Until July 2017, documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Monday, 30 March 2009


(The picture of the forsythia isn't here for any reason other than that I like it.)
Remember the council and its flailing of the hedgerows?
Well, I wrote and said I thought it had all been rather harsh (especially with the mature trees) and that the timing was unfortunate and isn't there supposed to be a close season between March and August (for the sake of birds).
Here are some quotes from the reply:-
'I understand your concerns and comments and we will try to reduce the amount of trimming and adjust the timings as much as we can.'
'We will try to manage this as carefully as possible but trimming will have to occur during the summer at some point, we will try to amend when we do the harder trim back.'
'As far as blackberries are concerned I am afraid that if there is a need to trim we will, but again I will try to manage this better in the future to avoid when they are ripe but as this time tends to vary each year I cannot guarantee I will always get it right!'
Well! What do you think of that!
It's been a surprising couple of weeks for correspondence. Here is some more:- I wanted to replace my camera / phone with one the same as I dropped down the loo so, having been unable to find one in the phone shops, I emailed the manufacturers.
The beginnings of Queen Anne's Lace.

Quotes from the reply . . .
'In response to your email regarding your D900i, as far as we are aware this phone has not been stopped.'
. 'However, unfortunately we don't have specific details of retailers for any of our phones.' How can they not know precisely what they are, or are not, making? How sad they don't know who might be selling their products. (It turns out no-one's selling this one. Probably because they've stopped making them.) All is not lost - the one from eBay has arrived and I photoed the dandelion clock to celebrate. I'm glad I held out. But - there is a downside. Spring has been doing its thing even if I haven't. I've missed much of the fun. Ah, well. None the less, here is a sequence for the little hawthorn trees.
13th January 2009
5th March 2009
29th March 2009
And the blackthorn is in flower.

This morning, I was wandering along feeling despondent because nettle beds are growing at a tremendous rate in front of branches I want to look at . . . and because I missed the moment when buds broke . . .
"Why," I asked myself, "am I doing this?" No answer. There is no reason. I just am. And it's a delight, even if a pointless one. In particular, I have become rather fond of blackthorn. I've also become a peculiar kind of neighbour.
. Yesterday, I was just about to take a photograph of the ground when a neighbour stopped to chat. It was really pleasant, standing there in the afternoon sunshine - except all the time we talked I kept glancing round her shoulder. How could I complain that the sun was moving away from weeds while we talked? As well as growing more fond of blackthorn, I have learnt how fast The Sun moves (or rather The Earth). So . . . by looking at undergrowth, twigs and leaves, I've learnt more about the universe. Extraordinary.
For the Post After This - In Praise of Ground Elder


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

So the council may -- or may not-- take more care in both their trimming and timing of trimming.

And the manufacturer may -- or may not -- know its own product line.

Ah, well!

At least you know sun and shadow, and there's nothing wrong with being a peculiar neighbor.

Note: I find that if I make a point of talking to myself (or better yet, to my plants) when I know the neighbor is in earshot, it actually reduces the amount of time he wants to chat with me! :)

Heather said...

So glad you found your new-to-you phone - I missed the phots!

Gary said...

Hi Lucy,

Glad the photos are back up to your very high standard,although I liked your efforts with the other phone too. You do get so used to using a particular bit of kit, it becomes second nature.

In regards to the trimming our local farmers do it around here and are very careful when they do it, not during nesting season etc. By far the worst I ever saw was network rail 'the train of death' huge flails that cut medium sized trees down, awful thing.


petoskystone said...

pleased that your ebay phone is working out (so far). blackthorn flowers are lovely! you sound like someone with an artists' eye, as opposed to peculiar. but then, when i am in the midst of something i don't stop to chat--i do both.

Lucy said...

Hello Monica.

Daft, isn't it!

But the response from the council is very much better than I had anticipated. I once phoned about Oxford Ragwort, when it dries out at the end of the season, horses die if they eat it. Farmers are obliged to kill it. Shouldn't the council do the same on its land? They suggested I do it. (Steep slope. Mountains of ragwort. Very pretty but . . . ). I said I couldn't. I wouldn't. And if I did, what would I do with it then? They didn't know . . . so it flowers on!


Lucy said...

Thanks Heather. I'm not totally happy but it's better for me than the others I tried.


Lucy said...

Thanks Gary.

I wish I could have kept that very black and white facility.

I was right, though, about each phone / camera having its own personality. The last one, despite being the same model, wouldn't take pictures of white flowers. They just came out as blodges. Clearly this one does better with that - but at the expense of giving some things a pinkish tinge. If I'm not careful, clouds will be in a perpetual sunset. And I've taken photos of some of the branches I'm following and they look pinkish too. It doesn't happen all the time so I'm hoping I'll find out how to stop it.


Lucy said...

Petoskystone - I find multi-tasking very hard. Also, I don't think my neighbour would understand if I said I wanted to photograph a weed rather than concentrate on my conversation with her. If I were taking a picture of a very beautiful rose or something, I think it might be different. But the main problem is light. Unless you are looking carefully, which most people don't have reason to do, you'd think a static object will still be there in a few minutes - so the photographing can wait. But the less noticed non-static object, the Sun (Earth), is constantly on the move and it changes everything as it goes.


Plant Mad Nige said...

Lovely to have the pictures again, especially blackthorn. Just take care not to have your phone with you in the bathroom! If you do, you may - or may not - drop it down the loo again.

BTW I believe Oxford ragwort is not dangerous. It's our native perennial ragwort that can kill horses. And, poisonous or not, it's a very beautiful plant with wonderfully ragged leaves and bright daisies, and it's the food plant of the cinnabar moth.

Lucy said...

Hello Nigel.

I agree, Oxford Ragwort has really pretty flowers and it would be a shame to see it go.

Since reading your comment I've been trying to find information which says it's ok for livestock and horses but can only find references to it being not so.

Earlier today, I set up a blog-which-isn't-a-blog


because I wanted to show someone what Clematis Armandii is like
and I've put a photo of Ragwort there too (which I took last year). Probably, if you take a look you'll find it isn't the Oxford variety after all (sudden loss of confidence at this end!) - so I've called it just 'Ragwort'.

Not that the council thought it was safe to be there either - they simply said if people took their horses along a route which has notices specifically saying it isn't a bridleway, well . . .

And they were serious about me pulling it out myself. The man I spoke to suggested I got up a team of people to do it.