Friday, February 19, 2016

Another gloomy day and I am threatened with the February Blahs!!

Binh Phan Photography

The weather man said 'possible sun' and ever the optimist
I thought 'wonderful'
anticipating a soul-satisfying hour or two in the garden

Well, there is always Sirius Radio and the Garden Books and Catalogues.....

I have some Forty's music reminding me of by-gone days

and glorious pictures of the crimson and green Swiss Chard  I had
planned to seed in the big blue ceramic pot on the patio,
with maybe a marigold, a nasturtium or a bit of alyssum.

Swiss Chard is the plant of my choice when it comes to green and leafy vegetables.
It is full of nutrients (vitamins K,A,C, and E plus several B's, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron and fiber) and spectacular in the variety of colours in which it grows.

I am inspired by the NINE DOLLAR heads of California cabbage to be found in
the local grocery store to replace begonias and various trailing pot plants
with good nutritious vegetables, although I know I will
be tempted to add a few small bright flowers, tucked in here and there.

I am off to the farm store to buy some Swiss Chard seed, as all
the seed I have left from last year is that of exotic vines and plants
which I never did get around to planting!

And also some golden orange brandy, -  a small sip will satisfy
 in lieu of that hour in the garden!

Is it too early to plant Swiss Chard?  I don't think so, - it does well in cool
weather and I will keep the pot on the sun porch until ole sol
deigns to shine upon us...

I remember with nostalgia the lovely large gardens we had
in days of yore ("yore" meaning when the family was bigger..)

And I am going to advocate a return to the family garden and healthy eating

so perhaps the disastrous lowering of the Canadian Dollar in comparison

with that of the U.S. will have some good results after all...

$9.00 for a head of cabbage - ridiculous!

Monday, February 15, 2016

F for Falcon

ABC Wednesday
February 17th, 2016
The letter is F for the Falcon

The Peregrine, one of thirty-seven species of raptors in the genus FALCO, widely distributed on all continents except Antarctica.

A few things you might not have known about the Falcon.....

Their thin, tapered wings enable them to fly at high speed and change direction rapidly.

and to hover in the air...

The Peregrine falcon has been recorded diving at speeds of 200 miles per hour,
making them the fastest moving creatures on earth.

They are the largest genus in the Falconinae subfamily of Falconidae.

They kill with their beaks, using a 'tooth' on the side of the beaks.

A falcon has exceptional powers of vision, much to the mouse's dismay...

The fossil record of the Falcon indicates that they are from the late
Miocene, less than ten million years ago,
which is evidently fairly recent as bird species go....

There are three (or four) groups of Falcons -
the Peregrines, the Hobbies, dark in colour
and feeding mainly on small birds.
Sometimes included are the hawk-falcons,
and then there are the Kestrels
known as the Windhover in the United Kingdom.

I am quite sure I have posted Hopkin's poem 'The Windhover' before....

It has been a large part of my life for a long time, - I found our farm
'windhover' country,  and called my weaving adventure
"Windhover Weavings"

At first it was the beauty of the poem, the 'sprung rhythm',
the blending of adjectives, verbs and subjects in order to echo his theme
of smooth merging and the bird's perfect immersion in the air'.

As the years have passed I have become more aware and have read  'that a
sensuous experience or description leads to a set of moral reflections' 
in that the writer is drawing inspiration from the beauty
 of the hovering bird in comparison with man's striving
for spirituality.

Here it is once more!

I caught this morning morning's minion, kingdom
of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath  him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing.
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on as bow-bend; the hurt and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind.  My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,-the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and the blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, fall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

The Windhover  Gerard Manly Hopkins

For more F tales click here for ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Roger, Denise and any flighty helpers
who might be flitting around helping them....

Here is a painting of The Windhover, 
gashing Gold Vermillion

Lia Melia