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rhsshow-37

A trio of metal bees for £17.50 from Patio and Terrace… http://www.patioandterrace.co.uk

On Sunday we went to the Cardiff RHS Flower Show in Bute Park. It was a glorious Spring day and it felt great to be out and about. In previous years (click here for 2012 and 2013) I took a lot of flower pictures, but this time I seem to have taken far more of the outside trade stalls.

First there were the insects… Continue Reading »

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Green leaves on the hornbeam

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At last it seems like Spring – although there is still a slight nip in the air. I went for a wonderful morning walk in the fields to visit the hornbeam I have been following for Loose and Leafy.

The first time I visited, I walked across muddy rugby pitches; the second time I walked up along a steep main road; the third time I took a bus and it went the “wrong” way. This time I got it right, starting at a slightly different entrance to the fields and sticking to the footpaths.

I was relieved to find Continue Reading »

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Rainbow colours in a spider web caused by diffraction of light – from Earth Science Picture of the Day

Please indulge me while I share some shiny things with you.
I always get like this in Spring, when the sun grows stronger and nature has a certain sheen to it.

I think it’s a woman thing, a gatherer trait inherited from our Stone Age forebears, who must have spent their whole lives looking for bright, shiny berries to pick and eat.

And in many species it’s the male who displays and the female who appreciates it. Apparently not in humans, but diamonds are still a girl’s best friend. So here I am exploring both sparklies and more subtle lustres – as I look at the words iridescence, opalescence and pearlescence. Continue Reading »

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My hornbeam in late February…

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I didn’t plan to post another Loose and Leafy tree following update so soon after the last, but I got the urge to go and visit my hornbeam again and the resulting pictures don’t warrant a major posting, so I will get it off my chest before moving on to a “proper” visit on another day.

I had been slightly worried that the tree might be felled, after spotting men with chainsaws on my last visit to Llandaff Fields… Continue Reading »

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The tree I am following, pictured this week…

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Well, I hoped this tree-following lark with Loose and Leafy would be educational – and I have already been gobsmacked on just my second visit to the “random” tree I chose in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff.

In my first bulletin, I foolishly said I thought it was a European beech (Fagus sylvatica). Oh, how wrong I was!

Fearing I might Continue Reading »

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Magpie (Pica pica) eating a mouse, perched on an ash tree in the garden

Spring is coming to my garden but as well as the usual new life bursting out all over the place, there are some losses, too.

I think the blackbirds are nesting outside my window – I saw a female taking a beakful of grass into a spiky Mahonia bush. But I fear it won’t give enough protection, as the magpies and crows are already Continue Reading »

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Admiralty Park, Holton Heath…

There’s a great novel called Ursula Under by Ingrid Hill, “a daring saga of culture, history, and heredity”. A little girl falls down a mineshaft and we learn of all her wonderful ancestors who were born thanks to minor miracles that brought their parents together or saved them from early death. By quirks of fate does our personal DNA come together.

Obviously I would not be here today if my parents had not met. So in a way I owe my existence to World War II and specifically to the manufacture of explosives by the Royal Navy…

My father was from South Wales, my mother from South Dorset. What could possibly Continue Reading »

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