Well, it seems the cobwebs have been gathering here.
I've been away for so long that I think I may have forgotten how to use Blogger!
I'm sorry to have abandoned you all - I really didn't mean to - it's just I get so caught up in the 'here and now' that there never seems to be enough time to blog. Still, I'm here, and I'm dusting away busily. There is so much to catch up on - new projects afoot, pony news, that I've been scratching my head for weeks and wondering where on earth to start.
So, for today, I thought I'd show you the reason WHY I spend so much time away from my computer.
There is so much to see and do outside, that I spend almost every waking moment out under the skies, grateful every moment that I live where I do.
These stone lanes, green woods and steep valleys are just bursting with life. It seems there is more this year than ever before. A walk around the footpaths takes hours as I stop to examine each and every new plant, delighted whenever I find a new one.
Today I took my camera with me, so I could document the abundance of wildflowers.
Herb Robert, Foxglove, Dog Rose, Stonecrop, Water Dropwort (I've a story about that - remind me to tell you one day) Nettles and Goosegrass.
Honesty, Hogweed, Wood Woundwort ( my least favourite wild flower - it's foliage is truly stinky) Red Campion, California poppy (must have escaped from a garden) and Feverfew.
Beautifully glowing California Poppies.
Yarrow, Wood Sage, Spear Thistle, Pig Nut and Wild Oat, and Hedge Bedstraw.
Goatsbeard, with their seed heads the size of an orange!
Bumblebee and Bramble
Wormwood, Tansy, Yarrow flower, Tufted Vetch, Honeysuckle and a yellow vetch - I think it's Meadow Vetchling, but I'm not certain.
The path to the stepping stones is overgrown that we had a job to get down it.
And a pause to paddle and play in the river in the mid-day sun. The stepping stones are precarious, but it's lovely to wade across. The river is alive with the sound of whirring wings. Dragonflies and damselflies in every colour imaginable dart and swoop across the water.
And we pass the village pool - river fed, and beautiful, nestled in the valley beside the river.
Here, in the large swathes of wildflowers, left in the rougher corner of the hay meadow, is the plant I've come looking for today: St John's Wort
Golden clumps in amongst the many wild flowers.
More Wood Woundwort (beautiful mixed in with the golden St John's Wort), White Campion, and, to my excitement, a solitary Wild Valerian plant.
We stopped to look at the Beaver Tree, and the names carved therein. We spent our childhood summers in this tree, the limbs spiralling up like a staircase.
Pennywort flowering in the walls.
Bindweed, Green Alkanet, Speedwell, ivy leaved toadflax, and my most favourite wildflower of all, the Orange Hawkbit.
This is what I brought home with me today.
St John's wort is steeping in oil, and the others are on racks to dry.
Next time I'll show you my new work :)