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Monday, March 28, 2022

morning magpies

These images are from a project for Perthshire Care Homes, funded by Paths for All as part of my artist in residence program. 

I worked with Ken Cockburn, who met residents, to create some simple enhancements or improvements of the grounds and gardens. The poems emerged from people's descriptions of the garden and how it changed through the seasons, as well as the welcome passers-by who added interest to their day.

The aim was to demonstrate how poetry and art could encourage residents to go for short walks. I also wanted to show what was possible using a limited budget. These kind of poem-objects make ideal interventions, adding gentle signposts of interest, humourous observation, and poetic inspiration, ensuring that the garden is a stimulating and welcoming environment.

Along with these botanical poem-labels for St Ninian's, Blairgrowrie, I also created a series of nest-boxes for care homes across Perthshire. I will blog those at a later date, once the leaves are out.

St Ninian's have now added a new bench to the garden.

Thanks to Ken, Kayleigh Lytham, Carl Greenwood, and Kym. The photos are by Ken.















Monday, February 28, 2022

An Anxiety Almanac

I've begun work on a collaborative almanac: a seasonal record of natural signifiers that mark the turning year – when flora bloom, blossoms, migratory birds, etc. 

This is a joint project shared between my work as artist in residence for Paths for All, and a new project, Living with Sad, led by the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. For Paths for All there's the interest people have in the seasonal cycle as they walk locally, in parks or along riversides, through the year. 

In terms of SAD the changing elements of the seasons can be fraught or hopeful. 



 











Anyone can contribute a thing they see for the first time, along with their first name, the date, and the place. Feel free to send these to me at alecfinlay@yahoo.com. Of course. you can use the material you collect in any way that you wish.

The project has started with these sitings from old and new friends across the British Isles, from London to the Isle of Lewis.


An Anxiety Almanac

 

Tuesday 22 February, 2022

Hayden saw a skylark

on Kingswell Moss

 

Wednesday 23 February, 2022

Jonathan saw the pigeons

examining snowdrops 

in Leamington Spa

 

Thursday 24 February, 2022

Rob saw a small tortoiseshell butterfly

at Hapton, near Burnley

 

Saturday 26 February, 2022

Gill heard an oystercatcher

by the upper River Don

 

Saturday 26 February, 2022

Gerry saw scarlet elf cups 

in the woods,

Isle of Bute

 

Sunday 27 February, 2022

Natalie saw crocuses and snowdrops

flowering at the same time

in East Kilbride

 

Sunday 27 February, 2022

Gerry saw his rhubarb

just showing,

Isle of Bute

 

Sunday 27 February, 2022

Linda saw her first daffodils

in Northumberland

 

Monday 28 February, 2022

Rob saw a first unfurled rhubarb leaf

in Granton, Edinburgh

 

Monday 28 February, 2022

Gerry saw butterbur buds showing

at Ascog, Isle of Bute

 

Monday 28 February, 2022

Natalie noticed the fat, sticky buds 

on the Camellia in the front garden 

are almost ready to burst open

in East Kilbride

 

Monday 28 February, 2022

Leonie saw grey herons in flight

getting their nests ready

in Assynt

 

Monday 28 Feb, 2022

Sukema saw daisies 

by Whatton Lodge, Gullane 

 

Monday 28 February, 2022

Leonie saw ravens courting, 

turning somersaults in strong winds,

on Quinag

 

Monday 28 February, 2022

Gill saw violets on a scrubby bank 

in Regent's Park, nearly overlooked 

due to the distant sight of two basking lions

 

Monday 28 February, 2022

Jonathan first heard 

song-thrushes singing 
Newbold Terrace, Leamington Spa

 

Monday 28 February, 2022

Tha na seileasdair a' dùsgadh  

Bun an lot aig Tom

Baile 'ard Buirgh, Leòdhas

 

Monday 28 February, 2022

Mairi saw the yellow flag iris waking

at the bottom of Tom's Croft

High Borve, Lewis 

 

Tuesday 1 March, 2022

the herb robert is 

starting to sprout

in Ken’s back garden

Newhaven

 

Tuesday 1 March, 2022

the hydreangea buds are 

opening out into leaves

in Ken’s back garden

Newhaven

 

Tuesday 1 March, 2022

Guth na uiseig Leòdhas 

Mairi heard the 

first skylark song,

Isle of Lewis

 

Tuesday 1 March, 2022

Sukema saw seed potatoes

in a draw – chitting

nearly time to dig the trenches 

in Glasgow

 

Tuesday 1 March, 2022

Gill heard the first curlew

on Tam Beith

 

Tuesday 1 March, 2022

Carl noticed green buds

on his crab apple 

in Strathblane

 

Wednesday 2 March, 2022

Natalie observed the first shoots 

of broad beans sown on 22nd Feb 

in the polytunnel, by an Afghani family 

who were on the last plane out 6 months ago,

The Bowling Green, Pollokshields

 

Thursday 3 March, 2022

Jonathan heard his first skylark 

of the Spring in Hill Wootton

 

Thursday 3 March, 2022

Larry noticed the grass at plot 60 

is nearly long enough for a first mow

Kirklee, Glasgow

 

Thursday 3 March, 2022

Jonathan saw a wagtail 

hawking and gleaning 

outside Bella Bistro & Café,

The Parade, Leamington Spa

 

Thursday 3 March, 2022

Gill saw the first purple crocus 

by the south facing compost bin,

Glenkindie

 

Thursday 3 March, 2022

Sgeith-losgainn 'san dìg Leòdhas 

Mairi spotted frogspawn 

in the ditch, Isle of Lewis 

 

Thursday 3 March, 2022

Leonie saw a stag with one antler

so the shedding has started

in Elphin

 

Thursday 3 March, 2022

David saw 13 magpies 

on Hilly Fields –

the most he’s ever seen

 

Friday 4 March√

Gill woke to a song-thrush 

and the sound of the River Don 

in spate with snow melt

 

Friday 4 March, 2022

Gerry heard an owl 

calling just before dawn,

Isle of Bute

 

Friday 4 March, 2022

Rob saw dandelion seeds

paired at eye-height 

on the breeze, in Granton

 

Friday 4 March, 2022

Sukhema saw handsome ransoms 

along the River Kelvin –

it's time to make pesto

 

Saturday 5 March, 2022

after sowing two rows of fir apple potatoes

semi-snoozing supine on a bench 

Sukhema woke up to a hail shower

 

Saturday 5 March, 2022

Gerry smelled furze 

in full bloom on the moor, 

Isle of Bute

 

Saturday 5 March, 2022

Gerry bit the first 

wild garlic leaves 

in Skeoch woods, Isle of Bute

 

Saturday 5 March, 2022

Leonie saw the flag irisis

pushing up in the Cowpark, 

Glen Lonan

 

Saturday 5 March, 2022

David saw a pair of Egyptian Geese 

checking out unsuitable nesting sites 

in Greenwich Park

 

Saturday 5 March, 2022

Gill went to the wild garlic woods 

near Glenkindie Manse 

and saw nothing but yellow matted grass

 

Saturday 5 March, 2022

Natalie saw rowdy juvenile 

greylag geese prospecting 

for mates in East Kilbride

 

Saturday 5 March, 2022

Jonathan heard “slurry plover” 

in a poem by Dom Hale 

at the first post-pandemic 

reading of the Spring

at the ICA

 

Sunday 6 March, 2022

Gerry saw the first Judas ears 

this year, frozen to the elder,

Isle of Bute

 

