Overcast, but springing

Apple petal carpet

The wind (more than the rain) is bringing down the apple petals. They are reminiscent of snow on the grass.

Lupine ready to open

This lupine is developing color, but still tight-closed.

Lupine opening

Love the purple shades that develop in the blossoms. Some tend a bit toward lavender, and we have a small minority that are white or pink.

I just checked the lilacs, and ours have color but the buds are unopened. I smelled, and no scent yet. ;-(

Don’t sue the Sault

Felt food

Melissa and Doug: you can do much better than felt food*.

Bisonburger clydes

Like a bison-burger and fries at Clyde’s.

* Or even pre-felt food. 😉

Floral trio

Greatgrandmother flower survivor

Escapee from the great-grandmother garden….

Lupine just opening

And another. The lupines are just opening…if you check every half-day, the purple-progression is obvious.

Apple branchlet

Not all the apple trees have this much pink in their buds and new-blossoms.

The first two have been sustaining themselves for nearly a century (okay, maybe only eight decades). I think the apples were planted just after WWII.

The edge is off.

Lupine beginning to open

We’ve reset the seasons. That is, we’ve journeyed north far enough that early-mid summer is not now, now is early spring. And this lupine is far ahead of the curve. Most lupines in the orchard are just leaves and not even buds.

Apple blossoms beginning

The apple blossoms have begun to open in the last four days. You can see both buds and blooms on these branches. And the cottage out of focus in the background (for those with sharp eyes).

Smoking cottage

The Guru took Droney for a run between showers and caught me burning off the trash and warming up the cottage. Honestly, I thought: no need for keeper wood—just a bit of heat to take the edge off.

No sheep

Trillium by downspout

After days of a sheep-decorated landscapes, we just have to note: no sheep (here). Not a one. But here the trilliums are busting forth. Love me a trillium. So a carpet of them leaves me breathless.

Forgetmenot cluster

I had not realized that the carpet of trilliaciousness* can be accompanied by an equally glorious showing of forget-me-nots. I am slightly more educated in wildflowers after today’s reveals.

I took both these photos are right by our northwest downspout. I didn’t have to venture into the woods, or even someone else’s woods, to obtain them.

Happy woods-wandering! Maybe you can find a floral vision that’s equally spellbinding….

* Made-up word.

No cats

Cats safety sign

Cleverest traffic safety sign of the day (and poorest-quality snapshot): “Cats have 9 lives. You are not a cat. Buckle up.”

Sunset golden

Compelling sunset; unenhanced, original color—so golden and rich.

Two statistics

Rose brillian

We drove 1926 miles in Ireland. That was over 16.5 days (average 116.7 mi/day).

Hydrangea blue tinted

One day that we climbed to several fortified ringforts, my Fitbit recorded that I climbed 169 flights of stairs. My phone recorded that I climbed a mere 14 that same day. The fact that, as I understand it, the Fitbit counts 8.5 feet as a flight, and the phone uses 10 feet doesn’t account for that discrepancy. And I don’t think either was close to accurate.

Final leg

Heathrow Term 3 ladies

One of the larger women’s rooms I’ve been in—and still there was a line! The row of doors is so long it’s impossible to tell if a stall is occupied without walking down to check…and there was a staff-member doing just that…. [Heathrow Terminal 3, the main toilets.]

Inflight map

And, we’re off! [Why include shipwrecks on these flight maps?]

Many shaped

Remarkable Bakery’s “Many-Shaped Miscellaney of Biscuits for Cheese”—yup, all different, all three of them. [I thought the crackers better than the cheese.]

GA gold dome

Lookee there! The gold dome! One more bus ride and…a short walk…and home!

Lovely trip!

Art embedded

Building site

Coffee-sipping view. Accuracy underway.

Buxton 1835 Emancipation

This dates to 1835, and honors the emancipation of slaves in 1834, erected by MP Charles Buxton. The fountain inside doesn’t seem to function any longer.

Tate ART

We spent our energy today on Art, presented first at Tate Britain, then at Tate Modern.

Cerith Wyn Evans 2017 Forms

This neon installation by Cerith Wyn Evans, and commissioned for this space this year. It’s called “Forms in Space…by Light (in Time).” Wyn Evans says it addresses flows of energy….

CWE view up

View from below of one section of “Forms….”

Henry Moore RecumbentFigure1938

Detail of “elbow” of Henry Moore’s “Recumbent Figure,” 1938. It’s of Green Hornton stone, which to me is shades of brown.

Cornelius Johnson Unknown Gentleman 1629

This is the lace collar of “Portrait of an Unknown Gentleman,” by Cornelius Johnson, 1629. I admire the skill it takes to make this detail seem so real.

NathanielBacon Cookmaid c1620 25cabbages

Ditto—so real-looking. Cabbages are part of Nathaniel Bacon’s ~1620–1625 “Cookmaid with Still Life of Vegetables and Fruit.”

Arthur Hacker Annunciation 1892

Compelling face by Arthur Hacker, 1892, “The Annunciation.”

Commuter boat

We took a vessel like the blue-and-white one up-river to the Tate Modern.

Ben from river

En route, we saw Big Ben tower from a vantage point we’ve never enjoyed before.

Like architecture

Wouldn’t you know that I’d find architecture-like modern art compelling? For shame, I didn’t note the artist/title/date.

Bride picture

We headed back toward our bags, stashed at last night’s hotel, along Fleet Street, then Strand. I assume this was a wedding photo, but it could be a fashion shoot.

Trafalgar square

We found Trafalgar Square busy with tourists and people just off work. More bride-outfits. In the central background is St Martin-in-the-Fields, which in the 1500s was in the fields between London and Westminster; however, much of this building dates to the early 1700s. It is the parish church of the Royals and Number 10 Downing.

Admiralty Arch

Great light on the Edwardian Admiralty Arch. Note flag at half mast (squint), honoring the dead in Manchester.

Gin and tonic foam

Chipping potatoes

We had a last drive across the countryside in eastern Ireland, first Northern then Republic. AVS on this truck stands for Ace Vegetable Suppliers. The left promotional phrase is: Suppliers of the best quality chipping potatoes. I was ready to leave chipped potatoes behind (for a while only; potatoes are sacred food to me). And, in the process, leaving Guinness. Sigh.

Boyne ped bridge Drogheda

Along our drive we saw this pedestrian bridge just before we crossed the vehicle bridge…our last crossing of the Boyne.

GT palate cleanser

Once on the ground in GB, we took the train into London from the airport and unwound for a bit, deciding to eat our evening meal in a “good” place. Turns out we went for super-fine. We picked three courses and we were presented with seven different food offerings, several with multiple tastes. This was the palate cleanser after the main course. It had a soft cucumber sorbet (I think) on the bottom, with gin and tonic foam on top. I don’t know what kind of leaf decorated it.


I even splurged and had a glass of Moscato with dessert. Yum. Yup, we changed our dining style!

London Eye

We walked down to pay homage to the Thames after we ate, and to let our courses and not-courses settle.

BigBen dusk

We caught the 9pm ringing of Big Ben, as it turned out. This was a few minutes later, after we’d admired the river and communed with a perfect light breeze.

Westminster Abbey towers

These are the towers of Westminster Abbey. They seem creamier/lighter-colored than I remember, but that’s probably just my lousy memory. [I have spared you many photos of the upper bits of buildings silhouetted against the sky; I’ve been rather obsessed with them this trip.]