Tag Archives: Bees and butterflies

Green stars, growing.

The gorgeous flower buds of the sedum plant.  A butterfly favourite when in bloom, this shot shows the tightly knotted flower bracts before they open into their full starry pink beauty.

Sedum is one of my favourite flowering plants of the late summer and autumn.  They flower for such a long period of time; right up until the first frosts usually.  A bee and butterfly watching bonus!  It was a plant I treasured in my garden when I lived in England, as at this time of year you really feel the bee and butterfly spotting opportunities slipping away as the days get shorter and colder.

Also known as the ice plant, I thought the iced minty colours were perfect for this week’s one word photo challenge: mint!


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No more chasing butterflies.

Mondays are usually a hectic start to the week, that makes me long for the weekend before the last one has even fully had time to disappear from memory. I know I’m not alone in that…there is a reason for the phrase ‘the Monday blues’!  But today has – so far – been lovely. It feels like it has been one of those days where there has been a snowball effect of positivity.  I woke up refreshed, my daughter has been unusually angelic all morning, and I’ve spent a lovely couple of hours playing with her and catching up with some good friends and eating cake.  A pretty good start to the week if you ask me, and all the better for being totally unexpected!

‘Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder’.

H.D Thoreau

I know the theory is that negativity and stress attracts more, and the mind is a powerful thing, so I can well believe it.  But it isn’t always easy to shake the (Monday) blues off, once they have kicked in, is it?  And endlessly striving to be chirpy and smiley when that is the last thing you feel like can be exhausting and deflating in its own way can’t it? Still, I am naturally inclined to see the bright side (most of the time!), and I do try to be a ‘glass half full’ kind of person.

So for today at least I am enjoying the rare serenity and happiness of a chilled out start to my week. I’m not going to force it, and I’m not even going to think about tomorrow or what the rest of the week may bring. I’ll just hope for more ups than downs, and not borrow trouble in the meanwhile. For now I’m just going to get a cup of tea and sit for five minutes, to enjoy the moment! Happy Monday for me, and here’s hoping yours is a good one too!

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May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.

Irish blessing.

Sunshine for the soul. And butterflies!

Back home now, and settled in the perma-humidity and sunshine of the tropics, I am grateful to avoid experiencing that old familiar sinking feeling that comes with the dawning realisation that summer is well and truly on its way out. I love experiencing the different seasons, but I do like daylight, warmth and dry days!

I think our holidays finished just in time, as we left England whilst they were still revelling in long sunny days and balmy summer nights.  It meant we could leave with nostalgia in our hearts for the changing seasons, and rose tinted glasses firmly in place! Already family and friends are despairingly commenting on the shortening days and the cooler weather creeping back in.

I know there is an old Scandinavian phrase about there being ‘no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing’.  And I’m with them on that.  After all, if they can say that in the face of winter temperatures hitting as low as -30 or even -40°C, then they must know what they are talking about!  Even so, it’s hard not to succumb to stereotypical British grumbling about the weather.  We really can’t help it you know.  It’s practically hard-wired into our DNA after generations of constant practice.


The travel theme this week on wheresmybackpack.com is like a call to arms; an ‘orange’ themed post to bring back our vim and vigour in spite of – as Ailsa so eloquently puts it – ‘the overhasty exodus of summer’.  I’m always up for prolonging the summer vibe, so an orange themed post seemed an easy enough ask.  Summer and sunshine makes me happy; why wouldn’t I want to keep that feeling alive?!


So here is a little tropical orange sunshine and sizzle, all the way from…Stratford upon Avon.  Erm…England.  Yeah, okay, not technically tropical.  At all.  But a birthday trip to the Stratford butterfly farm for our little girl’s first birthday gave us all a lot of pleasure.  And a good few photos of tropical butterflies and plants besides.




Looking back at the photos from the day, a surprisingly high proportion of them were ablaze with orange. So perhaps those clever colour consultants who tell you about the mood altering effects of colour are on to something.  It really is a strikingly effective colour to give you that far-flung warm, sunny holiday feel-good factor!