Sunday 6 March, 2022

Natalie had her first sighting

of inappropriately clothed Scots 

on the beach at Troon

 

Sunday 6 March, 2022

Linda saw a small hanami 

under first sakura 

in Newcastle 

 

Sunday 6 March, 2022

Jonathan saw the great blue heron 

that has been hunting 
the slightly flooded meadow 
has staked out the submerged footpath 
Welches Meadow, Leamington Spa

 

Sunday 6 March, 2022

near Partick Thistle football grounds
Larry saw a pair of swans 

on the edge of the canal
build their nest

 

Sunday 6 March, 2022

Rob saw snakes head fritillary 

stalk sproutings, flowering pending

in Granton

 

Sunday 6 March, 2022

Jonathan heard the Tawny Owl’s 

quavering twoo in the trees 

above the River Leam 

 

Monday 7 March, 2022

Gill saw a first yellow flower 

on a primrose in the Primularium

destined to be planted in the north facing birchwoods 

of Glenkindie on her Primrose Path

 

Monday 7 March, 2022

Gill’s first sighting of coltsfoot, 

hiding under spurge, in the rose garden, 

Regent's Park

 

Monday 7 March, 2022

Sukema saw a new moon 

and star bright 

in the arboretum,

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

 

Tuesday 8 March, 2022

Gerry heard the owl calling at daybreak

coltsfoots appearing overnight,

Isle of Bute

 

Tuesday 8 March, 2022

Gill saw the first fall of blossom 

in Greenwich Park, blackthorn, 

before the cherries have opened,

now we wait for sloes

London

 

Tuesday 8 March, 2022

Sukema loves the scent 

of baking oakcakes 

with finely chopped ramsons

 

Tuesday 8 March, 2022

Gerry encountered the smell 

of the first rain of spring in the night,

Isle of Bute

 

Wednesday 9 March, 2022

Gill felt cold south-easterlies

in Glenkindie sterilising the land,

only her collie-mutt-friend Solas 

can smell anything 

 

Wednesday 9 March, 2022

Natalie saw the first peep 

of peach tree blossom, 

in the big polytunnel, 

The Bowling Green, Glasgow 

 

Wednesday 9 March, 2022

Sukema saw the first pink 

cherry blossom by the fountain,

Kelvingrove Park

 

Thursday 10 March, 2022

Jonathan heard the first screech 

of nesting peregrines 

from the Town Hall Tower,

Leamington Spa

 

Thursday 10 March, 2022

Sukhema sees taiji at plot 60

the bees are busy again

in Glasgow

 

Friday 11 March, 2022

a bumble bee hovers

over the rising rhubarb

for Sukhema

Plot 60, Kirklee Allotments

 

Friday 11 March, 2022

Leonie saw a single daisy 

flowering on the cow track,

Glen Lonan

 

Saturday 12 March, 2022

on Bed 27 Greenwich Park flower garden

David saw huge bumble bees 

all around the blooming heather –

shall we go, lassie, go?

 

Saturday 12 March, 2022

Gill saw first proper rains 

on nasty south-easterlies 

bringing the Don is up

brown-opaque and rushing,

Glen Kindie

 

Saturday 12 March, 2022

on today’s walk 

at Welches Meadow 

(Leamington Spa) 

Jonathan saw 

dunnocks in leaf-  

less branches 

bright notes for such

a brown bird 

goldfinch rondelay 

doves stock 

still in trunks  

crow makes a dark 

sound  

two magpies 

building a nest 

orange-tipped

blackbird rockets 

over lawn 

4 nests 

pride at war with envy 

an abandoned blue & white 

umbrella upside 

down beside new daffodils 

woman with dogs 

listening to the war 

on her phone 

intermittent sun 

breaks through 

clouds moving NE 

pandemic declared 

two years ago 

today  

 

Saturday 12 March, 2022

Anna heard the sound of a bee 

in the hedge along my street,

Norwich

 

Saturday 12 March, 2022

Gill saw a swimmer in the sea 

wearing only a swimsuit

near Dunstanburgh Castle,

Brrrrrr

 

Saturday 12 March, 2022

Sukhema was on the bus 

to Dundee seeing

rainbows over the Ochil Hills

 

Monday 14 March, 2022

Deanntagan, ùr-fhàs,

Eilean Leòdhais

Nettles, new growth,

spotted by Mairi,

Isle of Lewis

 

Monday 14 March, 2022

Leonie sees the ponies 

have begun to moult,

Glen Lonan 

 

Monday 14 March, 2022

Sukhema’s 7am taiji 

in the arboretum

was joined by a pair of poodles,

Glasgow

 

Tuesday 15 March, 2022

Natalie sees first variegated tulips 

are out in Bowling Green, Pollokshields,

and first wild carrot seedlings

have popped up

 

Tuesday 15 March, 2022

out for the first-time litter picking

on the canal by Maryhill Road

Sukhema picks out

eight empty bottles of Buckfast

 

Tuesday 15 March, 2022

Gill thinks that today

the north facing snowdrop slope 

at the Manse on the bend 

of the Don near Glenkindie 

is at its best

 

Wednesday 16 March, 2022

Gerry sees the first pink flowers 

on deciduous larch

Skeoch Wood, Isle of Bute

 

Wednesday 16 March, 2022

David wonders, have more than five blossoms

opened at the Yasukuni shrine?

His neighbours tree burst yesterday 

and now the sun is inflating its universe

 

Wednesday 16 March, 2022

David’s today actually feels like spring

with two firsts – a brimstone

and a comma on the path

on the walk back from the park

to Friendly Street

 

Thursday 17 March, 2022

Gill sees the first bright green 

stalks of wild garlic pushing up

in Glenkindie Garlic woods

waiting for a poem to go into

 

Thursday 17 March, 2022

Natalie sees the first camellia 

bloom in her garden,

East Kilbride 

 

Thursday 17 March, 2022

after Jonathan’s last 

workshop of the year 

the ecopoetics students disappear 

into the woods

University of Warwick Campus

 

Thursday 17 March, 2022

Natalie sees the first forsythia flowers, 

in the bowling green garden

Pollokshields

 

Thursday 17 March, 2022

after a day of persistent 

Spring rains 

water high—across the river 

Jonathan hears the first 

chiffchaff singing,

Leamington Spa

 

Thursday 17 March, 2022

Jonathan spots a bumblebee 

gleaning the flowering blackthorn,

Leamington Spa

 

Thursday 17 March, 2022

in the construction site 

Jonathan sees a blossoming magnolia,

Leamington Spa

 

Thursday 17 March, 2022

Jonathan sees new roses blooming 

in the leeward corner 

of Dr Who’s garden,

Leamington Spa

 

Thursday 17 March, 2022

Gerry sees the primroses 

now in full flower,

Isle of Bute 

 

Thursday 17 March, 2022

Natalie saw her first frogspawn,

East Kilbride

 

Friday 18 March, 2022

Natalie saw the pear

buds are opening,

East Kilbride

 

Friday 18 March, 2022

on a very early walk

Gill sees two small pink campions in flower

under a hedge of unofficial roses in leaf

on a path to High Newton from the beach

near Beadnell, Northumberland

 

Friday 18 March, 2022

Sukhema sees silver light 

shimmer on new grass

daffodils all face south-west

Glasgow

 

Friday 18 March, 2022

Sukhema says The Kibble Scribblers 

are not in the Kibble Palace

because of an invasion of stick insects

the palace must be fumigated 

 

Saturday 19 March, 2022

David saw a bank of primroses 

on the North Downs

& the crows showing off their moves 

on Blackheath

 

