stories and illustration

The Mauve Field


Walking down the main Edinburgh road, towards the lane that cuts off down to the Tweed, I see this mauve field, which I suspect is a crop of Phacelia, planted to attract bees, and to provide “green manure”. What a plant!  I have never seen a completely mauve field before, as far as I can remember. Until a few years ago, didn’t see the bright yellow of rape fields, either. Plant a rape field next to a field of “bee’s friend” and you would have some colour scheme.


The field is across the other side of the Tweed, which would be hard to get to from here, as it is a long walk on the English side, right round the Cornhill bend and further; and besides, last time I went down there I had to climb over the fence, as it has been barred off (don’t think that would happen on the Scottish side, as there is apparently no law of trespass in Scotland).


Because of all the sun, the Tweed is very low, and birds are standing in the middle of the river. They fly off as I approach.


The comfrey, that I thought was called Indian Balsam, is fading beside the river, and the Himalayan Balsam, that I thought was called Comfrey, is growing in profusion:



 In my walk I have been bitten ferociously by insects, which is in one way a good sign, as the planting of Phacelia has obviously started to bring back insect life. I try to resurrect the calomine lotion from a few years ago but it has solidified, even when stirred with the back of a toothbrush.

A couple of days later I take the same walk, and look across for the mauve field, but the colour has completely vanished.  The plant will  now be on its journey to becoming “green manure”. Taking photographs has made me feel keenly the transience of the colours of the world. I wonder what fields will be mauve next year.

July 20, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bee’s Friend


This crop was growing alongside the edge of the rape field, in profusion.  It looks like a wild flower, and yet it has obviously been planted there for a reason. I never saw it before.  After Googling crop mauve flower, and getting some strange images, I found a website that was selling this plant as a herb.  It is called Phacelia, and is otherwise known as “Bee’s Friend”, for obvious reasons.  If I had known this I would have paid more attention and tried to get a picture of bees on the very strange flowerheads, rather than this dull picture of a field.  However, I found it interesting that this had obviously been planted to help counteract the disastrous decline in bees last year, which meant that even people who produce honey had to buy some in. The flowerheads are rather spectacular:


I think I may go out and take some more detailed and maybe a tad more interesting pictures of this plant, which has been put into the field for such an specific reason. There have certainly been more bees around this year.  The beans in the garden are growing fast, and when I go out to water them in the evening I try not to drench the bees that are buzzing about among the bean flowers.


July 12, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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