Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

A festival of light

What's the weather like where you are? Here it's very bright and very very still . . . and quiet - or is it my ears? I'm trying to kick off this pig of a cold and rather glum that I don't feel up to a few hours gardening. Oooooo no, my ears are working - here come the Apache helicopters doing a low level swoop over the village (they always whizz over this way when it's nice and sunny!).

I don't feel like getting out the fork and wheelbarrow, but I did stroll over to the greenhouse to pick a chilli to pep up the leftover pasta bake for my lunch. Are chilis good for colds? It feels like they should be. My hearing may be a bit rubbish but my eyes were assaulted by colour and light; how apt on the eve of Diwali, the Festival of Light.

On the old metal watering can a beautiful red dragonfly was soaking up the rays, he looks so exotic - another dragonfly species to add to our garden visitors list. I've checked on the excellent and very useful Field Studies Council 'Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of Britain' and it seems he's a Common Darter, Sympetrum striolatum. I think he deserves a more poetic name, don't you?

The hens are taking full advantage of the sun and are basking. They descend into their basking poses like hovercrafts slowly deflating - it always makes me smile. Our head girl and boss 'senior under-gardener', Ruby is moulting; as is little Nutmeg and although they are usually at opposite ends of 'the pecking order' they are now being sisterly and stand together, preening (it won't last). It must be very uncomfortable and undignified when ones feathers get pushed out by the stubby quills of new plumage. Don't worry, they'll be the belles of the ball when their new feathers have grown.


  1. such gorgeous reds in leaves & dragonfly! a basking chicken is a happy chicken.

  2. What a lovely post Celia - that dragonfly is very handsome indeed.

    Oh though - your scarf - your beautiful scarf. You've a Gudrun dress too? I am green (or should that be maroon) with envy.

  3. Hope you shake off your cold soon - the chillis will help!

    Beautiful dragonfly - he definitely deserves a more befitting name!

    Have a lovely weekend.

    Jeanne x

  4. Lovely dragonfly. There's a Ruddy Darter too if memory serves. I love to see dragonflies.

  5. It has been so lovely and bright these past few days, great dog walking weather. I think we are going to have a hard frost any day now.

  6. Spot on with Common Darter, Celia. Beautiful photo, too.

  7. just been catching up on your last few posts - the scarf turned out a treat! And that gin bubbling away is making me long for summer and a balmy afternoon relaxing in the garden. I can't help thinking how clever you are growing your own saffron - it goes in so many Spanish style dishes - what about fish stew?

  8. First of all I hope you feel better soon! And yes chilis are supposed to be good for a cold, they help to clear out your system.

    What a lovely dragonfly friend, arent they beautiful creatures?

    Oh I love to watch the chickens bask in the sun, it looks so comfortable! I too smile when they slowly melt into the ground. Goodness, you should see our chickens, they are moulting like mad! Some look so so sad. I hope the poor girls get their feathers back soon, its starting to get a little chilly around here.

  9. Lovely sunny pictures, it's horible today in Norfolk. Hope you are over your cold. I believe chillies are good for colds, I think it makes your nose run so much it washes it away!

  10. how wonderful! I finally had some time to pop by for a visit and here are the girls -- your undergardeners. Thank you for such a lovely wander through your lovely yard.

  11. Hi Petoskystone - they're definitely happy hens!

    Hi Silverpebble - that dress is a few years old now but I think I like t even more this year!

    Hi Cottage Garden - I think the chilis did the trick - and the quince vodka ;-)

    Hi Veg Heaven - there is indeed a Ruddy Darter, another regular in our garden earlier in the year.

    Hi Matron - It's still mild and just right for autumn walks - hope you and Buddy are enjoying leaf peeping!

    Thank you for confirming my ID Dean :-)

    Hi Jackie - a Spanish style fish recipe sounds lovely - thank you!

    Thank you Dowhatyoulove - all better now! Our hens are moulting too - poor Ruby she obviously feels very low.

    Hi Pennygj - absolutely! I think the curry helped a lot!

    Hi welcome again Diane - my under-gardeners love to make people smile.



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