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, 9 August 2012


Crocosmia (Montbretia) on a cliff beside Portland Harbour (Dorset)
Crocosmia (Montbretia) on a cliff beside Portland Harbour (Dorset)
I've just returned from a holiday in 36 degrees centigrade. (29 degrees in the shade.) When the plane touched down on our return to Dorset, it was greeted with a shower so brief we might have numbered the drops if we had bothered to stop to count. Instead, we breathed deep. Grass! We could smell grass instead of dust!

There's nothing wrong with dust - it's just that green grass is . . . is . . . a bit more refreshing than dust. There's nothing wrong with hibiscus. Indeed, it smells delicious. But where the air was hot and the ground dry, few plants flowered untended. The Gardens of Babylon are remembered after centuries. Gardens are special where there are no hedgerows.

Ragwort beside Portland Harbour (Dorset)
Ragwort beside Portland Harbour (Dorset). See the bee?

On the bus from the airport into Bournemouth roadsides were bright with ragwort - all of it happily looking after itself. Beside the train track, buddleia bloomed on the hills. How would Babylon have compared?

Buddleia and ragwort clash. They are not one of nature's best combinations. But there they were. If I came from a place of heat and dust, I expect I'd sniff the air as I arrived and delight in it just as much for home is home is home.

However could they have missed this when they televised the Olympic sailing?  - Dried white seeds on star ubrel.
However could they have missed this when they televised the Olympic sailing?
But I was not born in Dorset so the air, the plants, the light, the sea - they bowl me over as an incredible luxury still, even after twenty five years.

Being without my camera was a condition of my going - one I willingly accepted for there are ways of seeing and of being. So there are are no holiday photos - only coming home ones. And what a home to come home to!

An earth path up a bank between wild flowers.


Mark and Gaz said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time away. And what a home to come home to indeed :)

Lucy said...

So fortunate on many fronts!

Bridget said...

Nice to get away but even nicer to get home again.

Lyn said...

Oh I couldn't go on holiday without my camera although my hubby would love me to!
Welcome home to our beautiful country.

Donna said...

Sounds like a restful wonderful time away...Makes us appreciate our homes...everything seems fresh!

Carolyn ♥ said...

Love to travel but oh it's nice to come home. I share your feelings. You live in a beautiful place.

Toffeeapple said...

I hope you coped well with the heat when you were away.

I'm always glad to get back home so I wonder why I go away...

Down by the sea said...

Welcome home Lucy, I do enjoy looking at your posts so much. It's so easy to take our habitat for granted thank you for reminding us how wonderful it is!
Sarah x

Janet said...

You've reminded me of how lovely grass smells when you come back from holidaying in a hot country. We are lucky to live on this wet island. (no, really)

Dartford Warbler said...

A wet garden after a summer shower is one of the best smells ever.

Everything is looking so lush and green here now, so I can imagine how wonderful it was to come home to green summer in Dorset. I do wish they would clear some of that ragwort on the way into Bournemouth and along the A31 in the Forest. Not good for grazing animals, despite its vibrant colour.

Rofo said...

mother nature is the best home
Lovers' Shore

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

a holiday without your camera - depends where you went - now I wouldn't go anywhere without - wish I'd had one years ago - the places I've been with no photos to record - still I'm away next with camera but no internet access - can live without one but not t'other.

Lucy said...

Hi Bridget - I was very glad to be home. The long anticipated holiday didn't quite fit what we'd expected so that its ending was as good as its beginning.

Hi, Lyn. Then you understand! - Is there not a familiar groan which goes up every time a camera comes out?

Hi, Donna. We came back with lots of memories and experiences.

Hi, Carolyn. Maybe if I lived in a less beautiful place, I would have been less pleased to be home - but there's always something special about opening the door and walking in, even after a brief time away.

Hi, Toffeeapple. I coped better with the heat than I thought I might. Phew!

High 'Down by the Sea'! I booked the holiday before I realised we would be away for the middle of the Olympics. Everything seems odd this year!

Janet - yes! We are lucky! Though being hot and dry instead of hot and wet meant we didn't come home with any insect bites - not like last year when I was a walking meal for midges.

Hi, Dartford Warbler. I doubt there are many grazing animals along the main roads so I continue to enjoy ragwort. I'm puzzled by the debate about it too - am I not right in thinking it's only a problem to horses and cows when cut and dried?

Hello Rofo - if nature is our home, then we never leave it! We are at home wherever we go! A good thought. Though I think she offers a kinder home in some places than in others.

Hi Gerald. I have mixed feelings about the camera. To leave it behind was as much a discipline as seeing with its eye usually is. I regret it in many ways, of course - but in others . . . The holiday has gone into a sort of dream world instead of a recorded one. There's something special about that.

Mark Willis said...

I know what you mean. It's always nice to get back home to England and see the countryside - especially in Summer when the fields and hedgerows are so abundant, with flowers and fruits.

Caro (UrbanVegPatch) said...

Hi, just found your blog via Bridget in Arigna. Love this post, I used to live in Weymouth when young (my dad was stationed at Portland airbase). Lovely to see your photos and such a deep appreciation of nature all around us.

Anonymous said...

Lovely to see the photos of ragwort. I know it has a bad reputation for horses and farm animals but it is a great source of nectar and pollen for bees. I've just done a beekeeping course and it was fascinating to discover that you can tell which plants the bees have been foraging on from the colour of the pollen in their pollen sacs. The bees we saw on the day had bright yellow pollen from ragwort. What a beautiful part of the country to live.