And now Autumn has arrived

It has gone much colder this last week and looking through my window into the garden I can see that the hawthorn hedge is slowly turning brown. The leaves on the plum tree are falling quickly to the ground and some of the plants are also dropping their leaves. The blackbirds and starlings are no longer to be seen and the many birds on the feeders include sparrows and goldfinches and there are rather a lot of them! One of the uneaten sunflower hearts has grown into a sunflower despite the foraging pigeons.

There are still butterflies and dragonflies around though. My son and I went out on his weekly visit to Naturescape a wildlife plant centre. Walking over the fields and into the woods we found an area of sunshine and away from the strong wind. There in the hedge were several butterflies, speckled wood ones mainly but there was a rather battered comma butterfly. There were quite a lot of darter dragonflies both male and females and as we walked back to the car we saw on another sunny hedge a beautiful southern hawker dragonfly and near by was a migrant hawker dragonfly. Dragonflies are amazing with their colours and so beautiful to see. It was quite an uplifting visit.

Back home I have been going through old craft magazines and looking to see what I can make. I have lots of small pieces of fabric so can make patchwork items. But this is all for the future. This week I have spent time with adult colouring books. I love some of these and although I have been told they are not art I know that a knowledge of colour is good for this particular hobby. I find that the time passes quickly when I am absorbed with the colouring, deciding which colours to use and where. Often you don’t see the pattern until you start to pout in the colours. I have also been reading on my Kindle as well as exploring a new set of oracle cards.

I am trying to do a bit of planning for the winter months when I am unable to go out but I am finding that quite hard as my motivation is not yet back to normal. But I am getting there slowly. I hope there will be more visits to parks and nature reserves before the weather gets too cold.

August ramblings

Today is the first time for many months that I have sat down to write my weekly blog and did not know what theme I would have. Normally during the week before, something happens that triggers my writing but this week there was nothing. However I do have lots of rambling thoughts I can write down, so here goes.

I live about 1/2 mile from the town centre and have always walked down the hill into town and caught the bus back, a little 18 seater bus that can cope with the streets of the various housing estates it travels through. But since March when restrictions came into being, I had not ventured into town at all. I have walked in the local park or around the streets but not gone into town. I knew I could walk down the hill but did not want to use the little bus to come back. Social distancing is impossible in such a small bus and most of us that use it are in the vulnerable class of being over 60.

I needed to go to the bank this week so my son took me down in his car. It was the first time for around 5 months and I was quite apprehensive. However all went well and I did some shopping as well. But this leads me to another few rambling thoughts.

I belong to several groups , photography, discussion and nature groups. None of these can be attended at the moment. I run the nature group and don’t have a car so the group has closed. Car sharing is not allowed unless with a member of your household or bubble. Some groups have gone online like the discussion groups but I don’t fancy sitting at my computer for an hour or two using Zoom. So while many others can go out with their groups because they have a car, there are many others who don’t have a car and so cannot get back to doing the things they used to do. I find it quite difficult to listen and see on social media just what my friends have been up to just because they have a car. Yet on the other hand I don’t like the idea of single occupancy cars because of the carbon footprint. We were supposed to be getting rid of cars and making the environment better for us all yet we are encouraged to use cars now and not public transport.

A final rambling thought is about the seasons. I wrote last week about the spring flowers blooming in my garden. This week the RHS stated that autumn had arrived and looking around the garden I can see that this is so. Many plants are already dying down and some are yet to bloom. I went for a short walk early this morning. It felt like October out there and I noticed that the trees in the park were starting to turn orange and fall onto the ground. Global warming?

Confusion in the garden world

Confusion is understandable when their is a lot of uncertainty around. This is so at the current time of changing guidelines and restrictions. They change so often it is hard to keep up with them and know what you can and can’t do. I find it quite hard to deal with and tend to stay home instead of going out each day. But this is our human world.

In the garden the other day I was very surprised to find one of my spring flowers blooming again. I really was struck by this so went around the rest of the garden to see what else was happening. And there next to the autumn Michaelmas daisies were cowslips and primroses coming into flower. Maybe they do flower twice a year like some other plants but I have never seen them do this before. I know the weather has been very unpredictable at times going from very hot to cold and wet in a short period of time. I did notice that the autumn flowers are a bit early too as were the Victoria plums which are now all gone.

I’ve always felt that I could follow the seasons through my garden but this is now a bit of a problem when the plants flower at what I feel is the wrong time. Maybe some of you reading this will be able to tell me more about the flowering habits of spring flowers. I mean it has felt like autumn for a few days now. There is that definite smell in the mornings of autumn mists and fruitfulness. But the butterflies and bees are still busy and on a good day there are lots of them around.

I suppose that if we are going through climate change then we can expect more things like this to happen but it will make life difficult for the flowering plants. What are your thoughts on what is happening with my spring flowering plants?

Random thoughts at the Equinox

Equinox, a time of equal day and night, a balance between the two. But everything around us seems out of balance. I do think that the Equinox also signals change as we prepare for the darker days and the colder weather here in the UK. I look around me at the chaos in our world and try to stay balanced but that is hard to do.