Saturday 19 March, 2022

Sukhema sees a dandelion 

growing from a crack in the curb

on Garrioch Drive

Glasgow

 

Saturday 19 March, 2022

Gerry saw the first borage leaves showing

and a raven scolding me 

all the way through the woods

Skeoch Wood, Isle of Bute

 

Saturday 19 March, 2022

Natalie experienced her first 

warm beach walk if the year, 

Troon

 

Saturday 19 March, 2022

Gill smelt the first smell of dung 

coming  on a spring-cool south-westerly 

from the stubble field,

Glenkindie

 

Saturday 19 March, 2022

Sukhema sees Gerry's words

"heart seeing eyes playing" carved in stone

in the Hidden Gardens

(he cleans the letters with a twig

making them visible again)

            

Saturday 19 March, 2022

Sukhema sees & hears Eleanor

playing the harp in the Medicine Courtyard

framed by bouncing white plum blossoms,

Glasgow

 

Sunday 20 March, 2022, 3.33pm

Gill likes the Spring Equinox 

though behind in first growth 

and blooms in northern Glenkindie

she will have more light hours 

than the Southerners ‘til September! 

(not that Gill is competitive!)

 

Sunday 20 March, 2022

Gerry noticed the first leaves 

on the sapling quince,

Isle of Bute

 

Sunday 20 March, 2022

Natalie saw first ladybird 

in the front garden,

East Kilbride

 

Sunday 20 March, 2022

dock starting in Cailean's croft,

Leòdhas, Isle of Lewis

 

Monday 21 March, 2022

Sukhema hears the wren's fugue,

hears the wren's fugue again,

and again

plot 60, Kirklee, Glasgow

 

Monday 21 March, 2022

on the first day of Spring 

David is delighted by the blossom opening 

on his pear tree

Louise Bonne of Jersey,

London

 

Monday 21 March, 2022

Gerry enjoys the spring sun 

casting moving shadows of leafed branches 

through the windows into the house rooms,

Isle of Bute

 

Tuesday 22 March, 2022
Jonathan heard and then saw 

at eye level, a nuthatch calling  

Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa 

 

Tuesday 22 March, 2022

Gill noticed the first blue ensign 

flowering on south facing pulmonaria,

 Glenkindie

 

Tuesday 22 March, 2022

Natalie noted first batch of autumn down greens 

ready to be hardened off for prepared beds

The Bowling Green, Pollokshields

 

Tuesday 22 March, 2022

Jonathan heard and then saw 

at eye level, a nuthatch calling  

Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa 

 

Wednesday 23 March, 2022

Gerry is pleased to see magpie 

and jackdaw raiding the old ash tree 

for nesting material,

Isle of Bute

 

Wednesday 23 March, 2022

Alec is glad for the memorial 

planting of fritillaries 

in Pollok Park, Glasgow

 

Thursday 24 March, 2022 

Jonathan heard the downward slur 

of greenfinches singing,

Welches Meadow, Leamington Spa 

 

Thursday 24 March, 2022 

Sukhema sees towels and sheets 

flapping in the wind

Maryhill, Glasgow

 

Friday 25 March, 2022

Gerry noted fresh buds 

all over the vine,

Studio Gadelica, Isle of Bute

 

Saturday 26 March, 2022

Jonathan saw a toad crawl out 

of the remaining flooded patch,

Welches Meadow, Leamington Spa 

 

Saturday 26 March, 2022

back home from holiday in Northumberland, 

Gill saw snake's head fritillaries in full bloom, 

Regent's Park

 

Sunday 27 March, 2022

Gill saw the first celandine

 on the south facing bank 

of the Don, Glenkindie 

 

Sunday 27 March, 2022

David saw the first beech 

shoots break into leaf,

Greenwich Park

 

Monday 28 March, 2022

Natalie saw blue tit and robin 

sharing a bath in the garden pond 

for first time,

East Kilbride

 

Monday 28 March, 2022

Natalie saw plum blossom 

appear on plum tree in her garden 

(weather forecast not looking so great),

East Kilbride

 

Monday 28 March, 2022

Natalie observed first marsh marigold 

flowering in the garden pond,

East Kilbride

 

Monday 28 March, 2022

Natalie saw top branches of first Acer 

coming into leaf in the garden,

East Kilbride

 

Tuesday 29 March, 2022

the first pied wagtail came visiting

Leonie in the pony field, Glen Lonan,

at feeding time

 

Tuesday 29 March, 2022

Gerry rescued the first 

fallen fledgling of spring; 

a chaffinch

Studio Gadelica, Isle of Bute

 

Tuesday 29 March, 2022

Gill saw plumes of muirburn smoke 

rising from the Tillypronie killing fields 

to meet the cold mist-drizzle,

Glenkindie

 

Wednesday 30 March, 2022

Gill photographed her primroses 

in the Glenkindie Primularium 

blooming under snow

 

Wednesday 30 March, 2022

Sneachd bheag nan uan

Baile Àrd Bhuirgh, Leòdhas 

Mairi walked in the 

little snow of the lambs 

High Borve, Isle of Lewis

 

Wednesday 30 March, 2022

Sukhema paddles in a lochan

but decides not to swim –

too cold or too old?

Craignish Penisula

 

Wednesday 30 March, 2022

in Friendly St David does not see his bees –

below 8 degrees they go inside

and pretend to be penguins

 

Wednesday 30 March, 2022

Leonie heard snipe drumming and calling

in the triangle hill park, 

Nant Glen

 

Wednesday 30 March, 2022

Sukhema nibbles new hawthorn and birch leaves

Ardfern, Craignish Peninsula

 

Thursday 31 March, 2022

Gill saw two large Merganser ducks 

flying low over the River Don 

in heavy windstill snow showers,

Glenkindie

 

Thursday 31 March, 2022

Gerry notices

lesser celandine growing in a wall

Rothesay, Isle of Bute

 

Thursday 31 March, 2022

the magnolia is in bloom

in Jenny’s back garden,

Ruchill

 

Friday April 1, 2022

Gill saw her first 

tiny Egyptian gosling,

in Regent's Park – 

no joke

 

Friday April 1, 2022

Alec performs his first 

bumblebee rescue 

of the year,

Newhaven

 

Saturday 2 April, 2022

Gill saw first bluebells in Regent's Park, 

near big patches of white violets 

and a nesting heron in the distance

 

Saturday 2 April, 2022

on the same Saturday, 

in the mid-morning sunshine, 

David noticed the first dark ant, 

foraging amongst the uncleared leaf-litter 

on the balcony, and soon after, a second!

