woodland frolics are all welcome for a complimentary booth at the Festival of the Trees 58."

Friday, 11 March 2011

The Machine

in that hour of nearly waking
he dreamed...

of peaceful days not ripped by noise
metallic joints fatigued & shrieking

of gentle days not jarred by sound
pulverising rocks to dust 

in that hour of not quite sleeping
he sensed...
 celestial mystery at his side 
reflected heavens in silent waters
harmony for one still moment
   last breath of night before the day

See skies from around the world at Skywatch Friday
& reflections of all kinds at Weekend Reflections

(*thank you* Sue for whispering the inspiration in your comment elsewhere)

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Thanks... & Hope Rocks

My thanks go to  the spirit that moves me for this lovely blog award... the feeling is mutual for  the spirit that moves me is also one lovely blog!

I usually put off responding to these until I "have time" to decide who to pass the award onto... of course I think much then don't do! So this time I'm making a mention straight away... and would also like to thank faerwillow over at serendipity and rose at Gryphons & Gargoyles who have passed the same thing my way before. Thank you ladies!! If you don't know them, why not pop over & say hi.

The idea of the award is to pass it onto new or newly discovered blogs & spread the bloggy love around. This is where i get stuck... where do i start & where do i stop... and another hour has gone by as i skip around & read 'just a little bit more'....

So for now, I'm just going to link to one post at Woodstock Lily ...Hope Rocks from Lille Diane. When you've read it, jump back to the top of her blog to discover more about this lovely lady & why not join in with your own 'Hope Rocks'.

I like the idea of secretly spreading a bit of sunshine into the lives of someone unknown.... words on pebbles, notes slipped into books... left in the street, in a shop... anywhere that they will be found... there are countless ways... let your imagination run wild & spread some rainbows into someones heart!

And speaking of rainbows... here is another lady on the rainbow trail of discovery & recovery... 
Paula at Vers l'arc en ciel... (there's a little 'gratitude' rock in this post of hers)

Monday, 7 March 2011

Moon Treasures

As we move around so much, it is not always easy for me to find work straight away, (at least not the paying kind), and so I have decided to put some serious effort into making something from what I do. My calligraphy has been on the back-burner for a while, and plans are underfoot to revamp how I approach that. But as I am nearly always camera in hand these days, this seemed the easiest place to start, and so I recently opened a little shop on etsy... 

I underestimated the amount of time I take to edit pictures and create descriptions, but progress has been steady and will become easier as time goes on. There is still much to add, but some of my photo's have attracted attention already.

This one is in a treasury called "red as a rose... black as the moon"

If you don't know about etsy treasuries... they are collections of items that someone puts together along a theme of their choosing. It's quite a good way of browsing shops, when someone else has done the work of bringing things together for you!

Next came "Moonstruck".... some lovely artwork in this treasury. So far, I've concentrated on my moon photographs in the shop and it's rewarding to have other people choose them for treasuries and direct people towards my shop already. 

This morning brought news of another treasury inclusion... "New Moon". That's three in a week... I feel honoured and thankful. I'm awaiting that first sale, but I've been preparing the ground & sowing the seeds over new moon... I've offered up my prayers... so now I wait and continue the work on various ideas to add to my shop.

Why Lone Crow? Well, the name came a few years ago... I was wandering the woods near an old quarry in Derbyshire where we were staying... a crescent moon was low in the sky and I'd been musing on druids & things shamanistic... a crow cawed above me & seemed to say 'lone crow'... a lone crow appeared regularly over the next couple of weeks shouting the same thing. When I started planning my shop a crow appeared again shouting 'Lone Crow'... it seemed appropriate to use that name now & so Lone Crow Photo was born.
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