Thursday, 18 May 2017

The not so humble broad bean!

I still haven't got round to sorting through the rest of my Colonsay photos, so just to keep things alive here, I thought I would do a quick post about the broad bean, Vicia faba!  The inspiration came from a lovely walk the dogs and I took yesterday, across Becky's Strip, near North Berwick. Wafts of perfume came from a huge field of broad beans, and on taking a closer look at the plant, I was struck by how beautiful it is!  Most of the time we just don't look properly at ordinary things like broad bean plants, but remedy that now.
And now read more here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicia_faba because this plant has been cultivated for the last 8,000 years and has an amazing role in history.  Honestly, you just never know about these things until you start doing a bit digging!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Dandelion days

Apart from being the title of one of my favourite books, Dandelion Days by Henry Williamson, it occurs to me that the dandelion is a rather overlooked flower, despite its very sunny disposish.  Now that the sun has more or less gone in, and life is getting back to normal after a magical holiday on Colonsay, here is the lovely dandelion, which I think is doing its best to keep the sun shining in every corner of the UK, town and country alike.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

All good things come to an end!

We go home today.  For me, this has been the best holiday I have ever had.  Each day has been completely blissful.  The skies have been blue, the sun has shone from dawn till dusk.  There have been flowers at my feet, wherever I have walked, and I have walked in some very special places in excellent company and learnt so much about this extraordinary little island.  The Colonsay Book Festival, followed by the incomparable Spring Festival have both added a dimension to our visit that can really only be appreciated by being here.  I honestly could not have asked for more.  It has been just amazing.  So we will be back next year, for more!  

I have a multitude of photographs I would like to post on therunningwave.  They will have to wait until I can organise them a bit.  Until then, I think the photo below sums up the last fortnight on Colonsay quite nicely.

A final flower

This Inner Hebridean island of Colonsay appears to be simplicity itself.  Stripped back landscape, high rocky interior, one road that goes round in a loop with a couple of spurs off it, to Oronsay in the south, and Kiloran to the north.  But take a closer look and you will find treasure on every level, and in every remote corner of this remarkable place.  Ancient history, art, ornithology, botany, geology, marine life, horticulture, cultural festivals.  The list goes on and on.  

The last flower of this series is as modest as it is tiny.  You hardly notice it at all, as it only stands about an inch or two high.  The thyme-leaved speedwell, Veronica serpyllifolia.  But like this island, it is a little gem.