 

Saturday 2 April, 2022

Sukhema is surprised to see 

a budding marigold in his front garden,

Garrioch Drive, Maryhill, Glasgow

 

Saturday 2 April, 2022

Sukhema deadheads daffodils 

and sees the first red tulips open

Plot 60, Kirklee, Glasgow

 

Saturday 2 April, 2022

Sukhema harvests stems of rosemary

the scent left on his hands clears head

Plot 60, Kirklee, Glasgow  

 

Sunday April 3, 2022

Takaya says the season changes 

from winter to spring – 

now, it's a Daphne flower

whose incense will be over soon,

in Kyoto

 

Sunday April 3, 2022

Gerry welcomes the first 

willow catkins,

Old Academy,

Isle of Bute

 

Sunday April 3, 2022

Alec sees the ugly sycamore

by the cycle path

is in leaf again,

Newhaven

 

Monday 4 April, 2022

Gerry was woken in the night 

by the sound of the first spring rain

Studio Gadelica,

Isle of Bute 

 

Monday 4 April, 2022

Gill saw her first ladybird but just its underside, 

as it clung to outside of the bedroom window,

10 storeys above Marylebon – I hope it gets 

up one more floor to our flowery balcony

 

Monday 4 April, 2022

Sukhema sees an old wasp nest

in the hut so he hangs 

an empty brown paper bag

from the ceiling to prevent 

another invasion,

Maryhill allotments, Glasgow

 

Monday 4 April, 2022

Gerry noticed Honesty flowers

in a wee guerrilla garden, 

Rothesay, Isle of Bute

 

Monday 4 April, 2022

Gill woke to wet snow falling thickly 

on safely closed daffodil buds 

and a single unseen oystercatcher 

peeping loudly through the mist above

Glenkindie

 

Tuesday 5 April, 2022

Anna notices Magnolia stellata

in front gardens, all looking pinker 

this year, in Norwich

 

Wednesday 6 April, 2022

Alec is pleased to see

the hawthorn leaves unfurling

in Pollok Country Park,

despite the rain

 

Wednesday 6 April, 2022

Sukhema sees the grass 

in the back needs mowing,

Garrioch Drive, Glasgow

 

Wednesday 6 April, 2022

Gerry spotted swathes of kingcups,

Kilchattan, Isle of Bute 

 

Wednesday 6 April, 2022

Alec is surprised there are primroses

flowering on Maryhill Road,

Glasgow

 

Wednesday 6 April, 2022

Alec is woken by a Long-tailed Tit 

that raps on the glass

and takes the old webs

to hem her nest,

Ruchill

 

Thursday April 7, 2022

sheltering in Tam Beith woods 

from snow coming on 

strong north westerlies,  

Gill hears the crackle-rustle 

of last year’s oak leaves 

and sound of a distant curlew,

Glenkindie

 

Friday 8th April, 2022

Gerry noticed the first violet flowers 

of self heal at the foot 

of a stone wall,

Rothesay, Isle of Bute

 

Friday 8th April, 2022

Gill saw a single pink bud 

on straggly larch, 

high on Tam Beith Hill,

Glenkindie 

 

Friday 8th April, 2022

Anna is gladdened 

by the scent of magnolia

as she walks along the platform 

at Chartham

 

Friday 8th April, 2022

Jonathan & Kat  

awoke to the barrel 

cactus’ yellow 

flowering crown 

in their window,

Leamington Spa 

 

 

Saturday 9 April, 2022

Anna finds a fallen twig of white willow

trailing long catkins

on the Green at Chartham

 

Sunday 10 April, 2022

Anna discovers that the white 

in the woods at Peasmarsh

is all wood anemones

 

Monday 11 April, 2022

Anna notices among primroses, 

violets, wood anemones 

the first few celandines 

(very small still) 

at Peasmarsh

 

Monday 11 April, 2022

on the verge in Glenkindie 

Gill sees the first red 

of the secret rhubarb she planted 

pushing through yellow-tangle grass.

 

Monday 11 April, 2022

Natalie observed first two wind-blown 

arrivals to her garden: 

a tiny bronze fennel & an aqueliga,

East Kilbride

 

Tuesday 12th April, 2022

On the banks of the Dee 

in woods between Ballater and Bridge of Gairn

David finds the woods suddenly filled 

with harsh raucous screeching from a group of jays –

they’ve earned their name, Garrulus glandarius.

Despite their noisy presence they manage 

to conceal themselves and were evident 

only as flashes of rufous, black, white and blue

 

Wednesday 13th April, 2022

Gerry spots the first electric blue flowers 

of the oddly named green alkanet

and the flash white of birch polypores 

in the woodland gloom of Skeoch Wood,

Isle of Bute

 

Wednesday 13th April, 2022

Gill noticed a swollen river Don 

swirling as black as Guiness

from new snow melt,

dislodged the blue Gym ball 

stuck in a flood-fallen tree 

further downstream –

she will ask the ducks where she can find it,

Glenkindie

 

Wednesday 13th April, 2022

Jonathan noticed  

pink & white blossoms 

of the crab apple 

flowering at the back 

of the old orchard,

Leamington Spa 

 

Wednesday 13th April, 2022

Jonathan observed  

the gibbous pink moon 

above the tall 

flowering pear 

at the allotment,

Leamington Spa 

 

Thursday 14 April, 2022

Gill saw first elderflower blossom, 

Dame's Violet, nesting swan 

and five tiny ducklings in Hyde Park –

felt we left home in April 

and arrived at the park in May

 

Thursday 14 April, 2022

Gerry was cheered at the year's 

first sighting of the black rabbit clan

Tam's horse field, by the moor,

Isle of Bute

 

Friday 15 April, 2022

Gill thought she saw the first buds 

of yellow monkey flower 

in the rather tall celandine

on the banks of the Don, 

Glenkindie

 

Saturday 16 April, 2022

Gill is delighted to see sand martins 

are back on the river Don, Glenkindie – 

so suddenly

 

Saturday 16 April, 2022

Gerry is so pleased to see 

pure white plum blossoms

Studio Gadelica garden,

Isle of Bute

 

Saturday 16 April, 2022

Gill saw lots of new lilac blossom, 

some scented, some still furled; 

and laburnum over the lake,

in The Regent's Park –

purples and yellow, happy Easter

 

Saturday 16 April, 2022

David saw the spring full moon rise 

this evening – a pink gin, 

a banana milkshake,

Newcross

 

Saturday 16 April, 2022

Jenny saw the yellow gorse

on Arthur’s Seat,

Edinburgh

 

Saturday 16 April, 2022

Carl noticed the primroses are out 

on the old railway path near our house 

in Strathblane on his Saturday evening

walk

 

Saturday 16 April, 2022

unnoticed by Anna the last two years

the small paulownia opposite the Co-op

is full of purple blossom,

in Norwich 

 

Saturday 16 April, 2022

Jonathan & Kat  

saw the Alps 

still covered in snow 

looking through 

the airplane window  

Manchester - Treviso  

 

Saturday 16 April, 2022

Jonathan & Kat   

spotted dozens 

of blue herons  

stood fishing 

in the lagoon 

reflecting clouds  

Venice - Ponte della Liberta   

 

East Sunday, April 17, 2022

Alec and Jenny want to have heard

the swifts are back in Newhaven

but maybe it was just the spuggies?

 

Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022

Kat noticed 

wedges of ibis 

‘alien and invasive’ 

African sacred Ibis 

patrolling the 

Giudecca Canal 

Venice - Fondamenta Zattere ai Gesuati 

 

Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022

David notices the beech buds 

bursting in Greenwich park 

on Easter Sunday morning

 

Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022

David notices that even pink cherry blossom 

is beautiful whilst the park is empty,

Greenwich 8 am, Easter Sunday.

 

Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022

David finds a shrine to hanami

in Greenwich park on Easter Sunday

 

Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022

David saw the first 3 ducklings 

in Greenwich Park on Easter Sunday

 

Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022

Gill loves that her birthday cherry tree 

is blossoming on her birthday, 

as in Glenkindie it's often much later –

sometimes in May

 

Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022

Chunnaic Màiri conasg fo bhlàth, 

sòbhrag san dìg,

Lochcroistean, Leòdhas 

Màiri saw gorse in flower, 

primroses in the verge,

Loch Croistean, Lewis

 

Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022

Anna sees the first leaves of copper beech

coral pink in the sunlight

on Edinburgh Road, Norwich

 

Monday April 18, 2022

with pleasure, Gerry sees 

the first bluebells (some white)

and winter purslane (aka spring beauty)

in Skeoch Wood, Isle of Bute

 

Monday April 18, 2022

Alec and Jenny “borrow”

a few leaves of Lorna’s

resurgent Lemon Verbena

for enhanced yoghurt,

in Newhaven

 

Monday April 18, 2022

David notices that judging 

by the flowering of bluebells, 

Spring is dawdling. 

