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, 2 May 2016


Tiny, naked, pink, plastic doll on a tarmac path.
May Days are celebrations of . . . May  . . . and Spring (ish) . . . and manual labour.
Roman Catholic Readers may also be aware it's the Feast of St Joseph the Worker. A pretty good collection of celebrations!

For most of the day I was at the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival. It was really, really sunny - but not too hot. (Perfect.) There were masses of people. (Good for the town.) But not so many one felt crowded. (Good for me!)

I bought a T-shirt with a plesiosaur skeleton on it. Took a look at fossils for sale in a tent. (Bought none. Very particularly I didn't buy the £2,000 crocodile head from Africa.) Drank a cup of coffee from a cafetiere and went to a lecture about pre-historic creatures of the Jurassic Coast.

Then content after a happy day - came home.

Sunny days at this time of year tend to end in misty evenings and it's an inadvertent tradition that I set out to take photographs for Loose and Leafy when it's dull, or rainy or otherwise not-a-good-moment for taking photographs. My last post was sprinkled with rain-drops. Ready for this one, light decided to fail early. (If you are unfamiliar with Dorset, you may find it hard to believe this is one of the hottest and sunniest parts of the UK!)

Well, anyway . . . out I went with my camera.

Red creature cropped from the plastic cherub photo.
 Trombidium holosericeum do you think?
(Velvet Mite)
Now the picture at the top of the post . . . you may find it a surprise here. Perhaps, you may think, this would have been more appropriate on my other blog - Message in a Milk Bottle. But if you examine it carefully you will find something very specially interesting - apart from finding a plastic cherub lying on the path. This little doll was very small - barely more than an inch from top to toe - but it showed up bright and pink against the black of tar. Unmissable.
Now do you see why it belongs here? At the bottom edge of the photo, towards the left hand edge, unbeknownst to me at the time, a tiny red creature had walked into frame. The red is extraordinary but I don't know what it is. Anyone?

Washing machine (or tumble drier?) in a ditch.
This next picture . . . I know it will get much blood boiling among readers. Even I, one usually more conscious of the photographic potential in things left lying around than its status as rubbish . . . even I don't like to see washing machines or tumble driers or whacking great bits of board in ditches. But it is fascinating, isn't it? That someone has gone to the trouble of trundling it to a place where cars don't go so they can tip it under a span of honeysuckle and hawthorn.

Plants hanging on at the edge of a tarmac path.
Next up on my walk . . . 
I tend to call all sorts of plants dandelions when they aren't. Here's one of them which might be . . . or might not be. I don't mean the groundsel (with the little yellow flower) but the one with the bigger leaves. You know how I'm fascinated by urban plants? This is not one, despite the path. Behind me is the sea. Ahead you can see the blur of Alexanders. This is an urban-wannabe.

Silhouette of a sycamore bud with a little bit of colour showing.
Here's another thing you will have gathered over the years - that I get to like particular trees and photograph them over and over - even if, like this one - it's impossible to photograph them other than against the light. I've watched a bud from this tree morph into a summer leaf and into autumn. And its seeds ripen. Here we go again - yet more silhouettes on this friendly sycamore.

Newly opened sycamore leaves with flowers.
If you are a long-time reader, you will be familiar with these kind of posts. If you are new to Loose and Leafy, perhaps I should assure you I sometimes take photos of pretty flowers in bright sunlight. In summer there will be butterflies and hoverflies and . . . and . . . things like that. And come autumn there will be hips and haws and blackberries. 

And I've noticed, over time, that despite the ordinariness of what I show you here - I've never yet found anything rare - Loose and Leafy has an indefinable yet specific identity. I reckon if I were to take its name away from the header, and that you found yourself here by chance, you'd know in a trice you'd landed on the Loose and Leafy blog. (Don't you agree?)


Barbara Fisher said...

Trombidium holosericeum was a completely new ‘thing’ to me but having just googled it I think you are right. It looks as though it belongs in Australia or somewhere like that! I hate to see ‘rubbish’ dumped on the road side, there is one spot on my walk that is littered with washing machines and the like. I can honestly say it only started happening after someone put up a sign saying ‘no litter’ I swear the British people have a perverse sense of humour and any signs telling them not to do a thing will guarantee they will do it!

Angie said...

I too think your id is correct Lucy.
I love your take on all things trees and weedy Lucy. Your take on things is always interesting. Fly tipping is as usual a touchy subject and a real issue here in my village.

colleen said...

How fitting this all is. I was reading the London Wildlife Trust magazine today and there was an article about plants growing in rough urban ground. I immediately thought of you. I love to find lost toys too. Latest was a Lego bow sans arrow at Southwold.

The red mite is exquisite.

Anonymous said...

Love the mite! And the cherub - I have on occasion considered picking up "found objects" and making a collection, although I guess photographing them is an even better idea.
Slightly jealous that you went to the fossil festival!
I am really pleased that you are getting back to your old explorer self and blogging again.
And summer's coming :)

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

really happy you are back blogging Lucy! Loved the cherub - I still have the doll's arm I found when weeding my garden, I found it pleasantly macabre, but I didn't have an intruding red critter to add interest when I photographed it... Congratulations on not buying the crocodile head from Africa!!

ADRIAN said...

Lucy, it looks like velvet mite, it could be a chicken mite but odd to see it on it's own. Mites are a pain but some are great if you look closely.