Wednesday, 16 May 2018

For Gardens of Eden Everywhere.

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I was a winter baby. Born under grey skies, frost, fire,lightning, storms, and snow. But that was never my true nature. I'm mainly a creature of honey, sunlight and butterflies by instinct- split through with occasional shards of darkness, starlight and shadow. Only in 'Spring' did I come to know this though... my first 'Spring' spent truly alive....experiencing that torrent of joyful emotions during that early awakening into my own personal Garden of Eden. "Oh Yes! This will do me nicely," I thought. "This is me."
 I was still at the crawling stage then. A furtive rug rat escaped into the family garden from the gloom of the home. New smells, new colours, new under knee surfaces, new burning ball above and a porcelain dish sky filled with little flapping and buzzing things.
And then the fall.... dragged back inside to sit with Lucifer... garden denied me.
So it's a lifelong attraction that's never dimmed.
Gardens of Eden can be anywhere. A single splash of colour against a blue sky. A feeling inside you. A smile. Meeting a stranger who turns, usually unexpectedly, into a best friend over the years.
Or signs of new life in a pond.
.....or a nicely composed photograph, capturing a mallard duck just where you want it to be against a scenic backdrop. Even the quack bottled away in this one with an open beak. Victoria Park near Jordanhill in these photos.
My intention on this trip was simply to capture 'The Flourish' in Glasgow- that moment when the spring colours reach their zenith... vivid... spectacular... sensationally bright. The 'Flourish' only lasts a few short weeks- three weekends usually- so if poor weather or anything else interrupts a visit during what may effectively be six prime non working days in a year- it's easily missed.
A large thrush. Except for those with an internal body clock that is.
Courting pigeons. A strutting, head bobbing male in action. I've noticed over the years some ardent pigeon fanciers sometimes imitate these head bobbing and strutting dances in the street in human form to call flying birds home or attract new captives down into their roost when they think no ones looking. Maybe it does work. Positive thinking certainly gets you a long way. I've often thought this method could be used instead of dating sites for awkward first date meals or tricky conversations required  just a long row of pouting, strutting, foot slapping eager males and the females pick a winner. No fights to the death, teeth marks, or locking horns in the pigeon world. They've got it sussed.
Hoverfly and rhododendrons.
Cherry Blossom.
Interesting to note here that these swans have collected a discarded sign saying 'Save our Swans' for their nesting material. A good choice of advertisement. It states that swans are being poisoned by people feeding them mouldy bread they wouldn't eat themselves , unhealthy white bread (gives them rickets just like Victorian children) or other unsuitable or rancid materials chucked in to eat. So not so bird brained after all are they? And good recycling.
A sea of tulips in Victoria Park's oval garden.
Jungle Jangle- the much wilder and sprawling back woods. Can you spot a 'Tigger' yet children? They are often well camouflaged in this kind of environment.
Overview of the Oval.
The Daffodil Meadows.
Suburbia Dreaming in May.
A perfect combination.
And a mechanical crow with camera eyes to protect all this hard work and glory from 'Morlocks.' Any garden of Eden takes time, labour and skill to keep it looking that way so many. many thanks to Glasgow's Parks Department.

 And a bouncy upbeat number of equal colour and artistry to match. Heard this song a while ago. Catchy.


Anabel Marsh said...

Such a beautiful park. I read recently that the council plans to eliminate some of the flowerbeds to save money ��

Kay G. said...

Such wonderful photos of the flowers, I love them!
I am a Spring baby myself, so maybe that is why!
Is that really a fake crow with camera eyes so that no one damages anything? Good for whoever voted on that!

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Anabel,
the council have to save a lot of money as you know better than me and most of Glasgow's parks appeared when we had over one million citizens a population that's half that number now so no guarantee that we will keep them all or that we will have free entry in future. A lot of good building land going to waste. I noticed Edinburgh's Botanic Gardens main gate, which was once an open air passage is now blocked off with a large visitor centre in its place so they could easily charge an entry fee to look around. The street outside is now heavily metered where it was free to park before and I've noticed parking meters breeding successfully in many Scottish beauty spots where once that particular species only prospered in England. Pay or privatize everything seems to be the message I'm getting loud and clear.

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Kay.
Sadly its my own creation- a cam crow introduced to hopefully stop litter louts leaving rubbish lying everywhere. Thankfully we don't get many heatwaves in the UK as they always seems to bring the worst out in some people. Morlocks and Eloi. A classic film that :o)

Rosemary said...

