Saturday, April 11, 2009


Essex so close to London and yet with a special charm of its own. The hedgerows are full of white blossom, and in the dull grey light of today, it seemed to highlight them even more. Dark grey storm clouds outlined the shape of the old hedge trees, one day I shall take photos of all their strange curved outlining against the flat brownness of the fields. Some hedges have been cut to ground level in many places revealing the bank on which they must have once grown, but along these banks are great trailing masses of stitchwort, the whiteness of the flower emphasised by the green of the grass. Red and white deadnettle flowers also in profusion, and the pale new green of the trailing willows line the river.


The garden is full of bees feasting on the Japanese cherry blossom and the maple tree flowers. Yesterday a white tailed queen bee hunted the ground looking for a nesting hole, round the woodpile she climbed in a never ending search for a nest. There was a red tailed queen bee as well exhausted on the shed floor, so I took some wet tissue with honey on it for her, and watched as she drank the sweetened water for about 5 minutes. When I put the tissue next to her she raised her front leg in an act of defiance, but soon the black needle like probiscious found the tissue and the tiniest of orange tongues came out as she sipped.
Starlings in their hundreds on this eastern side of England, something I never see on my western side, also many collared doves, their gentle cooing noise as they colonise the rooftops is a beautiful sound.

Fordhams, Ford End, a place where I once lived.

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