Saturday, 30 June 2012

evening pleasures

Our cheeky squirrel does his very best to deprive the birds of their peanuts - sometimes almost falling off the tree in his eagerness to guzzle those peanutty morsels.
He also makes free with their little seed table, swinging blithely as he scrumps an apple core. He is just one of our little group of garden wild folk who give us pleasure every day.

In the evenings, I quite often go down to the bottom of the garden - "down in the dell" and sit or stand, very very quietly, just listening to the varied sounds of the world getting ready for moonlight. As I watch and wait, this rose fills the air with it's beautiful scent. I wish I could describe it adequately, or translate it into pixels or bits and bytes to share it with you. It is part vanilla, park musk, not too sweet, slightly luxurious but delicate enough not to overpower. If you go up close and sniff, each individual flower has an almost not there aroma, but put all together, it fills the dell, coming and going depending on the breeze, sometimes tantalising, sometimes enveloping, always utterly delightful. The individual flowers are beautifully delicate, but the plant itself is an Amazon.

 It clambers about, scrambling across all in its path, reaching, oh twenty or more feet up into the ash, spruce and birch trees around it - so high in fact that when I tried to take a picture to give some sense of it's scale the individual flowers almost disappeared, but if you look very closely you'll see that it has scrambled half way up the trunk here as it reaches high, high to the blue blue sky to hold its cupped flowers to the evening light.

As I sit in the quiet evening air I listen for the badgers coming out from their den. The birds' evening calls gradually quieten, the sun sinks behind the trees in a glory of purple and gold, dusk creeps out from beneath the darkening leaves and suddenly, with a hushed rustling they are there. They scuffle and scruffle about in the undergrowth, grunting and chittering and huffing to each other, rolling and tumbling amongst the grasses and wild flowers, then scampering across from one garden to the other, taking no heed at all of our irrelevant human boundaries, which are but recent additions in the long history of their great Badger Citadel. They move so quickly and are often so deep in the undergrowth that I can only catch glimpses, but the thrill of hearing them playing together, following their movements by sound alone has a deep magic. As friend said only yesterday, to photograph that would somehow chase the magic away.

On lighter evenings though, I can capture the things that are giving me pleasure at the moment. The flowers of the leeks, just bursting from their papery cases
 the delicate veins of the rocket flowers against the red lettuce - how could Peter Rabbit resist?
 our native orchid still being guarded carefully in a pot, but placed so the seed can fall where it may grow
the dwarf beans with their delightfully alien looking flowers
 strawberry flowers, with ladylike little ruffs of delicate green
these glorious ferns in my dear one's fernery; this is the new growth, vibrant in the shade of the elder
runner bean flowers cupping the last of the sunlight
starry bells of blue, self seeded on the boundary, like bits of sky applique'd amongst the grass
and the delicious ice cream colours of this clematis, which has excelled itself once again this year.
It was nothing but a single dead looking stem, buried deep in the overgrown shrubs when we moved in, but I cut it back and trusted in Nature's persistent determination and she has rewarded me with great bounty.


  1. I love the squirrel acrobatics - I had one in London which used to hang, bat-like, upside down next to the bird feeder and gorge himself on birdseed. He was a beast, he even barked at the cats!

    1. Now there's a delightful thought - Rum 'n Raisin being shouted at by a squirrel! Your new place looks delightful - glad to see the hook's still hookin'

  2. What a lovely post, thoughtful with beautiful photos. I also enjoy squirrel antics in my garden, I have 2 black ones that visit.