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Archive for October, 2017

Strange Tales

Weird Sun Through Clouds

Weird Sun Through Clouds

We recently had Hurricane Ophelia potter past. Although it made a nasty mess as it came up round Ireland, by the time it reached our vicinity it was just full of hot air. It was quite strange, after a night of howling gales – and if you live within a few yards of a wood, as we do, you’ll know how descriptive this phrase is – and thrashing branches, the days were blustery but not overly so, but this bluster was unnaturally warm. It was almost as though it had been sitting all day in front of the fire, watching the television with all the doors and windows closed. It felt decidedly stuffy and musty. It made you want to breath shallowly so as not to have to inhale too much of the stuff.

The strange, Fifth Dimension feel, extended to the daylight itself. It was dull and overcast. Now when it comes to dull and overcast you’d think that we had tried them all. Especially this year which has been almost a whole year of every variety of dull and overcast you can imagine. The dull and overcast of that day, however, just felt wrong.

Then the sun broke through the clouds. As you can see from the picture, it, too, was eerie and just plain strange.

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The Beginning Not The End

Sweet Chestnut Case

Sweet Chestnut Case

Today we have the seed case of the Sweet Chestnut. The tree it’s from grows in the hedge along the road we take to the railway crossing.

The seed case, lying here in the grass, is the sign of a job well done. All the effort that went into growing, putting out leaves, flowering, getting pollinated and finally producing this large spiky seed is over. The work is complete. The fruit of that labour lies here, before us.

Now, the world holds its breath. We wait for Spring. For new life to break forth from the seeds and start the new cycle.

Dr Edward Bach – in the 1930s – felt that Sweet Chestnut flower essence was for those who had reached the end. They had exhausted all their options. When interviewed they would say ‘I just don’t know what to do, now!’ Often, he noted, this was a sign that the end of a cycle had been reached – the darkest hour before the dawn – and the sufferer was about to experience a great awakening to a new life.

Art imitating nature, perhaps?

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Hard and Soft Options

Holly Berries

Holly Berries

The holly berries are reddening up nicely and, now they’re no longer green and have become visible to even a casual observer, we are starting to see predictions forecasting a hard winter.

The issue is relatively straightforward: there are holly trees that decide whether or not to produce berries with a joyful disregard to whatever the weather does; there are holly trees who produce berries only when they’re firmly convinced that we have a hard winter ahead; there are holly trees who see only positive outcomes and, even if they believe that a hard winter is immanent, refuse to produce berries; then, of course, there are holly trees who are convinced that it is their inalienable right to produce berries only if it sounds like a fun thing to do.

What we need here is a Venn diagram. This will reliably identify, once and for all, which holly trees, within the four sets, are this year’s true indicator.

Other than serving this important weather forecasting function, I can only report that holly berries are quite poisonous. As a compensatory gesture they also make us vomit, thus requiring considerable persistence and focus before we can consume enough to kill ourselves.

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