Posted on 15th October, 2016




Seascape on the iPad- Liz Waugh



Canute - On Oystercatchers


At first glance it looks as if

   the oystercatcher has missed

      its chance, has left it far too late


      to escape the incoming tide,

   hopping haphazardly from one

submerging outcrop of stone


to another. I almost find

   myself fearing for its survival

      until I remember it can fly.


Gordon Meade


Seasons prompt


Seasons of the year....  


Remember....a white Yule, shades of wrinkled plum purple, glacial grey, iceberg blue drifts, all warmed through by clove spiked oranges and toffee'd apples – take carraway seed-cake soaked in cider, egg nog, or ginger tea in company with the Great Earth Mother. Save crumbs for the robin.

Remember.....the earth in spring, marked by sudden growth; delicate narcissi, paper white. nodding away piss-stained snows. Green grain shoots lawn the pastures. While in my garden a mahonia shelters bees, bringing an extraordinary early buzz of contentment to catkins swinging on the tail of a March wind.

Remember... the heat of summer. Lazy mackerel skies, a sailor's blue shirt stitched by swifts and swallows in whirling twirls of invisible threads. Hair glimmers gold and skin tones deepen as warmth floods bones, chasing away aches and pains for a glorious spell. autumn's leaves crumple, puff balls glow luminous in dank woods and the smell of chrysanthemums swamp the day of the dead. Licking flames die; a heady bronze incense withers in the incinerator - ash for new soil. High in a blackberry-tinged sky, barnacle geese swoop in; Spitzbergen abandoned, 33,000 geese graze the Solway plains awaiting March.


Steph Newham 




Crested Tit - Tom Langlands




      Prehistoric Prompt


      Life Giver



       Crouched in the early light

       body rigid-


       soon antlers are waving

       almost to greet;

       I bide my time

       he descends towards me

       my spear is primed



       Closer now- 

       he hesitates,

       Twang! Whoosh! Kill!

       his body will sustain life;

       looking into his eyes

       I feel no elation

       only gratitude

       as I bow before him.


       Eleanor Chesters



                                                             Mist & Fog Prompt



                                                                  The Herald.



                                                           A quiet chirrup of a cricket,

                                                           And the laggard flicker of a star,

                                                           A bridal veil of mist arises,

                                                           Meadowsweet scents the air,

                                                           The lark mounts upwards

                                                           To the hesitant light of morning,

                                                           Proclaiming spring is come

                                                           Mellowed from cold winter,

                                                           Time to sing, to soar,

                                                           To live, to love,

                                                           A spark of life,

                                                           In the palest blue

                                                           A shadow and a herald

                                                           Of nature’s triumphant passage

                                                           Over hibernal days.


                                                           Thelma Hancock



Nature Diary 15th October 2016  - Fiona Russell


The wind has finally changed direction from the easterly that has coursed over the watershed for the last couple of weeks. In shelter it was often reasonably balmy, but out of shelter, and living up on the hillside, the teeth of a cold wind from the continent bit on any  uncovered skin. I have sought shelter around the cottage in the night when I have taken my pup out for 'draining.'  Now our more usual westerly is back. On one of my routine walks I once again have the wind at my back going out, and feel the freshness in my face returning home. The changing phase of the moon seems to have brought the change to the wind. An old crofter/fisherman on a west coast island where I volunteered once told me to watch how the main phases of the moon 'changed the weather,'  and even how the weather changed with the turn of the tide. 

Those five high-risk strategy swallows who have been with us for the first part of the month have finally taken their leave. Yesterday I saw two more hirondelles making a late move to the south. I don't expect to see any more until next spring, but I might yet be surprised. 

A group of around 80 fieldfares made a brief appearance in the valley a few days ago. I was alerted by their harsh 'shak-shak-shak' chattering. The tell-tale flight of a few wing beats followed by a glide repeated as they moved between trees, and sometimes alighting on wires, also confirmed that they were fieldfares. They descended onto some of the stunted ancient hawthorn trees that cling to the lean soil on the hillsides. The berries were quickly stripped, and then the flock moved onto some of the remaining berry-laden rowan trees further down the valley.

A flock of nearly a hundred starlings have gathered on the farm, and are roosting in trees around the farm buildings during the past few weeks. I love their incessant chatter. In the late afternoon they tend to gather on wires before taking off on their short pointed wings to plunge into the pines, or the ancient ash tree just above the farm steading. 




Layers/transparency prompt


X ray


Twenty years on I still see

my mother's hands

rather than my own 

steering my car. 

She had arthritis in her left hand; 

I have it in mine. 

She had short broad palms, 

stubby fingers, spoon shaped nails,

worn down, unkempt, just like mine. 

Strong hands, capable 

of wringing sheets, 

Hands eager to reach out to others. 

I repeat her actions with my hands,

carry her with me.


Steph Newham


















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