Monday, 13 July 2009

Out and about with the camera...











On this fine Monday morning - a light breeze and a bright sun - I had promised to go and take a photograph of my son's scarecrow (no doubt you will see it later on on his blog (Dominic Rivron)), so I went round their garden with the camera.

They have the most beautiful cat called Sinbad, who came to them as a very bedraggled stray. My daughter-in-law has a real affinity with animals and she nursed him back to health, although he is deaf. Now he rarely leaves her side and accompanied us round the garden, posing in appropriate places. Isn't he a beauty? Their garden is a real garden for wildlife and they also have toads, frogs and hedgehogs, including one hedgehog in a pen as she is also recovering. Of course, being daytime, she was in her little house, so no photo there.
But Mr and Mrs Toad were in their little terra cotta house on the side of the pond - and suitably decorated with pond weed as you can see.
As I drove back down our lane I saw that the Rosebay Willow Herb is out. What a remarkably successful plant it is. Its latin name is Epilobium - a genus of 215 species - and this one, of course, is now much-maligned as a pernicious weed. But really when you get up close it is a very pretty flower. At one time it was much prized in Victorian herbaceous borders but, sadly, it has been too successful. Its hundreds of wind-blown seeds float away in the breeze and grow almost anywhere. Favourite places are old building sites and old railway lines. Consequently it is now not allowed in any but the most tolerant gardener's vocabulary and has become much despised. A pity really because as you can see from the photograph, it is a handsome plant.

It is the kind of day here which makes you feel good to be alive - hope it is the same wherever you are - and that you feel the same too.

22 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Rosebay Willow Herb -one of the delights of my childhood.
However, I only knew of it as a weed. Never knew it was allowed in Victorian gardens.
Sinbad is a very handsome fellow.
All best wishes

Sal said...

I've always loved Rosebay Willow Herb.It would have a place in my garden, that's for sure.
;-)

steven said...

hello weaver, it's a funny thing that business of "weeds" they are often the most beautiful plants and yet are much maligned. here in ontario we have purple loosestrife - somewhat similar in appearance actually - and it too is easy to look at but we are told to pull it out or destroy it if we see it. oh dear. i'm glad the rain's let up for you weaver. it's let up for a while here as well. have a peaceful day. steven

DJ said...

On this rainy Monday morning in South Carolina, I'm pleased to see your sunshine.
Give Sinbad a good scratch behind the ears for me the next time you see him.
Thanks for sharing...

Crafty Green Poet said...

Sinbad is very handsome.

I love rosebay willow herb, I love the pink glow it gives to a field just before the flowers actually fully come out, and they're such lovely flowers when they do come out...

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

I hope your pleasant morning is continuing. The rain keeps hammering down here, with the odd break in between!

Sinbad may be handsome but he looks a tad disgruntled to me! How brave of you looking at the toads! There are drifts of Rosebay all over the place here. It is attractive but must have cornered the market in regeneration technique!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

I enjoyed your photo walk very much. Sinbad is a handsome cat, whose achieved that purr-fect mixed expression of peeved curiosity.

The summer I moved here to the riverbank, I built a sort of grotto for my backyard toads, complete with a hanging candle lantern which draws in moths, flying beetles, and similar extra dinner tidbits. I should do a post on it sometime.

You've probably heard the old line that the only difference between a weed and a wildflower if that the latter have better press agents. Rosebay Willow Herb probably suffers from this lack over there—reduced to weed-dom simply because it is prolific. But weed or wildflower, it is nevertheless lovely.

Rosebay Willow Herb (Epilobium angustifolium) is a native here in the U.S. though endangered in Ohio (last reported in 1983). We know it as fireweed. In parts of the country where it is common, the blooms are often used to make a delicious jelly. All parts of the plant are edible, BTW, except for the seeds.

Arija said...

I love the Epilobium and fondly remember it from Europe and N.America.
Here too it is a blessed day max 8 degrees C the same as we had in high summer in Iceland, but here it has been raining all week and the dams are slowly beginning to fill. The weeds are starting to top my knees and it is too wet to weed, leaves more time for blogging :-)

Heather said...

Sinbad is a splendid cat and looks as if he knows it. The two toads are very elegant in their pond weed veils. I have noticed that Rose Bay Willowherb seems to flower a month earlier than it used to. About 20years ago it heralded the end of the school holidays and end of summer, flowering at the end of August, so although it is so pretty, I am always a bit sad to see it.

Kim said...

Love that look on Sinbads face, the 'I am only just tolerating your idiocy' look! MY puss does that one too, to perfection! Lovely looking summery days ther, but I think your summer and mine might be quite different. Mine is sub tropical, 34C days and high humidity! Of course it's winter here now, 22C and cool breezes!

gleaner said...

"It is the kind of day here which makes you feel good to be alive"...looking at your photos I feel the same!

Oh, Sinbad is absolutely gorgeous, he looks like he is auditioning for a part in Cats.

Totalfeckineejit said...

So that's what it looks like, yes! Yes! I remember,I'm sure of it now,it's not just a golden dream. It's all coming back to me, blue skies, yes, and clouds that are white and the bright yellow light from a long forgotten planet called 'Sun' ,it had warmth ,it felt good,this was a season, a lost tradition from before the monotime of constant foul weather,a time when the years were divided into four parts,defined by different temperatures and distinct weather,a season from ancient times and it was called 'summer'

Nice poteegrafs Weaver :)

Poetic Artist said...

Such a beautiful garden and the cat if perfect.

Leenie said...

Sinbad is an outstanding model. My cat is never in the mood to pose when I need him too. The toads with their duckweed deco are wonderful!

Hildred and Charles said...

Sinbad's Canadian cousin roams the pasture here, and follows our son wherever he goes. His name is Tass, - they are a most remarkable looking cat, and if Sinbad is as intelligent and loyal as Tass he is a great Cat to have around!

I love the picture of your family in your last post....

Titus said...

Love, love, love the toads! As do the children.

BT said...

What a wonderful cat is Sinbad, so handsome too. I love rose bay willow herb and we have some just at the top of the allotment. It's allowed to stay there! I workded for a small nursery once and she had a white version which is beautiful.

I must go and check out the scarecrow!

BT said...

Weaver, can you give me the link to your son's blog? Can't find it just now!

Pondside said...

Sinbad is lovely! I wish we could have a cat, but our daughter is allergic. If I could have one, I'd love one that looked like Sinbad.
Fireweed grows in the ditches and verges here too, although it is also to be found in the garden centres. I love that shot of bright colour along the dry roadsides.

Teresa said...

I remember that flower from my childhood in England!! Had no idea what it was called, but I thought it was beautiful at the time...and I still do. Feel free to mail me some seeds! :-)

Gorgeous photos.... so nice to be back reading blogs... missed your insightful, witty take on the world around you.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Will pass your nice comments about Sinbad on to him when I next see him - he will be flattered.
I wonder if Scribe has recipe for the "delicious jelly" he speaks of - sure it would be a lovely colour.
Thank you for taking the time to read me and make your interesting comments!

Cloudia said...

Aye, similar plants thrive here in Hawaii too.
Aloha-