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!

Thursday, 16 December 2010


Every year is odd in some way. This year had its discomforts - for a while I was without a camera. But having a new one has been a delight!

Disregarding that blip, Loose and Leafy has documented a year in the hedgerows. Old scenes have been re-visited. New interests developed. The only constant is that I respond to what I see rather than have a detailed plan ahead - so the posts flit about randomly, depending on what I notice of what has flowered, died or reappeared. Much depends on weather! Much depends on page space (and time!) so all sorts of interesting things get missed out. 

(I’ve seen them though. Rarely a few days go by without a camera walk.)

June 5th 2010

In May and June, the focus was on colour

Viper's Bugloss (Echium vulagere) and Wild Fennel (Foeniculum vulagare)
June 30th 2010
and patterns.

July 1st 2010

In July I stood up for Bindweed.

(When I'm not championing Bindweed, I'm sticking up for Ground Elder - this is the blog where villains are allowed to celebrate!)

Cowslip - Primula veris -
August 15th 2010

In August, seeds roused my interest.

September 22nd 2010

In September, I began to pay attention to the wild plants of towns and cities.

Sandsfoot Castle, Dorset.
Built in the 1530s.
Now falling into the sea.

October 12th 2010

In October, I was drawn to the seashore - looking up as well as down!

Beadlet Anemone - Actinia equina - November 5th 2010
In November, I began to notice creatures - not cuddly ones but interesting none the less. This blob which looks like a shiny bit of plastic is a Beadlet Anemone. When the sea comes in, its top opens and tentacles emerge to grab food from the water. These creatures are carnivores and though small (rising up to about 5cm when fully expanded) are violent. They'll tolerate members of their own group but are likely to attack Beadlet anemone intruders and sting them! (Looking at this shiny red thingy, I find it hard to grasp that it is animate, let alone able to distinguish one being from another.) They are common but I have only ever seen them under water before I came across this one. And even though they are common, scientists don't yet properly understand how they reproduce. (Collins Pocket Guide to the Seashore talks about both male and females disgorging their young. Sounds disgusting, doesn't it?) I find this very reassuring. It's nice to know that, although I am more ignorant than others, ignorance isn't completely avoidable!

Each year, I’ve looked for fungi. Now I’ve become more aware of  lichen too - and here is some on frosted rocks.

December 9th 2010

Frost on rocks on this part of the south coast isn’t common but, hopefully, through the year, I have shown the uncommon in the common - and a few things new too. I have certainly found plants, fungi, seaweeds, lichens and creatures I haven't thought about before, even if they are ordinary in the experience of 'proper' naturalists and however many there are in the wild. 

Thank you for accompanying me on this journey.

The spring will come and we'll be back to pretty flowers, wonderful colours  and unfurling leaves but, just at present, the hedgerows are full of berries and birds hunting for food. It's all pretty stark, the light is dull and it's getting close to Christmas.

Have a wonderful celebration!

Here’s to the year (s!) to come!

Meanwhile . . . .

P.S. This is an advert for my other blog  - Message in a Milk Bottle

Message in a Milk Bottle takes up where Pictures Just Pictures left off. (A picture a day without words). There are lots of plants and twigs and leaves and stones shown but Message in a Milk bottle offers a place to the urban, the abstract and the domestic as well. Why not follow me there too? I’d be glad to read your comments.


Rosey said...

It is always fun to look back and see the places blogs take us. I love lichens and moss as well. And I love that is is random, it makes it all the more interesting. I will be sure to check out your new blog. Thanks

fer said...

Your photos are great! A very nice tour through the year.
And I always enjoy seeing your other blog as well. A lot of beautiful places to see.

Michelle said...

A wonderful journey it has been!

Lucy said...

Hello Rosie and Fer and Michelle.

Glad you enjoyed the trip through the year. I look forward to 2011 in your company too.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.


Phoenix C. said...

Enjoyed the tour! The beadlet anemone is amazing! I also love the photo of the frosted licheny rocks.

Damo said...

Great photos, what a tour! The seashore looks fascinating.

Rodwell Weather said...

Good stuff Lucy,

Liking the shots of Sandsfoot from the other side, which not many venture round to see.

Have a good Christmas


Lucy said...

Hello Phoenix C. The Beadlet Anemone really is extraordinary isn't it? When I found it I truly thought it was a piece of plastic, it was so bright and shiny. I even thought 'what a funny place to find a scrap of rubbish'!

Damo - the seashore really is fascinating. I'm never sure how much to show of it on this blog because most readers come here for wild plants - not algae and invertebrates! On the other hand, it is such a pleasure and privilege to be able to explore there, I can't resist posting about it from time to time.