Far from the usual clip, 

indexed on Gill’s blooms in the park 

followed by Gerry’s, it’s mooching 

along at 2 mph – good luck to it.

 

Tuesday 19 April, 2022

Gill was a bit spooked to notice 

pointy black-evil ash buds in Glenkindie 

breaking into melanoma-like growths 

before leaf

 

Tuesday 19 April, 2022

Anna had thought that the hawthorn 

was all out already in Norwich, 

but today she spotted some tight buds

still, in the shade. 

 

Tuesday 19 April, 2022

David has a tall gean tree 

in front of the house: a thrush 

has taken up a perch 

at the top and sings all day. 

He does variations and seems 

never to repeat a phrase. 

He has a backing group of pheasants, 

rooks, jackdaws, curlews, oyster-

catchers, and buzzards,

in Tarland

 

Wednesday 20 April, 2022

Gill has a nasturtium bud – light orange – 

just about to open on her 10th floor balcony, 

facing west, in Marylebone. 

More garden centre than deep nature 

but this is a well-established plant, 

grown by us from seed, and might help 

David plot the mph between here and Bute. 

Will be able to add some first, I hope, 

from Dorset in ten days

 

Wednesday 20 April, 2022

Rob has seen the dropping 

of snakeshead fritillary petals,

Granton

 

Wednesday 20 April, 2022

Alec notes with interest

that of the nine nasturtium seeds

planted in the stairwell garden

only one ‘bears the gree’,

in Newhaven

 

Wednesday 20 April, 2022

Gerry's delighted to see 

at last the lesser celandine, 

Wordsworth's favourite;

but how late . . .

Skeoch wood edge,

Isle of Bute

 

Wednesday 20 April, 2022

Rob spots the first wee tadpoles

in his garden pond, 

Granton

 

Wednesday 20 April, 2022

The bats! The bats are awake. 

Gerry says Pipistrelles.

Studio Gadelica,

Isle of Bute

 

Wednesday 20 April, 2022

Blue sky from horizon to horizon.

David walked up Glen Derry in the Cairngorms. 

There are new trees everywhere – 

even on the wee islands in the river. 

The old great wood of Caledon 

is coming back to life

 

Wednesday 20 April, 2022

Purple sprouting broccoli –

Rob’s first harvest of 2022, one plate's worth.

Granton garden

 

Wednesday 20 April, 2022

Cuthag!

Gug gùg!

Màiri just heard the first cuckoo of Lochcroistean.

Ùig, Ìsle of Lewis 

 

Thursday 21 April, 2022

Gill was cheered to have rescued 

a poorly bumble bee from the water-butt 

in her garden. She left it recovering slowly, 

warming on a yellow Primrose flower 

in the full morning sunshine,

Glenkindie

 

Thursday 21 April, 2022

Rob sees the Marsh Marigolds flowering

aka May blob, kingcup, brave bassinets, crazy Beth, horse blob, Molly-blob, mare blob, water boots, meadow-bright, bullflower, meadow buttercup, water buttercup, soldier's buttons, meadow cowslip, water cowslip, publican's cloak, crowfoot, water dragon, drunkards, water goggles, meadow gowan, water gowan, yellow gowan, golds, goldings, gools, cow lily, marybuds, publicans-and-sinners.

Edinburgh pond

 

Thursday 21 April, 2022

Gerry saw that the sand martins 

have returned,

Ambrisbeg sand pits,

Isle of Bute

 

Friday 22, Earth Day, 2022

David sees the first flowers open 

on the medlar in the garden, 

long after all the pears have set.

Smaller fruit, but a much bigger flower, 

like a dog-rose,

Newcross, London

 

Friday 8 to Friday 22 April, 2022

Sukhema on retreat in a bothy 

at the top of Glen Crotha 

sees the sun thru mist sink 

below Stob Caol every day for a week

 

Friday 8 to Friday 22 April, 2022

Sukhema hears a pine marten 

scratching in the compost,

Glen Crotha 

 

Friday 8 to Friday 22 April, 2022

Sukhema walks barefoot 

circling the wood pile 

and avoiding sheep droppings,

Glen Crotha 

 

Friday 8 to Friday 22 April, 2022

Sukhema sees the almost full moon 

rise above the Braes of Balquidder

 

Friday 8 to Friday 22 April, 2022

lying on a wooden bridge, 

Sukhema listens to Crotha burn

in its glen

 

Friday 8 to Friday 22 April, 2022

in the church at Balquidder, 

Sukhema listens to Rob Roy's bones 

turn to dust. 

 

Friday 8 to Friday 22 April, 2022

Sukhema is hypnotised 

by the ripples fragmenting sky 

on the plateau pond –

he considers a swim,

Glen Crotha

 

Friday 22, Earth Day, 2022

Anna sees the candles 

of the chestnuts starting to show

through thick foliage that seems 

to have sprung from nowhere

(She needs to check and see 

where the medlar is at in Norwich)

 

Saturday 23 April, 2022

Anna notices the new leaves 

on the lime trees in Norwich:

little bundles on bare branches.

 

Saturday 23 April, 2022

Gerry has a busy morning

broad beans emerging

apple blossom showing

gooseberry blossom forming

yaffle in the woods, hammering

and the first cuckoo calling on the moor,

Isle of Bute

 

Saturday 23 April, 2022

Gill's plum blossom is opening 

and there are bumblebees everywhere 

in sunny Glenkindie

 

Sunday 24 April, 2022

Kat spotted 

Hart's-tongue fern 

still uncurling 

amidst the nettles 

Boulogne-Billancourt - Jardin Albert Kahn 

 

Monday 25 April, 2022

Gerry notices the abundant flowering 

of ivy-leaved toadflax,

Isle of Bute

 

Tuesday April 26, 2022

David sees that the wand of spring 

is being passed from the pink cherries 

to the white horse chestnuts 

on Hilly Fields under a cloudless sky

 

Wednesday 27 April, 2022

Gerry is delighted by 

the first flowering Welsh poppy,

Skeoch Wood,

Isle of Bute

 

Wednesday 27 April, 2022

Gill spotted a single forget-me-not flower 

by the banks of the river Don, 

Glenkindie 

 

Wednesday 27 April, 2022

Tina has her first sight of Spring

Sakura Cherry Blossom trees, 

Glasgow Green

 

Thursday 28 April, 2022

Gerry welcomes back his old friends, 

Shepherds Purse, now in tiny 

but full spring flower

Everywhere,

Isle of Bute

 

Thursday 28 April, 2022

John seen this lovely wee snail 

on our wee walk around the garden,

Auchterarder

 

Thursday 28 April, 2022

Stewart saw whitebeam blossom 

at midnight in the park 

on my way home from 

Linlithgow station

 

Friday 29 April, 2022

Gill was ecstatic to see her first swallow 

which, while it doth not a summer make, 

certainly made her day. And lots of deep 

blue chalk milkwort, all in Acton,

on Isle of Purbeck, not west London

 

 

Friday 29 April, 2022

Jonathan 

was delighted 

by the sputter 

of a Garden warbler 

in the old orchard,

Leamington Spa, Welches Meadow 

 

Friday 29 April, 2022

last day in the bothy by Stobb Caol, 

Sukhema feels a tickle from toe to head, 

]then sees a gold striped beetle 

crawl over his bare foot,

Crotha Bothy, Loch Voil

 

Saturday 30 April, 2022

David saw the first sunflower seedlings 

where seeds were scattered last year – 

a promise of summer sun to come,

Tarland

 

Saturday 30 April, 2022

Gill saw Early Purple Orchids 

above Old Harry Rocks, 

near Studland, Dorset, 

and, inland, one scarlet poppy. 

