Friday, January 30, 2009


No, I don't mean the fact this is the second of two posts in just two days!!
I just found a book I have been after for AGES online...

Leechdom, Wortcunning and Starcraft of Early England

So why would I want this book, let alone post about it on my nature blog?
Did you notice the name of this book? And the name of my blog? That should give you a clue as to why- not to mention how LONG I have been wanting to read it *grin* (this blog is now 3 years old I believe!)

But I digress- I love old herbals. I have a passion for old herbals. I can't afford them, but I really love them. I still regret the chance we had to get one, once, long ago, that we passed up (it was Theatrum Botanicum by John Parkinson I think. I STILL really regret that!).

You can see some images from a copy here.

The book I have been wanting to read is another such reference- to the old herbal ways :) I just thought I should share ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice Storm

I don't know that you can really call it a storm though. It was more of a steady rain, or drizzle at times. Although disappointing that it was not snow, ice can be just as captivatingly beautiful!

When I got up this morning, it was dark. It shouldn't have been- it was well after the time it is normally light. The sight outside was beautiful- iced trees glistening through the fog. It is not a sight you normally see in England, so ice-storms are one of those American things I enjoy as a novelty- like the huge thunderstorms we get in summer.

I stepped outside to try and get some photos- but it was so dark, my flash kept going off, and the beautiful shots I made were ruined by the light. Suddenly the pale air, and crystalline shine of the ice was reduced to water.

This one above is artificially lightened just to show kind of what it looked like.

I ran out later to take a few, but much of the ice had already melted. the air was filled with the sounds of birds singing, and water dripping off of the trees in a constant stream. It's the sound of a thaw- a sound most gardeners anticipate because it is often the first herald of spring.

This early in the year, I don't think it is a true thaw- just the ice from the freezing rain thawing. None the less, the birds are excited- we refilled the feeders for them, so they have plenty. Now if only I could find my suet cage...

I managed second time around to get a few decent shots of the ice-rimmed plants, especially of the red limbed Rosa virginiana. This is one spectacular winter plant with its red limbs and red hips :) Sounds almost like I am describing a person :D.

The sweetgums in the garden, are forever dropping their gumballs into the garden, this one landed in the middle of the rose bush- I am considering painting it for the latest EDM challenge (#208- draw something out of place).

on the earth, bitter
black frost, and a winding sheet of snow
upon her withered breast, and
deep within me, dread
and ice."
- Jessica MacBeth, excerpt from "Initiation"- Winter Poems