Nicolette's Notebook

How creativity seems to colour every day of my life

Kotara and Aang... new arrivals

28 May 2010

Neil and I went to the garden centre at Donegore as we were looking for a replacement cucumber plant for the one which died.  We also wanted some new packets of seed for the lettuce we like to grow for the summer.  I wanted a couple of oxygenating plants for the pond as I thought it would be nice for the Pinpin and Firefly the Koi carp to have some greenery to nibble. 

As we passed the koi carp we couldn't resist stopping to look at them.  Neil fell in love with the beautiful golden fish.  It was the only that looked like that and is truly beautiful.  We decided that it would probably to best to buy two the same size so that they would have company when they met the larger fish in the pond.
On arriving home, Neil opened the bag and we spent the next couple of hours acclimatising the new fish to the pond environment. 
After about 3 hours we decided it was time for the release and Kotara and Aang arrived in the pond and were very quickly greeted by Pinpin and Firefly who seemed delighted to have some newcomers to their fishy shoal.
Kotara is the white and orange one and Aang is the golden coloured fish.

On the Wrong side of the Fence...

I stopped to take a photograph of the beech tree in leaf and looked along the lane to see where Shane was.  There was no sign of him.  Then I heard the heavy breathing from the other side of the wall and fence.  He had somehow got into the field with the cows and new calves.  NO amount of looking could find his route in, so in the end I had to pull the fence up at the bottom edge where there was a tiny gap and drag him through on his side.
Looking suitably chastened after this experience!

For the love of a... Dandelion

As Shane and I walked along the lane from the Hightown Road carpark looking as usual at the beautiful views and the newly green hedgerow just teaming with life we could not but notice that the dandelions were by far the most popular of the flowers.
Almost every dandelion flower we passed seemed to have a Green Veined White butterfly fluttering from one blossom to the next feeding on its nectar.  But they were not the only visitor.  We also saw many hoverflies and other types of insect enjoying this supply of food.

Beautiful Dandelion Clocks

I just adore the dandelions at every stage of their life.  So beautiful.  In the gloaming they seem to glow.  The long grass lawn near the castle is full of dandelion clocks.  Clocks at every stage.
Opening into complete clocks... Starting to lose their little parachutes.
How beautiful is every individual little fine filigree parachute.
Little Dandelion

Bright little Dandelion
Lights up the meads,
Swings on her slender foot,
Telleth her beads,
Lists to the robin's note
Poured from above;
Wise little Dandelion
Asks not for love.

Cold lie the daisy banks
Clothed but in green,
Where, in the days agone,
Bright hues were seen.
Wild pinks are slumbering,
Violets delay;
True little Dandelion
Greeteth the May.

Brave little Dandelion!
Fast falls the snow,
Bending the daffodil's
Haughty head low.
Under that fleecy tent,
Careless of cold,
Blithe little Dandelion
Counteth her gold.

Meek little Dandelion
Groweth more fair,
Till dies the amber dew
Out from her hair.
High rides the thirsty sun,
Fiercely and high;
Faint little Dandelion
Closeth her eye.

Pale little Dandelion,
In her white shroud,
Heareth the angel-breeze
Call from the cloud;
Tiny plumes fluttering
Make no delay;
Little winged Dandelion
Soareth away.

Helen Barron Bostwick [1826- ? ]
Source: "The Home Book of Verse," by Burton Stevenson

The Elusive White Bluebell

When we were children walking with mum on the bluebell walk we would keep our eyes peeled searching for the elusive white bluebell.  There would always be the odd one in among the sea of blues and greens.
I always thought the white ones had a special beauty of their own.

Bluebell Walk on Cavehill

When I walk among the bluebells I am transported by the scent and the beauty to other times in my life.
As I wander through the beautiful blue blossoms I think of childhood, of walks through the bluebells, of picnics to celebrate Pip's birthday in early May.
Of happy childhood days spent roaming on the Cavehill for hours on end.
Shane looks back at us to see if we are following him or stopping yet again to take another photograph.
The bluebells are stunning with so many shades of blue to purple running through them.

Bluebells in May

The bluebells were beautiful this year.  Although it was cold and they were a little bit late coming out the nettles had not quite overtaken them.
Mum and I have walked this route many times over the years enjoying the beauty of the new Spring leaves coming onto the trees and the colour of the bluebells on the sloping woodland floor below.
Neil Shane and I went on a few wonderful walks.  There was always the sound of buzzing bumblebees and the odd fluttering butterfly.
The path was edged with the wonderful blue blossoms.
I took a quick snap of Neil looking at a photograph he had just taken.