hummingbirds

did you know that hummingbirds tend to feed from flowers which hang down vertically even though this costs them more energy than feeding on more accessible blooms?  hummingbirds are crucial pollinators of flowering plants across the Americas.  apparently they choose the downward facing flowers because their nectar is less diluted by rain and thus contains the most sugar.

i love any items with birds on them, so it was lovely to see liberty still sell lots of items emblazened with birds.   when birds are used on everyday things  there is something calming about seeing them on familiar objects.  found this little nest hidden in my wisteria.  Jane Clayton has a lovely selection of wallpapers including birds too.

for another exquisite gift idea, these beautiful porcelain plates with little birds on are made by fliff carr.

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have a cosy bonfire evening

the name Parliament Hill did not originate because of the houses of parliament, as they were not near here at all – legend states that Guy Fawkes planned to watch the destruction of Parliament from here in the gunpowder plot of 1605 – it was known as traitors hill.    probably a bit of a useless fact, but i do walk around london wondering how names of areas were derived.

Kew Gardens

autumn is a perfect time for a trip to kew gardens ; it can be so peaceful walking round the grounds watching nature at its best –   the leaves are just dropping – a sign of its life over, but the colours are so beautiful – you couldnt mix those palettes of yellows, oranges and reds.    it does seem quite expensive for admission, but you have to just tell yourself that its a charitable contribution that helps keep the trees and this beautiful park alive.  its definitely much cheaper if you prebook online and you also save queuing.     there are a couple of cafes there,  but I quite like  maids of honour just outside of the park.  I can’t believe that I had never been to the Marianne North gallery before ; a vivid collection of 19th century botanical art, the gallery is a treat for both art lovers and adventurous minds.  as a woman who defied convention, North travelled the world solo to record the tropical and exotic plants that captivated her.

She challenged the tradition of Victorian flower painting and chose to paint plants in their natural settings instead. Her work became a powerful record of the dramatic landscapes she visited and the plants that inhabit them – years ahead of the invention of colour photography.

how wonderful to have an autumn wedding at kew!

October

I love going to my Sunday morning yoga class, its not just about stretching and strengthening one’s body, but also calming the mind, focusing on the positive aspects of life and being positive about what you have and the way forward.  both Erika and Alex are tranquil souls who also introduce you to wise sayings and beautiful poems.  I love this one, which is a metaphor for growing old, with the seasons symbolising the cycle of human life and the leaves sprouting, budding, flourishing and then changing colour before ending, it reveals that the author is reaching his maturity and sensing the closeness of death that he is not yet ready to leave.

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

Robert Frost