Friday, May 30, 2008

May jottings about this and that

There are some beautiful trees at the end of my road. When the new spring foliage emerges it does so in upstanding buds that are somewhat tulip shaped, and they are so pretty. Every year I try to remember to catch them with my camera. This year I came close but still did not get the perfect moment or the perfect shot.

And when the foliage is fully out the trees themselves have a lovely oval shape too, as though they have never been cut back. If you enlarge the picture on the left, you will see what the foliage looks like when it is first fully out. Later it all darkens to the same shade.

During the brief heatwave we had in the UK in May, a wasp made itself at home in my bathroom and began to build a nest. I don't much like being in the same room with a wasp, although I don't panic, but try to remove them. On this occasion though I was so fascinated by the process that I let it be in order to watch its progress - and yes I even had a shower while it worked away busily over my head. If you enlarge this picture you can see it curled round the stem which holds the little cluster of nursery cells to the main structure. Whether it was working or sleeping, I couldn't make out. Later I realised I would get a better shot, standing in the bath as I was, if I held the camera at arm's length to get it closer to the subject. (Slow to learn, us oldies are, or just plain stupid!) Here you can see the curious, rather pergola like structure at the top, and the different coloured rings in the main fabric, due, I am told, to the different substances the wasp uses to make its building material from. The wasp got discouraged when the cold weather came back, and didn't finish the job. Just as well really - I didn't want an active nest in my bathroom!

Digging deeper than usual into the box of old sewing materials and trimmings which I inherited from my mother, and which I suspect she inherited from her's, I found this beautiful lace jabot which I had never seen before. I just had to immortalise it with a picture, and managed to take a few shots of myself wearing it. I then clipped off the part of the picture showing my grimly set mouth and stern expression, produced I suppose by the concentration required to hold my hand steady. And here's a thought. I used to wonder how women could bear to wear high collars like that, but it is a perfect mask for the chicken-neck scrawniness of the ageing woman!

My county library service is doing its bit to reduce the quantity of plastic bags which go into landfill every week. It came up with these jute bags which it is selling for £1.00 a piece, designed with a good square shape so that they will easily carry books. The straps are a comfortable length to sling over the shoulder, and I have discovered an additional advantage too. A shoe box will fit neatly into the bottom, giving a really firm foundation should you need one. I went to a plant sale the other weekend, and was able to stand all sorts of little pots quite securely in the box, so that they did not tumble together and get squashed. I have two, one downstairs and one up, so there is always one handy for carrying things up and down, when I feel the need of having both hands on a handrail.

Tomorrow it will be June, and I shall start another folder in my Pictures file.

1 comment:

Granny J said...

Fascinating, your lone wasp and her nest; do wasps of this type ever make colonies or do they remain loners? The jabot was an interesting find and, yes, it certainly is a pretty cover-up for an aging neck (as is a comfy turtle neck). Very nice photos, BTW!