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May morning

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default May morning

Post by Chilli-head on 22nd April 2015, 5:21 pm

May morning will soon be upon us, and it is such a special time to me.  Having lived in Oxford where it was much celebrated, I used often to be awake at dawn to celebrate, though usually because I was still up from the night before !  A few years ago I visited the marvelous Maying at Padstow with a good friend with pagan tendencies.  I commented on the freshness of the leaves on the trees and the blossom which seemed to have appeared almost overnight, and how you could see why the ancients might have celebrated this renewal.  He berated me for being un-poetic, and said that clearly the rituals had worked Very Happy

In the spirit of renewal (of a slightly forgotten area of the forum at least !),  could you share your May morning in pictures ?  Whether it is Hobby 'Osses, Morris men at dawn, or just scenes of renewal in your own garden/plot/neighbourhood.  I'll accept either the proper May morning (Friday 1st May), The May day bank holiday (Monday 4th), or anytime in the intervening weekend.  There, go on, lots of opportunity to take a picture an pop it in here.
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Post by Dandelion on 24th April 2015, 4:35 pm

Great idea! Hopefully my May morning will be spent in the garden - I know that Mr D and our eldest are planning to go to the civil war re-enactment at Newark, so their experience will involve a bit more gunpowder!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by freebird on 25th April 2015, 10:19 am

I thought it was a great idea too - until a customer decided that Wed morning wasn't convenient and now wants the job doing on Fri morning. Sigh.

But hopefully I'll be out taking some pics later in the day.
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Post by Chilli-head on 25th April 2015, 11:10 am

Hope your job doesn't take too long FB. I am insanely busy at work too at the moment so don't know if I will be free to celebrate on Friday proper. It would be a sad thing if our May morning photos were of the insides of a gas boiler and the wiring of an agricultural machine Neutral
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Post by Ploshkin on 26th April 2015, 9:30 am

When I lived in Kent the Morris men used to dance in the dawn on Mayday at the Coldrum Stones (followed by breakfast in the pub). The sound of the accordion in the air is one of the evocative sounds of a Kentish summer evening that I will always remember. It always makes me smile when people describe Morris dancing as effeminate as it was anything but - especially when they started wielding the sticks and of course it involved a fair amount of beer too.
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Post by Dandelion on 26th April 2015, 3:28 pm

Ha ha - yes; we have the Silurian Morris men here, and as you say Ploshkin, they are anything but effeminate. Last time we watched them, there were splinters coming off the sticks and hitting the audience!! They have their faces darkened, which is said to go back to the times of the workhouse and parish welfare, when some of those who were supported by the parish would belong to a Morris side, from which they would earn some extra money, and the disguise was to stop anyone identifying those who were 'moonlighting'. I have to say that I wouldn't be surprised if the custom goes further back than that.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird on 1st May 2015, 5:56 pm

Looks like I'm first with the piccies then.

I did indeed spend the morning working - not looking at the inside of a boiler, as the case wouldn't come off!

I took these before I went out, so before 9am, and are the best my garden has to offer today:

Alpine clematis, only planted last year, starting to cover the screen made from two iron gates welded together.
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Comfrey - it spreads horribly and I always say I'll dig it up. Then it flowers and is so pretty.....
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Geum
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Herb Robert - a weed, growing out of my back step. How can I be cross with such a lovely little thing. Foliage goes deep crimson when the plant is finishing.
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Our old apple trees are flowering their socks off this year. This is an old variety, popular in the 1940s, called Maidstone Favourite. An early eater but not a keeper. My kids used to call them cherry apples as they were so red and sweet. We still do!
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And lastly, some container planting in a shady corner. Only planted last summer, but the Brunnera is looking especially pretty (the blue one with forget-me-not flowers)
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Post by FloBear on 1st May 2015, 10:46 pm

A delightful selection, freebird. Your apple tree blossom is truly amazing.
I meant to get out with the camera today but it was dull and cold so I didn't fancy it.
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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd May 2015, 10:07 am

I did venture out with my camera yesterday morning but the battery decided to run out of fuel so I've had to charge it up before downloading. It was very cold (4c) with an east wind & very dull - today it's even colder. Anyway here's a couple of pics from yesterday taken while I was walking round the sheep who were mostly cwtched down in the hollows out of the wind.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

I love all the different shades of green this time of the year
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and one more - it's surprising how many trees still appear to be in winter mode but all of a sudden on day they will be green
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Post by Dandelion on 2nd May 2015, 5:46 pm

That's a very pretty geum, FB. I thought I didn't like them, because my mother had a lot in the garden, and they were a very bright orangey red. But that is a beautiful shade.
Love that last picture Ploshkin, with the fallen tree.
I'm going out with my camera on Monday, when hopefully there'll be some sun.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 2nd May 2015, 9:41 pm

Well, I had hoped to make it up to the park on May Morning to see our local Morris men perform.  They dance at dawn (5:25am) each year.  I have made it once, unsurprisingly with the same friend I mentioned visiting Padstow with earlier in this thread.  We were technically not awake early, it was the end of a very late night drinking copious amounts of my homemade mead !

