The sun at our feet

celandine closed3

I love our walks along the lane to the village. Its about half a mile, but it is forever changing in tiny ways. When I walk the children down to school in the morning, we may notice a footprint from an animal that passed that way in the night. When we come back, the footprint has been erased by car tyres, but a flower in the hedge may gain our interest.

There is no footpath and the lane is narrow at times. As the road curves and rises, we have learnt to listen for oncoming cars, all the time. We know the safe spots to stop and investigate the hedges in more detail.

From our house, the lane is bordered by tall hedges, with fields on either side. We pass one small row of houses, before the village and then hedges turn into well kept front gardens. I love the contrast of the hedges, cut once a year, and the smart gardens.

The hedges are a hotch-potch of plants straight out of a nature book – hazel, oak, beech, hops, brambles, etc. Smaller plants at the base shelter, such as snow drops, wild parsley, dandelions. The village gardens have neat lawns, with crocuses and daffodils pushing through, at the moment. Forever changing.

At the moment, the snowdrops are dying back, but the lesser celandines are making an appearance, like little suns. I have to admit that until I was an adult, I overlooked celandines, mistaking  them for buttercups. I never stop learning.

Today is a dull, rainy day. The lesser celandines are hiding, just like the real sun. They have closed their petals over their faces and want nothing to do with the day until the sun comes out again. We miss them, so……

celandine prints 4

….out comes the paper and yellow paint. We’ll make our own sunshine.

celandine prints 2

I cut out a potato in the shape of the celandine flower and its heart shape leaves. AJ and TF used these with watercolour paint to print on paper.

celandine prints 1

They used paintbrushes to add the stems. We chatted about the shape of the flowers and leaves and how the stems and the leaves all grew from the base of the plant.

celandine prints 3

Afterwards they had me in stitches, acting out the sun and a lesser celandine hiding at the same time. As the sun (TF) turned his back, the lesser celandine (AJ) closed up her arms over her face. I loved watching AJ directing. BL joined in later and I helped her to draw celandines with my pastels.

Tomorrow, hopefully, we will walk to school again. I bet they will be spotting the celandines and hopefully they will never mistake them for buttercups. You miss so much in the car.

(edited: Friday – Tried to take a photo of an open celandine today, but the sun is still hiding. If you would like to see an open flower, here’s one on the Woodland Trust site. We did spot lots of closed and half open celandines on our walk this morning.)

11 thoughts on “The sun at our feet

  • Friday 26 March, 2010 at 3:21 am
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    A lovely description and lovely paintings.
    We walk too. Yesterday there was a Bald Eagle high up in a tree being mobbed by a bunch of Ravens who thought he should be elsewhere. Around here we have to watch out for Moose. Moose footprints are quite distinctive as is moose poop…lol but this week we had to dodge the two young Moose that also wanted to walk to school!

    • Friday 26 March, 2010 at 9:30 am
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      Moose and eagles. Makes our walk seem very tame. We see buzzards on a daily basis.

      The children were fascinated by your post about the moose outside your gate. The idea was so out of their experience, that it was a long conversation. The deer outside our gate, literally, run for the hills when we appear. Along with most wildlife. AJ loves wolves and wanted to know if you have to dodge them as well.

  • Friday 26 March, 2010 at 3:06 pm
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    a very inspirational post. thank you

  • Friday 26 March, 2010 at 6:38 pm
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    Cheryl the Alaska zoo links to one of it’s videos on youtube..watch out for the related links you might want to full screen the video or click the alaskazoo related links as the ones that first appear on the sidebar are not child friendly.

    Wolves are having a very, very, rough time in this state at the moment despite the majority of the people who live here strongly disagreeing. Our famous ex Governor Ms Palin is to blame as she put an unqualified trapper in charge of the management of such matters so now there is a concerted effort to get rid of him and replace him with a qualified Biologist with a brain.

    AJ..I have once seen a wild wolf when I was flying in a small plane over an uninhabited area of the South East.

    A den of puppies was saved by the slight of hand of fish and game (thwarting their boss) and has been growing up at the zoo.
    see here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPLnEurNZpE
    and here
    http://www.alaskazoo.org/meetouranimals.htm

    They are quite fascinating and when the girls were younger we took a soft toy with us to the zoo and were amazed to find the wolves were fascinated by it and couldn’t take their eyes off it!

    Hopefully there will be good news for the Wolves soon.

    There are a lot of bears in the city but they are surprisingly good at staying out of sight..I’ve never seen one…there are rules about trash (rubbish bins) and bird feeders in town so as to encourage the animals to stay wild.

    • Friday 26 March, 2010 at 9:01 pm
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      Val, thank you for taking the time to give such a full answer to AJ’s question. She’s just gone to bed now, but she will be thrilled to learn some more. I’m sure she will have more questions. They loved your description of the moose and bald eagle. Thank you again. She is only seven, but when AJ gets a bee in her bonnet, she has to find out everything.

  • Friday 26 March, 2010 at 11:41 pm
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    They’re lovely, my children would enjoy doing this.

    • Friday 26 March, 2010 at 11:48 pm
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      If you do, please let me know. I’d love to see the results.

      Thank you for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment.

  • Friday 26 March, 2010 at 11:55 pm
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    Our garden is over-run with celandine at this time of year. I used to try to get rid of the corms but now I leave it alone. It dies back eventually and later on you can’t tell it was ever there…until the next year!

    • Saturday 27 March, 2010 at 12:13 am
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      Just goes to show, one person’s weed is another person’s treasured find. I wish we had some in our garden.

  • Sunday 28 March, 2010 at 7:53 pm
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    Wow, is not nature wonderful lovely posting cheers Marie

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