Friday, 26 September 2008

Autumn Poetry

On a misty morning like this morning this poem always springs to mind.
To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
John Keats 1820
I wish I had taken my camera with me as I walked to work so that I might have captured the mist-laden cobwebs glistening in the sunlight like bejewelled lace.
Another favourite Autumn poem is this children's poem, because early on at infant school Fay had to memorise and recite this poem. She did it word perfect.
Mist in the morning,
Raw and nippy,
Leaves on pavement,
Wet and slippy.
Sun on fire
Behind the trees,
Muddy boots,
Muddy Knees.
Shop windows,
Lighted early,
Soaking grass,
Dewy, pearly.
Red, lemon,
Orange and brown,
Silently, softly,
The leaves float down.
Shirley Hughes

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

An Indian Summer

The past week has felt more like summer than autumn and we made the most of it this weekend walking and foraging in the countryside. We came home with lots of blackberries and walnuts.

Jay is such an outdoor boy.

We found lots of fungi in the woods and I love the hedgerows at this time of year.

Dor Beetle
As soon as my OH saw the inscription he jumped onto the bench!

I have no idea why! lol

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The Last Days of Summer

Some of our favourite ways to enjoy the last days of summer ...

A day at the beach ...
swimming with Dad (too cold for Mum!)
learning to skimboard
drawing in the sand
Dad & Jay
walking along local footpaths and green lanes
picking blackberries (someone got to this one first!)
studying nature

pretending to be a pixie!

discovering an inverted rainbow.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Florida Week 3

Universal Studios on a wet & windy day, but we're British ... this is a normal summer's day to us!! We put on ponchos and Crocs and had a great day. Fay took part in making of a disaster movie. My favourite ride was "The Mummy" with brilliant special effects, particularly the flames.

TerminatorE T
Still raining as we left.

The next day we decided to escape the rain and drove to Miami Beach.

Each life guard hut is painted in different colours.

Art Deco Hotels on Ocean Drive.

The sun returned as tropical storm Fay moved north and we visited Universal's Islands of Adventure.

The Hulk Roller Coaster . . . great fun!

The Jurassic Park ride was very good as was the Duelling Dragons, but the rides are over too quickly!

Fay feeling very hot.

I wasn't expecting to like Universal as much as Disney, but I enjoyed both of the parks and the special effects.

Sadly the holiday was almost over. On our last full day we went to Aquatica, Seaworld's new water park. Jay made me laugh by announcing that it was paradise.

The very active Commerson's Dolphins.

WARNING : This post contains a photo of me in a bikini!

One last look around Downtown Disney . . .

. . . before the night flight home.

We had only been home a short while when I noticed Jay had fallen asleep on the living-room floor!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Florida Week 2 Part 2

Return visit to The Animal Kingdom.

Colobus Monkey

We walked around the aviary and watched naked mole-rats in their burrows.

Jay acting the fool.

This female gorilla made us laugh as she carefully sidled up to the male.

Egyptian Tortoises

Hour-glass tree frogs.

Giant Vietnamese Centipede.

Typhoon Lagoon, a Disney Water park.

Jay and Fay on the Lazy River.

OH falling out of his ring and Jay laughing beside him.

Seaworld on a wet and windy day as tropical storm "Fay" hit town.

It had to be called Fay didn't it!

OH was impressed by this sign and insisted on a photo!

Jay loves penguins, he has several soft toy penguins on his bed.

The puffins were so graceful underwater.

The shows were stunning. I had to ask myself how ethical it is to encourage these amazing creatures to perform, but they all seemed happy to cooperate and conservation is important to Seaworld. Still, I couldn't help but feel that they should have been in the wild.

Rescued Manatees.

The next day we finished up the parts of the Disney parks that we had missed.

First Hollywood Studios to see the Indiana Jones and Muppet shows.

Then onto the Magic Kingdom to see the Main Street Parade.

And finally onto Epcot.

Before returning "home" for some Mickey Mouse pasta!