stories and illustration

The First Peacock of Spring

ButterflyThis butterfly seen in early April on the blackthorn blossom gives me a sparkle of joy, as two years ago there were no butterflies anywhere to be seen in this part of the world until September, and then only a few, on the buddleias up Nuns Walk and here and there in the garden. Last year was a bit better, but still not lush with the creatures. Days I remember when buddleia would be thick with all different species. But they do come back. The winter has been easy this year.  Today Tony planted out for me my bed of wildflowers, a big packet of them (from a firm called “Empathy” – nice), and then some seed balls which are special for butterflies and bees.  I have bought a proper bird table which sits in the middle of this bed, to save the birds from neighbouring prowlers, but I have also bought no-seeding bird food, so as to protect the bed from the grass which sprung up round the wildflower seeds last year.  I don’t think there will be any corn cockles in this mix.  Apparently they are poisonous, but hey ho, and I think I may try and buy some seeds anyway, as they are a flower now almost extinct in the wild, which have an extraordinary beauty to them – Tony was talking about them today, as he too was taken with these lovely things. Anyway, I celebrate this peacock butterfly and thank it for posing on the blackthorn on a warm April Easter Monday.

April 7, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Blackthorn Blossom 3

blossom 2

Tangled up, like illustrations to the story of Sleeping Beauty, that barrier of thorns round the castle still hung with the cadavers of defeated suitors. It was a fairy story that haunted me, but it was the sleeping castle I loved, I imagined insects crawling around over the sleeping grooms and cooks and housemaids and the face of Beauty herself. Perhaps it was only the domestic animals that were put into a sleep. The Prince himself, with his blonde pageboy hair, I never took to, not even when he was gallantly tearing down the thorns: just as when, in Beauty and the Beast, the Beast turns into a handsome prince – my dear, what a disappointment!

April 2, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blackthorn Blossom 2


April 2, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blackthorn Blossom 1


Blackthorn By River Tweed

April 2, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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