On same walk, bumped into London friends,

not seen for over two years.

Happy May to all.

 

Sunday May 1, May Day, 2022

after 24 hours of heavy rain, 

Gerry discovers the woods smell of pepper

Perhaps something to do with 

the wee flowers of wood sorrel 

appearing over night

in Skeoch Wood,

Isle of Bute

 

Sunday May 1, May Day, 2022

Gill is delighted to see the blue comfrey 

flowering in the woods by the River Don,

Glenkindie on the first of May

 

Sunday May 1, May Day, 2022

Jonathan & Kat 

watch their first live 

feeding of the new eyases 

on the Town Hall’s 

Peregrine Cam,

Leamington Spa  

 

Sunday May 1, May Day, 2022

On the now closed Ruchill golf course, 

Sukhema joins five other men dancing 

on an old putting green,

Ruchill, Glasgow

 

Sunday May 1, May Day, 2022

Alec & Jenny get their noses

into the May blossom

Newhaven

 

Sunday May 1, May Day, 2022

Sukhema watches children play 

in the back court hiding 

in last year's hydrangeas, 

and one wee boy tries to open 

a yellow tulip pre-maturely.  

Garrioch Drive, Glasgow

 

Sunday May 1, May Day, 2022

Gill saw early spider-orchids,

virtually past flowering, 

above Dancing Ledge, Dorset,  

in the May Day rain 

 

Monday 2 May, 2022

Gill was excited to hear 

the first cuckoo back

on Tam Beith, Glenkindie

 

Monday 2 May, 2022

last year's leeks beginning to bolt 

nettles look fresh –

Sukhema will make soup,

Plot 60, Kirklee, Glasgow

 

Monday 2 May, 2022

David watches an unknown species 

of bumble bee trying to force an entry 

into the swelling peony flowers, 

and remembers the tulip beds 

in Regents Park – the huge deep red blooms 

already going over during hanami:

hops and skips, fits and starts,

wabi sabi

 

Monday 2 May, 2022

Gerry is pleased to see 

the very first droplet size fruits 

on the gooseberry,

Studio Gadelica Garden,

Isle of Bute

 

Monday 2 May, 2022

Sukhema sighs when he sees 

ground elder and convolvulus 

taking over the raspberries and currents,

Plot 60, Kirklee, Glasgow

 

Tuesday May 3, 2022

on his third circuit of Hilly Fields 

this third of May morning, 

David notices that the individual flowers 

on the horse chestnut candles look 

a little like popcorn on close inspection. 

By his fifth circuit he is sure that 

they smell like popcorn too.

 

Tuesday May 3, 2022

Certainly a first sighting for Gill 

of a naked rambler. Not, according 

to Google, The Naked Rambler 

but certainly a walker along the coastal path 

between Dancing Ledge and Swanage 

wearing nothing but boots. 

Weather very pleasant.

 

Wednesday May 4, 2022

Sand martins darting above 

their new flood-torn river bank 

sand houses on the Don.

Secret willow I planted 

has not yet been ripped out 

by the fishing-gamekeeper-police.

Oystercatchers angrily swearing 

at collie mutt,

Glenkindie

 

Wednesday May 4, 2022

Davit also heard the cuckoo 

Near the Slacks of Glen Carvie.

This week. And today the swallows 

are back nesting in our shed in Tarland –

more than two- so it must be summer.

 

Wednesday May 4, 2022

David finds the building plot 

over the road in Deptford 

making its bid to be called 

Wisteria Cottage

 

Wednesday May 4, 2022

Jonathan zooms 

in on the blushing  

Midland hawthorn's 

(Crataegus laevigata) 

red petals surprising  

the white thicket,

Leamington Spa

 

Thursday May 5, 2022

Gill sees the Sweet Cicely 

by the river Don 

is flowering pure white,

Glenkindie

 

Thursday May 5, 2022

David reads that flying insect 

numbers are tumbling, explaining 

their uncanny dearth 

on the jasmine outside 

Kings College Hospital.

In the afternoon of the same day 

David notes that whilst bird 

numbers too are in worrying decline, 

the swans on St Catherines Dock, 

Deptford, are again doing their best 

to hold the line.

 

Thursday May 5, 2022

Jonathan and Anne-Sophie 

nearly lost the thread 

of their conversation 

amid a sea of bluebells,

Tocil Woods, Coventry 

 

Friday, 5 May, 2022
Judy watched rain
water pouring from her roof 

during a cloudburst in Portland, Oregon

 

Friday May 6, 2022 

Jonathan noticed a new 

song, the raspy jolty 

che-che-worra-che-wi 

of the Greater whitethroat,

Leamington Spa 

 

Saturday 7 May, 2022
Judy saw buttercups 

along the singing stream 

for the first time in many years,

Raleigh Hills Park, Oregon

Saturday 7 May, 2022

on the canal tow path Sukhema 

spies two lighters, three tiny 

silver pans, three little plastic bottle 

for syringe water, foil wrapper 

for alcohol wipes [....] 

and on the water's edge he stares 

and smiles at the bright yellow 

marsh marigolds, 

Maryhill canal, Glasgow

 

Saturday 7 May, 2022

near the back gate of the Botanic gardens, 

Sukhema watches and listens 

to a walking guitar player 

wearing a rainbow baseball cap 

entertaining everyone he passes,

Glasgow

 

Saturday 7 May, 2022

At the Squinty Bridge

over the Glaaick Burn, near Tarland, 

David hears the music of the burn 

like a xylophone as it flows 

under the geans decked 

in a mass of pale pink blossom

 

Sunday 8 May, 2022

Gerry is singing:

Yellow on the broom

and orange-tip butterflies 

all suddenly hatched

Skeoch Wood, Isle of Bute

 

Monday 9 May, 2022

Sukhema sees his two-year old grandson 

Arlo pointing at a wee bug and saying

"ladybird ladybird ladybird",

Battlefield Community Garden, Glasgow

 

Monday 9 May, 2022

David sees how the warm evening air 

is full of bats, jinking about like 

Brownian movement,

in Tarland,

 

Monday 9 May, 2022

Sukhema listens to his son 

on the phone: "I'm now a mid-husband!, 

your granddaughter was born 4.30am 

this morning in the back seat of my car 

on the M74 - mother and baby are fine – 

I wrapped her in my work hoodie. 

We had a police escort to Wishaw Hospital . . ."

near Glasgow

 

Tuesday 10 May, 2022

Jonathan notes that 

snowy boughs of eglantine 

are general over the Midlands,

Leamington Spa  

 

Wednesday 11 May, 2022

Gerry's pleased to see 

the first pignut flowers,

Skeoch Wood, Isle of Bute

 

Wednesday 11 May, 2022

Gill is happy to see her primroses 

in full flower on the Tam Beith 

Primrose Path. She is surprised 

to see so many she thought dead 

from slug attacks last year have revived.

Wee violets, wood anemones 

and sorrel are flowering too.