Thanks Rodwell Weather (I don't know what to call you except by the name of your blog!). I don't know if you've been along below Sandsfoot recently but there's a huge piece of graffiti on it which says 'SKINHEADS WERE HERE'. I nearly showed that too!


Angie said...

Hi Lucy - it's been a joy to see through your eyes the beauty in all things great & small. Thank you.

Amanda said...

Great round-up! I've always had a soft spot for bindweed - but haven't ever had to deal with it in a garden, so maybe that would change my point of view!

Hope you have a great Christmas and New Year.

The word verification I'm seeing is 'excesse'. Which seems appropriate for the time of year!!

Jane Marie said...

It's wonderful to reminisce wtih you. Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

easygardener said...

A neat roundup of your various interests over the year. I like the seed head - they look like sugar covered jelly sweets in the centre :-)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I enjoy the unpredictable nature of your rambles. It's all so new and different to me. (Well, maybe not the dandelion.) Your photos are always so mesmerizing.

Noelle said...

Hello Lucy,

One of the things that I love best about blogging is that I can post about whatever I want....even if it deviates from my plan (I usually don't have one). I have enjoyed reading your posts over this year and your various subjects :-)

Country Mouse Studio said...

so happy to have found you and I look forward to reading your past year and year to come.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Lovely journey. Wonder what will happen next year.

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a lovely wander through the year! Lovely photos

Eliza @ Appalachian Feet said...

I enjoyed the retroactive view of your blog posts, it's always nice when people highlight their favorites. Thanks!

fer said...

Hope you had a very merry Christmas and have a Happy new year!

Carolyn Gail said...

I enjoyed your look back on the year until I got to the villianous bindweed. Gulp. Having grown up with Kudzu, the vine that ate the South, this ranks right up there on my top ten garden foes because it chokes out and kills so many beautiful plants and I've spent much time and effort trying to control it.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year -the year of the Rabbit by the Chinese Zodiac ( another garden foe :-)

Jan@Thanks for today. said...

I enjoyed your quick look back at the past year, from your perspective. There is so much to absorb when it comes to nature and what is all around us--some of which we can see before us, some of which we need the close ups from the camera lens to remind us just how vast this world around us really is.

Emma said...

Hi Lucy and great to meet you via Twitter and to also find your blog. I love this post, really great photos and interesting with it. My goal this year to really look at things closely again, with my photographers eye rather than the usual dashing about which seems to go on! Emma

Lucy said...

Hello Angie. I am very privilege to live in a place where there is so much of interest right on the doorstep.

Hello Amanda. I think it's the same with many flowers. You look at each one individually and you notice its beauty. If you find its beauty spread all over your blackcurrant bushes, you lose some of your enthusiasm.

Jane Marie. I wasn't quite sure, when I wrote this post, whether it was a good idea or whether people would see it as a re-hash of what they'd already seen - so I'm glad you enjoyed the over-view.

Hell Easy Gardener. The cowslip seeds remind me of rough cut brown sugar.

Mr McGregor's Daughter - I enjoy the unpredictability too. In one's garden, one knows what's there. When I go out with my camera to see what's in the hedgerows, the plants are as much a surprise to me as they are to you!

Hello Noelle. I'm glad you've enjoyed the year on Loose and Leafy. I agree about blogging. I suspect if we were to conform to expectations rather than to own interests we'd be likely to lose our way.

Country Mouse Studio - I'm glad you've found Loose and Leafy too and look forward to your visits in the year ahead.

Yolanda Elizabet. It's quite exciting. I know there will be old friends of plants and fungi to re-visit but there will also be the surprise of what the sea brings in.

Crafty Green Poet. Hello! I'm glad you like the photos.

Hello Eliza. It was hard choosing just one thing from each month. I have even more in my 'favourites' list.

I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and are geared up for the year ahead.

Happy 2011.


Lucy said...

Hello Fer. Indeed, I had a very pleasant Christmas and am now looking forward to the year ahead.

Hello Carolyn Gail. With this blog, my garden is everywhere that isn't my garden (if you see what I mean). I don't dig or weed - just watch - so it's easy not to worry when I see a plant rampaging over everything in sight, it's part of the interest. I wouldn't like bindweed to make a spectacular take-over bid in my home plot though! I might lose my enthusiasm if it tried to do that!

You make an interesting point, Jan. The inside of the cowslip is an example. Having looked at the photo, I went back to the plant but, however hard I peered into it, I could see little but small brown dots. The sugar-lump effect simply wasn't visible to my eye.

Hello Emma. I'm pleased to have come across you too and look forward to seeing what happens on your blog as you put in your 'photographers eye'!

Have a very happy 2011, everybody. I look forward to meeting you here throughout the year.


dublinsteve said...

Such a pleasure to see how others view their native flora and fauna. So much different than catching it it on cable tv! Enjoyed the journeys here and will be back. Steve