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Wednesday, 1 May 2013

swan song

Last night I spent some time with the horses in their field and walked down to the river. It was a beautiful evening and I noticed the two swans who earlier in the year had been swimming around the horses legs when the fields flooded. They got off their nest and swam up river towards me like a pair of Elizabethan galleons. At first I thought they'd been sitting on a clutch of eggs until I saw, swimming very close, four tiny cygnets. I think the mother swam towards me to show them off and it was quite a show. The little chaps got caught in the eddies and whirled around, their  feet paddling furiously to get back to Mum. The whole spectacle looked like something the mad King Ludwig of Bavaria had arranged.(I don't think he was mad but he did have a grandmother who was convinced she'd swallowed a very tiny grand piano.}
The mother swan obligingly beached herself on a shallow pebble bank and let them climb onto her back. She shook and shuffled her wing feathers like an accomplished croupier in a gambling joint, then took off again, her babies heads poking out to get a better view. They looked as if they were on a cruise ship, one of them definitely in steerage. I stood watching them for hours, forgetting poor Beezle in the next field who was waiting patiently for me. It reminded me of the old saying - If a swan has a swan song does a cygnet have a cygnature tune?
a saga cruise
 Hurrah! A good week for the bees when it was announced the bee killer  neonicotinoid pesticides are going to be suspended across Europe for the next two years. In spite of our environmental minister Owen Paterson, voting against the ban.

I like this Emily Dickinson poem

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover and a bee,
and revery.
The revery alone will do,

If bees are few.

I took a picture of this hummingbird hawk moth which was enjoying the nectar in this  wildflower border for a client made a couple of years back. Lets hope they too will survive because of the ban.

a hummingbird hawkmoth

the wildflower/hummingbird moth loving design alongside a swimming pool
 The bees, which are out today will be pollinating flowers like these in my garden.
verbascum chaixii album

Sidalcea rosetta
Hurrah for the bees!

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