Fleeting Beauty, Photography, and Losing my Marbles..

This post had a rake more text…but it became increasingly like a Victorian slum…..words like grotty piles of broken bricks  in dark alleyways, leading nowhere. Detours into derelict buildings with glimpses through broken glass…barefoot ideas vanishing around tenement corners; so I’ve kept the Fleeting Beauty, and a bit about Photography,  the Losing my Marbles bit doesn’t bear a rewrite!

My all-time favourite cartoonist...Michael Leunig.

My all-time favourite cartoonist…Michael Leunig.


Some mornings I wake far too early, and the head nips pathologically….somedays I can silently ‘sing’ myself back to sleep, but on ‘bad head nip’ days I just have to get up and get on with summat…(funny how the “summat” is never yesterday’s washing up! ). So, some sorting of my favourite plant photographs.

2 group poppies DSCF8193

My favourite flower, the Himalayan Poppy.


2 close up,2 poppy DSCF8208

Tissue paper thin petals, short lived, but so beautiful!

Perhaps equally beautiful, the incredibly architectural Michauxia Tchihatcheffii…a biennial that I haven’t been able to find seeds of, for a year or two.

M.T. bud..DSCN0253Michauxia Tchihatcheffii, gorgeous!!
2 Michauxia t DSCF3994

From the swelling bud to the profusion of bursting open flowers, and then the seed pod, it’s an amazingly sculptured plant.

Then there’s the wonderful Stipa Barbata Silberfeder…(must mean silver feather, eh?!) As the seeds mature on their long awns (?), the awns get hairs and go all curly…the breeze makes pure calligraphy and choreography of them…there’s a wee stretch of stalk between the seed and the awl, which is corkscrew in form.  As the awn floats down, the spiralling movement “bores” the seed into the earth…magic design! I’ve grown a lot from seed, planted out this year as 2 year olds, so I’m excited to see how they’ll look en masse, in July or August.
stipa with stone DSCF1309
S.B. 22 curled round Agapanthus DSCF4096

The hairy awns coiled round an Agapanthus.

 Whilst trawling through the hundreds of photographs I have in my computer, to find the Michauxia photo’s from 2012, I was thinking  about how digital photography has many advantages, and some drawbacks….
I feel nostalgic when I remember learning black and white photography in 1969; there were 24 or 36 pictures to a film roll, and film was precious so we didn’t snap away with abandon. We couldn’t check whether we had “caught” what we wanted to, so we learnt to really LOOK, to frame the image…did we want the background in focus or out? Should we take it from a higher or lower angle, or change the lens?….it was slow, and needed concentration.Then came the different mysterious realms of the Darkroom….First, in complete darkness, you loaded the film from it’s cartridge into the developing tank..then turned the light back on , nervous to see that it was loaded properly. We developed the negatives, hung them to dry, and, finally, you had the delights of the printing room….with it’s warm, red glow…a womb with a view? !
Decisions to be made: Exposure time, then Developer, watching the image magically appear, into the Stop, into the Fixer, Patience, Patience…… then Dry…..more Patience. And maybe, just sometimes, you had a photograph that you loved.
Now we shoot off loads of shots, make adjustments in Photoshop…..(although I’m quite purist about how much I tweak photos), and I have so many photos that many never get seen….
A last couple of photos,  the glorious Magnolias, Stellata and Soulangier.
2 Stellata and soulangeana DSCF7813
And a beautiful, white Eremurus…
White Eremurus DSCF3575
On to the Losing My Marbles bit!

…………they’ve gone. They might roll back….

As a Liverpudlian poet wrote way back,

“After a whole moon-walking night, succesful re-entry into earth’s orbit is each tomorrow’s ‘maybe’ “.



6 responses to “Fleeting Beauty, Photography, and Losing my Marbles..

  1. There are some stunning photos here! The plants with the awns is incredible – looks like it belongs more properly in a science fiction movie…but a beautiful one. Hope your marbles rolled home…if that makes you happy!


    • Thank you! I’m not really sure about getting the marbles back….Well, yes, of course I’d like not to feel in such a brain fog…Is it age? Depression and Anxiety? The transient, over-stimulating age we live in? As an artist I always loved solitude, but now I’m experiencing it more as an acute loneliness…I want to write honestly about my life, but I’m not very disciplined, words tumble through my head at 3 a.m., and ooze out when I wake….and I’ve just given up cigarettes (for the umpteenth time!)…..Errrm..Sorry! You just got today’s early morning wittering! x


    • Thanks! That line of a poem has stayed with me for 35 years! I’ve got a head full of other peoples words….let alone piles of Day Books and sketch books with scribbled lines in….am now trying to find my own words….always in awe of them as can say things succinctly!


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