Learning to love orange – two new occupants of the “Hot Flush” bed

For years I shunned bright colours in my garden.  The only orange flowered plants I kept from the original garden layout were the Hemerocallis fulva Kwanso  featured in an earlier post.   Any red flowers were all dark reds, they veered towards the blue spectrum with no hint of orange allowed. Then suddenly, in my autumn years, I realized that I was enjoying other gardeners borders full of brightly coloured late flowerers as much as my own pastel drifts of asters, anemones  and  phlox. Out came the spade and the Hot Flush bed started to evolve.

This summer I added Helenium Septemberfuchs…..

helsept1

helsept2
….. and Crocosmia Carmine Brilliant
crocos1

helcroc

setting sun, sitting hare

Two very different images shot five minutes apart.

I spotted this hare as I walked home …………

hare1

when I walked into the garden the sun was in the lilac …….

sunsetlilac

I like the contrast between these two pictures taken during the same sunset; the soft rays across the stubble and the burning sphere in the foliage. The tree behind the lilac is actually about 400 yards away and this was the first time this year that I managed to catch the exact moment when the gap in its branches allows the sun to shine through the gap in the lilac’s branches.

Evening sky with contrails

A couple of weeks ago while out walking I took this shot as I turned towards home at about 7.15.
contrails1

Half an hour later I spotted an airliner heading towards Heathrow; normally I wouldn’t take a second glance at a  contrail  but the light  was  perfect so I took this photograph.

contrails2
There must have been a landing delay as the aircraft suddenly veered right, then, several minutes later, turned again and flew back in the direction it had come.
contrails3
It crossed back over its own contrail and circled round before heading once more in the direction of Heathrow. Usually I dislike these intrusive man-made vapour trails but that evening the effect was quite surreal, like an abstract painting across the sky.
contrails4
contrails5

The Garden at Oxleaze Farm, Filkins.

During the summer I visited the garden at Oxleaze Farm, Filkins; this is a beautiful rural location roughly between Lechlade and Burford.  Chipps Mann has created a wonderfully relaxing environment and, as she grows many of the same plants as me, I think she has impeccable taste!! I hope that the following photographs give a feeling of the place but there is a lot more to linger over in this garden.

oxfarm1
oxfarm2

oxfarm3oxfarm4

oxfarm6
oxfarm7

oxfarm8
oxfarm9
oxfarm5

I know, I said no more dragonflies, but twice in one summer ……………………

I took my mug of tea and a journal out to the pond; I couldn’t believe my eyes when another dragonfly settled on my boot the moment I stood still.dragonfly9

I took a few more pictures then sat down very slowly but it did not move
dragonfly10

Several minutes later I slid a piece of grass underneath the dragonfly and held it right in front of my face; annoyingly I did not have a macro lens on the camera and had to stretch out both my arms to get the next shot so it’s not properly focussed on the dragonfly

dragonfly11

I just had to show you that I hadn’t reached my dragonfly zenith after all.

August 18 – final butterflies and a hopper

I have set myself new writing targets for September; stepping back from the WIP and concentrating on improving my photography has helped me to regain enthusiasm for finishing the novel.  A huge ” thank-you” to everyone who has liked and/or left kind comments in response to the photographic posts as the positive feedback really helped to keep depression at bay.  These are the last butterfly shots for 2013.

I took the photo of the Small Copper butterfly last week on the marjoram that has been covered in bees and butterflies all summer

small copper

Yesterday some Speckled Wood butterflies were flying in a small group along the edge of a belt of trees; they completely ignored me

speckled wood1
This one was darker than the others; it looks a bit moth-eaten!

speckled wood2
I couldn’t get a clear shot of the underside; this was the best effort

speckled wood3

I don’t know anything about identifying grasshoppers but this little creature appeared in front of me on a reed

ghopper1
I knew I had a good shot but I waited to see if I could capture the face

ghopper2
Afraid that it was disappearing I snatched that picture too quickly without getting the focus right  but, a moment later, the hopper reappeared from the far side of the reed and I had my shot of the dayghopper3

August 17 – last of the dragonflies

I had a telephoto lens on the camera as I was trying to capture a shot of a strangely exotic-looking bird (focus failure!) but when this dragonfly landed next to me I stepped back about 5 feet and took the photo below. I think it looks like a picture of a plastic toy, reminiscent of childhood purchases from Woolworths. The reflective quality of the wings almost certainly means that this is a recently hatched dragonfly (female teneral common darter??)

dragonfly5

 
I walked  to the house, switched the lens, and went back out not really expecting the dragonfly to still be around so I was delighted to find it in the same spot.  This is the first time I have managed to take a series of shots of the same one; I think I may have reached my zenith where dragonflies are concerned so these will be the last photographs of them on my blog this year.

dragonfly6

dragonfly7

dragonfly 8