Monday, June 23, 2014

Odds and sods

You must be so good as to tell me my road, and if there is anything in my way worth stopping to see - I mean literally to see: For I do not love guessing whether a bump in the ground is Danish, British or Saxon....  Horace Walpole to the Reverend William Mason July 6th 1772

Odd photographs I have taken over the last few days, so pleased to see this large moth. In the garden in Bath the hummingbird hawkmoth was to be found, a recent addition to our isles from the continent, it would feed on soapwort, or saponaria. The Convolulus moth must be quite common given the vast amounts of bindweed that trail through our hedgerows.

Reading Alex Clifton Taylor on the Pattern of English Building 1972, he says that the timbered frame houses (in the photo below) leading from the church, " all but one, in the usual Essex way,  are wholly plastered.  The use of colour wash is spectacular, and one is tempted to add, very un-English"
I think that cannot be said today as colour wash on plastered houses are more common and comes in a variety of colours, adding to the many different types of historical houses you see in Essex, pargetting, brick, flint and timber all add to the variety.

This is, 99% sure on this is a convolvulus hawkmoth. About 3 inches long and blending beautifully with the gatepost.
Convolvolus or bindweed is out in the countryside, he has almost a death mask on his head.

The first sweet pea flower, love their delicate petals, almost remind you of butterfly wings

This tunnel of mallow and thistles was taller than me and very scratchy to go through but bees, damselflies and butterflies danced through its scratchiness

The infra ray lines of the flower attracts the bee down to the pollen, nature is so complicated.

Driving through Thaxted and the old village Corn Exchange.

House for sale next to Dick Turpin's cottage

One day I shall capture the Essex houses on foot, but the most original are of course deeply buried in the countryside. 

The solitary swan that haunts our stretch of the Chelmer


  1. It is a county I know so little about Thelma, and yet every time I see photographs of it, it makes me want to go there. Apart from friends in Thaxted and reading Ronald Blythe's books about the Wormingford area, I know nothing of it at all.

  2. The things that strike me about Essex is the tiny back lanes and then the major roads which are rather scary. Many old houses are beautiful, owners seem to show 'respect' to their history, and thatched roofs which are so expensive are still done.


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