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!

Saturday, 17 September 2011


When we set off for our exploration of England and Scotland, I'd imagined I'd come home with lots of photographs of plants.

I didn't.

It rained. My, did it rain! You know the myth about people who live in snow-filled worlds having an almost infinite supply of words to describe the consistencies of snow? I now wish I had words for rain. Never previously have I realised how many kinds of rain there are. Some are beautiful. Some are as hackneyed as buckets of water thrown into the set of a B movie. But through all the kinds of rain we travelled, never did I find one which would make friends with my camera.

There were other disincentives too. Telling the people one is travelling with (Esther Montgomery and her family) to stop posing for holiday snaps and get out of the way of a leaf - isn't friendly. Nor is expecting them to wait while you crawl through the undergrowth. But these are not the only reasons for my empty handedness. Nor are they the most interesting. For I have learnt the value and importance of familiarity.

August 8th 2011

This is one wonderful landscapes we found ourselves walking in while we were away - part of the Goyt Valley in Derbyshire.

Fortuneswell (Dorset) Portland Harbour, Chesil Beach and The Ridgeway.

This is what I am used to.

Standing where I stood to take this photo, I am close to the Young Offenders' Prison, the stone quarries and the Old Railway Line I described in THIS post. The great bank of pebbles stretching into the distance (Chesil Beach) is pictured in THIS one. Most of the hedgerows featured in this blog are straight ahead. I live in an especially plant-rich environment - but people who live in the hills and the moors would say the same of the land around their homes - for they know what they are looking for.

If it hadn't rained so much, I would have learnt what to see. As it is - I re-learned the value of 'home'. Context is crucial. Familiarity opens our eyes.

August 8th 2011
This is the tent we travelled with - set up on Cold Springs Farm, right next to the Goyt Valley (pictured above).

Here are the plants we came home to.

The ripened sloes.

Little yellow daisy flowers. (The blue dots are the remains of Vipers Bugloss, still not quite over.)

The seed of Alexanders. (Which, to my embarrassment, I used to think belonged to Ground Elder.)

Brambles and willow herbs.


Fossils which emerge from the rocks, almost as I watch.

And the sea, the sea, the wonderful sea. It's the Isle of Portland, straight ahead. (I was standing on the highest point you can see here when I took the second photo of this post. If I had still been there, and had binoculars, I could have waved to myself.)

I'll show you more from our adventures as the weeks go by. But first, I celebrate 'home'.

(All local photographs were taken today, September 17th 2011.)

Esther's posted about one of the places we visited while we were away - Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire - HERE.


Toffeeapple said...

A lovely post Lucy, you must have had fun! It's good to know that you are back and I hope you are relaxed and ready for Autumn.

I am going back for another look at your pictures.

linniew said...

I love how you could have waved at yourself. And like you, I love home. A trip makes it perfectly clear though. What a beautiful town, and the sea!

Bridget said...

It's nice to go away and appreciate what we see. But it's even nicer to come back home and appreciate with new eyes what we have there.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Lucy:
Quite by chance have we discovered you through the comment which you left on The Idle Historian, and are delighted with your posts which centre on and around, for the most part, the countryside of Dorset, an all time favourite county.

For many years we spent long weekends in Lyme Regis, which we love, whilst Swanage, and in particular Peveril Point, is known from childhood holidays all through the 1950s.

Your write of the natural world in a most informative and evocative way which is a real joy to read and is, at the same time, a lovely reminder of England.

We are so sorry that your recent holiday was wet!! C'est la vie!!

chasity said...

you got some great shots... even with all the rain.

sounds like a great trip.

Elephant's Eye said...

For me there is something calm and reassuring about my fynbos, instead of wondering what IS that plant, and do those flowers belong to those leaves. I can heave a sigh of relief, protea, erica, restio, bulbs . Tick tick tick tick ;~)