Anyway, work got in the way, I was busy pushing back the frontiers of organic weed control, so that will have to wait for another year.

Freebird, your apple tree is superb.  My new apples that I am planning to train into an espalier hedge at the allotment are not so dramatic, but for a one year old feathered maiden planted in the winter, I was very pleased to see this:

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This is Queenby's glory, which was bred at Wrest park where I work, and is growing here about five miles from where it originated.  Hopefully it will like the conditions ...

Another tree I love in spring is this one in the garden with the dark blossom.  I think it is a crab apple.  It was a bit over on May day; it is deeper when the blossom is fresh:

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Here it is in a better light:

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But I've included it because in that tree, there is a nest, and on that nest there is a bird*:

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And under that bird, there are some eggs !

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Sorry about the poor picture quality, the nestbox cam is only black and white (infra red lights, so as not to disturb the bird), and it only feeds into the TV, so we had to photograph the screen.  I might build a better one with a WiFi webcam using a Raspberry Pi if I have the energy, so I can grap images more directly.  But still, it is exciting to be able to peek in.  They are a pair of blue tits, if you can't figure it out from the image.

*Anyone spot The Wickerman reference ?  I like that film; I love Christopher Lee's obvious relish in the role of Lord Summerisle.  got the full length uncut version on DVD to watch sometime.
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Post by freebird on 3rd May 2015, 7:54 am

Oooh oooh aahh - took me a while to work out the first nestbox pic. It just looked all grey and swirly, then I saw the eggs in the second, then suddenly the bird appeared. That's really nice, CH.

Are you going to let your one year maiden set fruit? Shouldn't really, but it's very tempting.
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Post by Ploshkin on 3rd May 2015, 10:40 am

That's wonderful CH - more telly pictures to come I hope. I had no idea that blue tits laid so many eggs they must be tiny. Do you know when she started incubating - I believe they take about 12 days.
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Post by Dandelion on 4th May 2015, 3:50 pm

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A May Day glimpse of my shed, with just a few of the 75 tomatoes I've just potted up!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Dandelion on 4th May 2015, 3:53 pm

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...and pretty Spring flowers by the pond

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird on 4th May 2015, 4:17 pm

Pond planting looks lovely, D. Both my hellebores and primroses are all finished - you must be a bit later where you live.

Well impressed with your tidy shed - did you do that especially for the photograph? Mine is a complete tip.
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Post by Dandelion on 4th May 2015, 6:52 pm

I didn't tidy it for the photo, but it is my 'dive' when the weather gets warmer, and I did sort it out a bit over Easter, to make more room! There is now just enough space between the worktop and my bike for me to wedge myself in on an old stool so that I can pot up, drink coffee and read!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 4th May 2015, 9:11 pm

I think my shed is more like freebird's by the sound of it !

The flowers are very pretty; love the hellebores but ... you have a Spanish invader, I think ! Is that hyacinthoides hispanica I see ?
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Post by Dandelion on 4th May 2015, 10:28 pm

I think it's probably a hybrid - I printed out a guide to telling the difference between native bluebells and Spanish, and the bluebells in my garden don't have cream coloured anthers in the flowers, so they're not native. They don't however have very wide leaves, which makes me wonder if they're a cross. They were here when we bought the house - I wonder if they were originally hyacinths which have naturalised. Well spotted Chilli!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 5th May 2015, 7:29 am

We have hybrid ones here too. I have removed the blue and pink ones (the latter are just wrong IMHO), but we still have some white ones that are kimd of pretty.
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Post by Ploshkin on 5th May 2015, 10:01 am

I think you could do with a greenhouse for all those tomato plants Dandelion! Wink
I've been launching an attack on non native bluebells this year - digging & burning. They were in the garden when we came here but there are loads of native bluebells in the hedgerows and on one of our banks so I try to keep the aliens at bay.
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Post by Dandelion on 13th May 2015, 7:42 pm

I've had a chance to compare the colour of wild bluebells with the Spanish ones on the way to work - as the road to Hereford winds through farmland, there is a patch of wild ones near to a lay-by. They are so intense in colour that they are practically purple. Travelling onwards we go through a village where someone has planted the cultivated ones by the verge, and the colour is more sky blue. I don't think I'd properly looked at the colours .

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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