After my time out I felt energised and able to do things I had needed to do for a long time. That soon came to a halt as my body decided otherwise and some tiny movement unwittingly triggered a sequence of pain in various parts of my body. So much for balance!

There are definite signs of autumn in the garden as the flowers die back and the hedge has had its annual trim. I have a wonderful thick hedge left over from when this area was farmland. It consists of hawthorn mainly but there is holly and elder also in it. It provides a wonderful home for many birds and also food for them as brambles also grow there. It is still thick and high though and the birds still love it. They give me enjoyment too as I can sit and watch them for hours.

At this moment as I write this blog, the rain is pouring down heavily. We do need the rain and I am sure when it stops everything will look brighter and greener as the dirt and dust is washed away. Rain is so cleansing. But I do not like the dark days as I find them depressing. Trying to stay in balance is hard then too.

This week I was working at my table when something outside caught my eye. A dragonfly which decided to sit on my garden path. I tried to take a photo through the window but it wasn’t very good so took my camera outside hoping that the dragonfly was still there. I then discovered there were two of them having fun mating on my path. I don’t know where they would go to lay the eggs but I am not too far from a small river and lake in the nearby country park. I felt quite privileged that they had chosen my garden path for the their mating union. A positive end to my ramblings. The dragonflies can be the photo for this blog.

Changing seasons

It has been a long hot dry summer but the last couple of weeks have brought us some rain which has been very good for the garden. One day last week I opened the door, as I do every day, to let in the fresh air and to give thanks for all around me. This particular morning was different than the previous ones. It was cooler and fresher but there was also a distinctive feel and smell of the coming autumn.  It’s not something I find easy to put into words but the feel and smell is something I recognise and know that autumn is on its way.

Looking back at the days of summer I see lots of flowers, their wonderful colours still there for the coming days. I noticed the number of birds too. I have a large thick hedge at the top of my garden and it has been home to several broods of birds, blackbirds, sparrows and robins. It has been a wonderful experience to watch them grow into adult birds. This last week a sparrowhawk visited as well. Luckily all the smaller birds were safe in the hedge and surrounding bushes.

I have also noticed the large number of bees visiting the flowers. But many of the flowers are there specifically for that purpose, to attract the bees. There are not so many now but they are still coming finding other plants attractive when their favourite ones have finished flowering.

There has been a large number of different butterflies visiting the flowers especially the buddleias which are commonly known as butterfly bushes. I have also seen damselflies and dragonflies whizzing around the garden but not often settling for photos! The plum tree and the brambles (which are not really wanted as they stop other plants from growing) have done exceptionally well and I have lots of fruit in my freezer. There were so many plums that I have been giving them to neighbours. Someone said it must be the fifth year as you get an abundant crop every five years.

But what I have noticed the most is the abundance of everything. There has been wonderful colour, and food for everything that comes into the garden, and watching the birds trying to get the blackberries and plums has been entertaining at times.

So now the season is changing and there will be different things to watch and to do as well. But my main thought at this point in time is ‘Abundance!’


Moving on

The weather this week has been stormy. Dark clouds rushing along in the sky and heavy rain showers. The leaves are being blown off the trees like magic carpets rushing along. But there are still many beautiful coloured leaves around and of course the weather is making the fungi grow.

But like the storm moving onwards, my thoughts have been doing just the same. I have been going deeper in Reiki seeing it more as a spiritual path than as a system of healing. I find myself drawn to the Buddhist aspect of this but know that Buddhism is not for me. I know others who manage to meld together various different spiritual paths and make it one of their own. In some ways I have done this, taking a lot of knowledge from the Native American paths and mixing it with druidry. Now I am adding the spiritual aspect of Reiki to the mix.

If you ask 100 druids what druidry is you will get 100 different answers and I feel this is the same with Reiki and other paths. We are all individual and we are all unique and therefore our spiritual paths are unique to us too. I find that I take from each path what I feel is right for me and then I have this mix of different beliefs and paths. Is this something that you do as well or do you follow a specific path?

I am also moving on into the darker months of the year as many of us are, when I feel I want to create more, to journal more and to be restful. Somewhere deep inside me, is the germ of another book but it has yet to grow big enough to do something about it. Maybe the darker nights will encourage it to grow. But life is a journey and it goes on every day bringing more experiences, more joy and often more sadness as you get older. I have reached an age where many of my friends have passed on. I have to dig deep and continue to do what I need to do and also what I want to do and progress even more on my path. Moving on is a continuous process. How do you feel about this process?

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Moving forwards

Moving forwards is how it feels so I hope I really am doing this. I have continued to work with the Reiki precepts this week and also taught my first Reiki student for some years. That was an amazing experience and an emotional one too. I have learned so much more about the Reiki energy and how to work with it over the last few years and I am still learning. I have found some good books about Reiki as a spiritual journey and these have given me many more ideas about deepening my work with Reiki. I feel different too which is good as the difference is for the better.