Swallows are back on the River Don,

Glenkindie

 

Wednesday 11 May, 2022

Gerry delighted in the return 

of the swallows,

Mt Stuart, Isle of Bute

 

Wednesday 11 May, 2022

Jonathan spots swifts, 

swallows or martins

flight, box, or swoop? 

too high to tell & still

don’t know their jizz 

over the gardens 

of Leamington Spa 

 

Wednesday 11 May, 2022

3 goslings eat grass 

from the riverbank 

watched closely 

by dame and gander 

Leamington Spa 

 

Wednesday 11 May, 2022

Jonathan confirms 

the song on BirdNet: 

hello, Blackcap! 

Leamington Spa 

 

Thursday 12 May, 2022

David notices that the huge 

and gnarly old campsis 

in the garden is gently exuding 

new and tender green shoots. 

No longer Spring then, 

with this sure sign of Summer

 

Friday 13 May, 2022
Judy saw fresh sweet raindrops 

soup on an unknown but healthy plant 

where she lives at Courtyard Village, 

Portland, Oregon

 

Saturday 14 May, 2022

Gerry feels that the insects are back.

Midges and money spiders.

Studio garden, Isle of Bute 

 

Saturday 14 May, 2022

in the garden of the unfinished hut

Sukhema counts seven apple trees 

all with pink/white blossoms – 

the hut remain unfinished,

Carbeth

 

Sunday 15 May, 2022

18 degrees in sunny Glenkindie.  

Gill notices beech leaves are 

a SHOUTING green – 

more than a colour.

 

Sunday 15 May, 2022

Horsetails are sprouting

Skeoch Wood, Isle of Bute

 

Sunday 15 May, 2022

Chunnaic Màiri mogairle, 

canach, eala-bhàn.

Màiri saw wild orchid, 

bog cotton, whooper swan.

Loch Croistean, Ùig, Ìsle of Lewis 

 

Sunday 15 May, 2022

In the warm sun Sukhema sitz 

half-asleep surrounded by buzzing(s)

12 Garrioch Drive, Glasgow

 

Monday 16 May, 2022

in the hazy early morning light 

the daisies David sees 

in Greenwich Park 

are having a lie-in. 

Perhaps they had stayed up 

for the blood moon.

The swifts that have just returned 

would have seen it from 

their sleeping altitude.

(Swifts can sleep on the wing 

by resting half their brain. 

Imagine dreaming like this.)

 

Monday 16 May, 2022

early morning in the arboretum, 

Sukhema plays taiji under 

the big sitka spruce 

and smiles as rain drips 

through the needles – 

no watering today at plot 60,

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

 

Tuesday May 17, 2022

Gerry thinks it fine 

to see so many cinquefoils 

in flower all across the island,

Isle of Bute

 

Tuesday May 17, 2022

Gill is sad to hear the gamekeepers 

shooting Corvids again across 

the field from her house. 

Every May they cull them.

Crow Wood, Glenkindie 

 

Tuesday May 17, 2022

In the community garden, 

3-year old Arlo chases Sukhema 

with hands full of sticky willy

Battlefield Avenue, Glasgow

 

Wednesday 18 May, 2022

Gerry pleased to see 

the very first flower 

on the dog rose hedge

Studio Gadelica, Isle of Bute

 

Thursday 19 May, 2022

David has to admit that 

the pseudo acacia in his 

neighbour’s garden redeems 

itself with sprays of white flowers, 

whilst he listens to the children 

shouting in the playground. 

All that energy released together!

London

 

Friday 20 May, 2022

Gill is delighted to see masses 

of yellow comfrey and pink-red campion 

beginning to flower,

River Don, Glenkindie 

 

Saturday 21 May, 2022

Gerry is astonished to see 

a perfect Satan's boletus, 

very early in the year,

in Skeoch Wood 

and masses of self-heal, Mt Stuart,

Isle of Bute

 

Saturday 21 May, 2022

Sukhema didn't know 

the bark of an alder 

can shrink a tumour.

Aboretum, Glasgow Botanic Gardens

 

Saturday 21 May, 2022

David notices that whilst the work of Satan 

is everywhere, the universe is perfect 

just as it is and the conflict between good 

and evil is a sickness of the mind. 

So he sits in meditation in the garden 

of the Royal Observatory and contemplates 

the timelessness of the present moment 

whilst serenaded by a choir of robins,

London.

 

Saturday 21 May, 2022

The bitter buddhist walks in the park 

and is set upon by the local Azof brigade 

of exercising Surf Nazis, one of whom

was “disgusted” to be photographed,

London

 

Saturday 21 May, 2022

Anna is delighted to see the dog-roses 

out in the patch of rough hedge 

along the Earlham Road, Norwich – 

more and bigger sprays than 

in previous years

 

Sunday 22 May, 2022

Gill welcomed back a bumble bee 

to nasturtium flowers on 10th floor 

city centre balcony. 

Felt like a blessing,

London

 

Monday 23 May, 2022

Gerry greets more old friends 

in Skeoch Wood –

Tormentil,

Isle of Bute

 

Monday 23 May, 2022

David feels mixed emotions 

on seeing that the Egyptian geese 

in Greenwich Park have hatched 

just one gosling. The geese themselves 

are in a state of high anxiety 

worthy of a dozen,

London

 

Monday 23 May, 2022

This morning Sukhema 

released a sleepy ladybird from the hut,

Carbeth

 

Monday 23 May, 2022

Ahhh, the song thrush at dusk 

Glenkindie, 10.20pm

 

Tuesday 24 May, 2022

Ahh, the songthrush at dawn

4.10am, Glenkindie

 

Wednesday 25 May, 2022

Gerry scents the first rowan blossoms 

in Skeoch Wood,

Isle of Bute

 

Wednesday 25 May, 2022

Sukhema introduces Fiadh –

his ten year granddaughter –

to Matilda (Tilda) her two-week 

old cousin. No need for words, 

just gurgles and smiles.

Battlefield Avenue, Glasgow

 

Thursday 26 May, 2022

Gill is astounded by curly gnarled 

wee oak trees on the airy top of the Torr – 

a vitrified fort at Sheilfoot.  

Hazel rowan holly saplings, primroses, 

bracken, moss. Kentra bog glinting – 

puddles below. Fairies.

Donside

 

Friday 27 May, 2022

Sukhema sniffs and picks 

his first elder blossoms 

to soak in water

Dorsten, Germany

 

Friday 27 May, 2022

Anna is delighted 

by the scent of jasmine 

on Norwich streets.

 

Friday 27 May, 2022

During the current spell 

of cordial weather David 

notices the elder, duly flowering, 

on Hilly Fields,

London

 

Saturday 28 May, 2022

By the Lippe-seitenkanal Sukhema's 

wife's sister Hannah 

picks Grundelrebe (tiny blue flowers) 

and we eat some – delicious!

Dorsten, Germany

 

Wednesday June1, 2022

Gill saw a tree creeper skimming up 

a sitkus spruce by the river Don, 

Glenkindie

 

Wednesday June 1, 2022

Anna glimpsed medlar blooms 

through a window at Kettle’s Yard, 

Cambridge; in St Peter’s Churchyard 

next door, field garlic: beady bulbils 

in the long grass.