I love this time of year with all of the blossom to the fore - it even makes you feel that all is well in the world, even if it isn't! How appropriate that the The Save our Swans notice adorns their nest.

Carol said...

Ha ha - the swans and pigeons observations are funny! I presume the mallard was a drake? we have only one or two females left now and they'll no doubt get drowned by the many drakes this year. That will be it then - no more mallards! I don't normally agree with culls but think something should have been done to get rid of the drakes long before now - I'm sure they must be edible.

I can't understand people eating white bread, never mind feeding it to wildlife! ugh!

Linda W. said...

Love all the brightly colored spring flowers you've shown us.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary,
Yes, I thought that was a nice ironic touch. I only noticed it sizing the photos down for the blog.

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Carol,
not sure about the sex of duck from that distance. You would think the balance would reestablish itself naturally over time but I don't have any detailed info on that particular subject although I know female ducks can get drowned. Same with mating female amphibians in ponds as I've found a few of them over the years.
I lot of people aren't that interested in nature so it's more a case of lack of awareness rather than any deliberate badness with the bread. As I child in the 1960s I had quite a few pets- goldfish,a hamster, terrapins,a tortoise etc and many of them died before their time as neither myself or my parents knew enough to look after them in the right way or had the proper equipment. It was much harder to find things out then as well but even post google age I know loads of freindly hill-walkers in clubs who enjoy the outdoors but have no or little interest in the wildlife or plants/flowers around them. They might as well be invisible for all the attention they show them on a day out.
Same with song lyrics- I was stunned when a professional musician admitted recently he didn't pay much attention to his own bands written words as to me clever or interesting lyrics are a key part of any great song but for him the musical blend and his place within it was enough.

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Linda,
There's more to come.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
it is a drake in that photo :) Can't find any evidence online though of an imbalance between males and females in the UK despite aggressive courtship. Very successful duck that will breed almost anywhere, even in garden ponds and large puddles... so much so it's regarded as an invasive species in many parts of the world, genetically endangering other duck species. Drakes will even have sex with dead male ducks floating nearby I was tickled to read. Always liked angry Donald Duck more than the sickly sweet Mickey Mouse.

blueskyscotland said...

If Mickey Mouse snuffed it Donald would be in there. Heaven Forbid.

Carol said...

Mallard drakes are pretty nasty creatures to be honest - time for a cull! No, I haven't read anything about it either because I think the powers-that-be are completely unaware despite the evidence of their eyes if they cared to go and look. Anywhere I've ever looked, the ratio of poor abused females to males is around 1:10 or less.

Drakes often dive on each other to mate as the females to mate with are getting so rare. As well as drowning the females when they all pile on top of her (often several at once), they drive them away from their precious ducklings and we lose a lot that way.

blueskyscotland said...

Not entirely convinced Carol but I shall start counting Mallard ducks when I'm out from now on as I've never really noticed any obvious male to female ratio differences up here. Mostly couples. Maybe its just the Yorkshire area as they are a bad bunch down there :) Anyway- stuff ducks and boo hoo...apparently, no ones noticed my 'Tigger' yet. Why do I bother... :o(

beatingthebounds said...

"no awkward first date meals or tricky conversations required just a long row of pouting, strutting, foot slapping eager males and the females pick a winner."
Isn't that what nightclubs are for?
Lovely set of images. I'm with you - the first riot of colour in the spring is the best of the year.

Carol said...

Tigger? Is it in a photo? My online eyesight is shocking nowadays so I won't notice small details...

I'm thinking your mallard females must be much like Glaswegian females. I went with a Glaswegian friend to Jordan and one of our camel owners was asking John to send his daughters over to marry him. He said it would serve the guy right if he did!

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Mark,
Sadly I've never been handsome enough to frequent nightclubs with any success so imitating a pigeon might be a better option but I've left it far too late now.

blueskyscotland said...

Hello Carol,
Tigger is in the Jungle Jangle photo to the left(a pair of little eyes and a smile)
inspired by Kipling and Winnie the Pooh. I also gave Jimi Hendrix a galaxy of planets in his eyes after one of his songs as they looked a tad lifeless otherwise. Art inspiring art. Autohighography is full of cultural references to music, films and art plus loads of clues and hints to the real book under the surface novel. Mad Genius or Arsehole... take your pick :o)

surfnslide said...

As I found in London, city parks can be some of the most wonderful spaces if properly looked after.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Andy,
I used to know the London parks and districts pretty well during the 1970s, 1980s and 90s. Some lovely locations and long hot summers down there.