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!

Friday, 15 November 2013


One of my mantras - to look up. Another, once you are up - look down.

There are special places I return to over and over. Are the same plants there? Depending on the season, the answer is usually 'yes'; if not the original ones, new ones which have grown from their seeds or their roots. Town plants - the wild kind - are as predictable as their hedgerow cousins.

Another reason for returning is to have another bash at photographing plants which 'didn't come out well first time'. (Sometimes they never do.)

This fern is one of several growing on the outer side of a footbridge over a level crossing. The gates don't stay shut for long and it's exciting to stand by the track and watch trains rattle by so whether from patience, laziness or interest, shoppers usually wait till the barriers go up again. Sometimes there are people in carriages. (It's fun being a passenger looking out at the crowds.) Sometimes its a chain of trucks. Sometimes I too stand and wait but I don't like crowds, view climbing steps as a minor contribution to staying healthy - and like to visit the plants on the bridge.

I've never yet taken a really crisp picture of any of the ferns there. I have to reach the camera out over the brick edge and twist it down or back (safe with handrail so I'm not going to tip over) and focus at an uncomfortably short distance which sacrifices depth of field. (Remember, I'm well-pleased with my camera but I can't change the lens.)

Yesterday was no exception. Slightly fuzzy image. Odd angle. But . . .

The train has just passed and a huge column of pedestrians surges over the track in both directions . . . looking at the ground.

They do, of course, have to make sure not to trip on the rails . . . but it's more than that . . . when not looking in windows or checking phones, people do look down a lot when walking along. I do this too - watch my shoes pop in and out of vision. It can be meditative, give a sense of marching forward and purposefulness. Feet are awfully interesting! Hence my mantra - remember to look up.

Look up - and you'll see ferns.

Look behind things and you'll find leaves and seeds. (Even if they turn out at a jaunty angle!)

Look down .

Even underground . . . well, you already know my fascination with drains!

But don't neglect feet level.

Here under a backstreet tree by a multi-storey car-park among fallen leaves and old twigs - about four inches across . . . it pays as much to look down as up. 

And, if you look up - you may see me looking down! If you do - I'll wave.


In my enthusiasm to keep the list up-to-date - I obliterated it. Bother!

But, to me, autumn is the beginning of a new year. It always seems more like new life than new death with everything getting ready for next spring and summer. Always very hopeful. So . . . new list!

Hollis is giving us a really good start with 'Autumn Strategies 1'.

Hollis Marriot blogs from Wyoming in the U.S.A. The terrain is profoundly different from the Dorset land-and-sea-scape I'm familiar with and the plants there often have to use different ways to deal with their environment - one which (it seems to me) is a pretty challenging one. 

Unlike Loose and Leafy - which rambles about discovering things without knowing anything - In the Company of Rocks and Plants gives you proper science too. (Of a very accessible kind.)


Gerald (SK14) said...

You got a clear photo of the leaves by the LC - I look down more than up partly because looking up does my neck in - I don't get down for low shots either much as it's hard getting up again.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hi Gerald. We don't have to take photos of everything we see - glances can be inspiring. It's interesting what you say though because it sheds a little light on your own (brilliant) photographs. They are bold and straight ahead - but also often from a crouched position, surely?

Folks - if you read this comment - I'd encourage you to look at Gerald's Daily post. His photographs of an ordinary (hope it's alright to call it ordinary) and precise urban area will be the delight of historians in the future. (And of his followers now.)


Down by the sea said...

I really must look up and down! I haven't noticed those ferns on the railway bridge at Poole. That 's such a great picture by the multi- storey.
Sarah x

Diana Studer said...

Your pictures have your usual UNusual point of view, which I revel in. Hope we can get your header sorted quicker and easier that my wretched social sharing buttons.

Mark Willis said...

Extraordinary photos of ordnary things! I hope you get your Header back OK.

Anonymous said...

A most enjoyable, and fascinating, post. Flighty xx

Hollis said...

Lucy, you are so kind, thanks. Funny though, I sometimes find myself too immersed in science, and strive to live more in the world of rambling and wonder ... one reason why I enjoy your posts and the neat ways you look at things!

Gardens at Waters East said...

Lucy, I like how you find interesting photos in some of the oddest places. Thanks for sharing. Jack

Donna said...

I look forward to your traveling around to see what you can see...i will remember to do a Tree Following post soon.

Pat Tillett said...

You are so right! All we have to do is look around. You do a much better job than I do. If I'm by myself I'm okay at it. It's always nice to find a little hidden treasure or a bit of unexpected greenery in an urban spot.