 

Thursday June 2, 2022

Rowan, Hawthorn and Laburnum 

in flower, everywhere, Glendindie

 

Sunday 5 June, 2022

While reading Barry Lopez's 

account of his time at the South Pole

Sukhema glances up to greet dog roses 

wide-open in the sun,

front garden, Garrioch Drive, Glasgow

 

Monday 6 June, 2022

Greater stichwort blooming everywhere,

Glenkindie and beyond

 

Monday 6 June, 2022

Gill planted 3 primroses 

in dappled shade 

on the Primrose Path,

while the sound of multiple strimmers 

on the River Don fishing path 

below harmonised with a distant chain saw,

Glenkindie 

 

Wednesday 8 June, 2022

Gill startled a goosander family 

from under long grasses beneath 

the river bank. She swam off 

downstream, four chicks in a neat 

V-shape behind... and much noisy 

chatter, River Don, Glenkindie

 

Wednesday 8 June, 2022

Gerry surprised by a Melanoleuca mushroom 

(not sure which species), up a season early, 

and a stinkhorn, in the middle of Skeoch Wood,

Isle of Bute

 

Thursday 9 June, 2022

Gerry is delighted to see a singleton 

Bay polypore., though inedible, 

it's a sign of things to come,

Skeoch Wood,

Isle of Bute

 

Thursday 9 June, 2022

after a night of coughing,

today Sukhema moves slowly 

and arrives early to everything, 

and now gazes at the jiggling 

white foxgloves and does nothing.

Plot 60, Kirklee, Glasgow 

 

Friday 10 June, 2022

Gill was happy to see a chaotic clutch 

of newly hatched Mallard ducklings 

learning to swim upstream,

River Don, Glenkindie

 

Friday 10 June, 2022

Sukhema's stops to enjoy five goosanders 

dipping, diving and shuggling wings. 

River Kelvin, by Dawsolm Park, Glasgow

 

Friday 10 June, 2022

David almost cries watching 

the cygnets on Greenland dock 

flap their tiny little wings.

 

Saturday 11 June, 2022

Anna turns to find a Red Admiral 

has landed on the handle of her bag 

as she sits in the garden in Norwich. 

Both of us startle, one in delight.

 

Tuesday 14 June, 2022

Gerry is pleased to see thrift 

and blue iris growing together,

Rhubodach,

Isle of Bute

 

Tuesday 14 June, 2022

Gill loves the purple of wood cranesbill 

amoung pink white  lilacs  of sweet rocket 

growing between tall grasses by the River Don,

Glenkindie

 

Wednesday 15 June, 2022

and all at once early purple orchids

the abandoned Academy,

Rothesay, Isle of Bute

 

Wednesday 15 June, 2022

Gill’s first sighting of flower meadows 

in full glory in Wensleydale, 

especially at Muker where we walked 

the same fields on Christmas Day. 

We went back to celebrate 

my mother's 97th birthday 

in beautiful warm weather. 

Dozens of nesting curlews 

and grazing oystercatchers. 

Also first hedgehog wandering by, 

not seen for many years.

 Tiny local show where women's 

fell running record not beaten for 40 years. 

Local ukele band played Ukrainian 

folk songs and the Blaydon Races.

 

Thursday 16 June, (Bloomsday), 2022

Gerry's pleased to see St John's wort in full bloom.

Skeoch Wood, Isle of Bute

 

Thursday 16 June, (Bloomsday), 2022

Gill was delighted to see so many bees 

on her Russian Comfrey blooming 

pink- purple-blue blooms for Bloomsday,

Glenkindie

 

Friday 17 June, 2022

Sukhema gazes at a gaggle of toddlers 

laughing, jumping, splashing, squealing 

in a big puddle under the bridge over Kirklee Road, 

Glasgow

 

Tuesday 21 June, Solstice, 2022

Gerry is delighted 

by bramble blossom and foxgloves 

appearing everywhere,

Isle of Bute

 

Tuesday 21 June, Solstice, 2022

Sukhema picks & eats his first 

home-grown raspberries this year. Delicious,

Kirklee, Glasgow, Plot 60

 

Tuesday 21 June, Solstice, 2022

Gill enjoys purple clover, orchids, 

silverleaf and kelp on the shore,

Isle of Coll  

 

Tuesday 21 June, Solstice, 2022

David slept through the solstice dawn 

but was blessed with the prettiest pink clouds 

just after the sun set on Hilly Fields,

London

 

Wednesday 22 June, 2022

Gerry is astonished by water beetles 

in the tiny moon pond,

Studio Gadelica, Isle of Bute

 

Wednesday 22 June, 2022

while sniffing a sweet white rose, 

Sukhema listens to the blackbird's evening song,

Garrioch Drive, Glasgow

 

Wednesday 22 June, 2022

Gill’s first visit to Hoppings on Newcastle Town Moor 

for about 40 years: fewer fortune tellers 

and no wall of death. We were only brave enough 

for an old-fashioned carousel. 

No beer, no rain. Not what I remember.

 

Thursday 23 June, 2022

Gerry's pleased to see summer moving along

cuckoo flowers and vetches

Skeoch Wood

Bute

 

Thursday 23 June, 2022

after taiji Sukhema inhales deeply 

the scent of freshly mown grass,

Arboretum, Glasgow

 

Tuesday 28 June, 2022

Gill came home from Barra 

to gentler weather – 

elderflowers in full bloom 

and masses of strawberries 

in the fruit cage. As this year’s

blackcurrants slowly ripen, 

she ate the last of the ones 

in the freezer, and set about 

a day of weeding,

Glenkindie

 

Wednesday 29 June, 2022

Alec & Jenny bow down

before her purple passion flowers,

Ruchill, Glasgow

 

Thursday 30 June, 2022

Himalayan Balsam in flower 

all along the River Irwell – 

Sukhema looks forward to 

eating the seed pods,

Kersal Dale, Salford

 

Thursday 30 June, 2022

Anna is delighted to see field roses 

(Rosa arvensis, yellow petals and stamens 

fading to stark white and black) 

in the hedgerow on the way to Great Dixter

 

Friday 1 July, 2022

Jenny points out the Alchemilla

in the border and the cracks of the path

Ruchill, Glasgow

 

Friday 1 July, 2022

Jenny is pleased to note

the second coming 

of the yellow flags 

in their corner of colour,

Ruchill, Glasgow

 

Friday 1 July, 2022

Gill is transfixed by heavy afternoon 

summer showers, shaking dog roses 

and soaking long thick green grasses 

by the river Don, Glenkindie 

 

Friday 1 July, 2022

for the first time this year 

Gerry is happy to note frogspawn 

in Skeoch Wood, Isle of Bute

 

Friday 1 July, 2022

Gill is delighted by clover

bumblebee clover buttercup 

buttercup honeybee bumble bee 

clover clover clover bee buttercup 

honeybee bumblebee clover clover 

buttercup clover, in her Glenkindie lawn

 

Saturday 2 July, 2022

on the morning of 2nd July David

 is emboldened to enact the customary 

protocols having inspected the newly set 

trusses on his tomatoes in the corner 

of the balcony of 4 Friendly Street.

 

Saturday 2 July, 2022

(a bit late, since I was off-grid for a few days)

Gerry treads carefully:

every step along the deer path

raises untold numbers of small white moths, 

brown moths & assorted butterflies 

in the old uncut pasture

above the unfinished hut,

Carbeth

 

Saturday 2 July, 2022

Gill is happy to have gathered 

Elderflowers before the rain this morning, 

and is making industrial quantities of cordial 

while the showers spatter hard 

on the velux upstairs,

Glenkindie 

 

Sunday 3 July, 2022

David picks up the first cob nuts 

in Friendly Gardens. The year is rushing past. 

Even the little swans at Tideway 

are growing their wings, but not fledged yet,

in London

 



photos by David Connearn and Gill Russell