The weather this week has stopped me from going out a lot but I have been keeping an eye on a young swan on the nearby pond. He was pushed off the nature reserve by two dominant swans and is alone at the pond. He was rather battered when he arrived but there are plenty of us to keep an eye on him as dog walkers go past several times each day. I sent him some Reiki energy too and he has done well this week having moulted all his grey feathers and is now able to fly better. I have let the area round the pond have Reiki energy for some weeks now so that all that visits stays safe.

But the weather is cold, wet and windy here now. The wind has been coming over from Siberia bringing extreme cold air with it. The leaves are falling rapidly from the branches and there is a carpet of gold, red and brown leaves on the ground. I can see houses I didn’t see before as when I moved here the trees were in full leaf. It is going to be interesting watching the changing of the seasons here. I notice that we have more birds on the feeders and the squirrel is busy collecting food and hiding it away somewhere. It is time to stock the larder and find the woolly jumpers and thick socks so I am ready for the winter.

Are you ready for the cold of the winter?

If you work with any form of healing energy do you use it for the land around you?

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Changing seasons and seeing under the surface

What a change in the weather this week. Not only has it been very wet but it has gone much colder. The leaves are changing colour rapidly and trees are now less leafy so you can see the birds better. There are blue tits using the new bird feeder and I hope to see many more during the coming colder months. There are more ducks on the pond although three of them flew off this morning! But I love going up to the pond in the early morning if I can. This morning though, for the first time I could hear the drone of traffic. This could be because of the wind direction and also because there are less leaves on the trees to absorb the sound. I noticed too the spiders webs this morning as they glistened in the aftermath of the last rain shower.

Some of you might know that I am a cycling fan and this week I can only sit and admire the feats of one particular cyclist. He has won the Tour de France several times now and this year has gone on to win La Vuelta, the first man to do so since the Vuelta changed places in the cycling calendar around 1995. He is an unassuming man but works hard to do what he does and always thanks his team for their support as without them he could not do what he does. I am writing about Chris Froome of course and I do wonder what challenge he will find next. He also took the time to learn to speak French and is then able to have conversations with notable people in the race management. In public he is always polite and does not have the quirky character that some other cyclists have which means that often the British public do not like him very much despite his achievements. I find this rather sad that we cannot look beyond what we see on the surface.

This applies to other things and people as well. Many of those who are in constant pain always say they are fine when they are not really fine as they don’t want to be pitied by others. Is this a British trait or do other nations have the same kind of feelings? I know I’m just as bad as often when asked if I am OK I will respond with a yes even though I might be feeling unwell.

So a mixed bag of things this week. Are you seeing and feeling the changing of the seasons? Do you see beyond the face value of things?


Autumn is on its way

What a beautiful morning it is. The sun is shining but there is a chill in the air. The dew on the grass is sparkling in the sunshine just like gems do. There is a stillness too; it is as if the plants and animals are waiting for something. There are huge fat rose hips and juicy blackberries on the bushes as well as loads of crabapples. It looks like a good harvest.

The mallards have returned to the pond joining the pair of moorhens who live amongst the lily pads. It was so peaceful this morning when I visited the pond area. My bathroom is finished and the stress has gone so I am more mobile and able to enjoy the beautiful landscape around me. I can see the leaves changing colour now, some gold and some turning brown. It will be interesting to see what it is like in the winter months.

My neighbour and I put up a birdfeeder on Friday so we are now waiting to see what kind of birds arrive. There are many different birds around here including predators as well. But I love the tiny wrens too which nest in the nearby hedges.

My new book is finished and I am waiting for a proof copy to check for any spelling errors I have missed previously then it will be available for everyone. I will put details on here when it is ready. So now I am looking for new projects but have found a couple of half written books from some years ago so will work on those first.

This week I have also replaced one of my very large chairs with a smaller one and then moved my computer desk which I no longer use and given the swivel chair away. It has made a lot more space for me to move around and I feel better for the larger space. Little things like moving furniture around can make such a difference.

I hope you enjoy the coming days as autumn returns to our land. Tell me what you like best about the changing seasons.



A miscellany of thoughts

Deciding what to write about this week has been quite hard. There is so much going on in the world and in our lives that choosing the right thing did not come easy. So this is maybe a bit of a ramble about different things. First of all autumn is definitely here. There has been a distinct change in the colour of the leaves this week and one or two trees are almost bare. The wind is much colder and any flowers left blooming in the garden are dropping their petals and dying down. A new set of shelves sits in my garden now with pots of spring bulbs on them. They are complete with copper slug collars to deter the slugs from eating the bulbs before they even sprout.

This week seems to have been full of challenges, some larger than others. Little things like my mobile phone deciding not to work as well as the scanner and then a download from the Record Office refusing to download. Other challenges are physical as my arthritis plus whatever else it is has flared up quite strongly. I had a knee replacement ten years ago and I think it is now wearing out! So getting out and about has been somewhat restricted.

But there are good things too. I am doing a course at the local museum and this is very interesting and has enabled me to meet new people who have at least a few things in common like local history. I would like to find the druids who are lurking somewhere but I am sure they will appear when the time is right.

Let’s hope next week is challenge free!