Prickly purple flowers and the bees

Teasels and bees (31 of 37)

Teasels and bees (27 of 37)

The bees seemed to be drawn to these beautiful shades of purple,  the entrance to the field is now awash with thistles and teasels.    Also the sound of humming bees is very evident as the bees seem to be have a great time harvesting the pollen from these prickly flowers.   Having diligently looked into what are the colours bees are attracted to it seems they prefer the  purples, violets and blues.

Teasels and bees (21 of 37)Teasels and bees (26 of 37)

I haven’t seen so many bees in a long time and there must have been over a hundred in this small area.  All so very busy and it was a little bit of wonder watching them.  I hope you all have a happy Sunday and I will leave you with this marvelous quote…

“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.” 
― Ray BradburyDandelion Wine

Reading Out Loud at the Big Weekend

I was very luck to be a part of the Big Weekend in Cambridge, I volunteered to read stories to children in the Big Read Tent    I love reading out loud to children and it was a joy and a  real pleasure to do this.  I went along armed with some of my favourite illustrated books and did my half an hour on the stage (chair) doing something I love.

Cambridge Big Weekend 2017 (55 of 94)

 

The tent we were in was lovely and colourful and also a welcome relief for the parents and children from the very warm, sunny weather outside.  So with my ‘captive audience I read a variety of books and all fabulously illustrated my set list as follows

‘Ernest’ and ‘Augustus and his Smile’ by Catherine Rayner,

 ‘Puffin Peter’ by Petr Horacek,

‘Something Else’ by Kathryn Cave and Illustrated by Chris Riddell

‘Tidy’ by Emily Gravett

‘Crunch’ by Carolina Rabei

I had a wonderful  time and loved looking at the faces of my audience where some of them just had wonder in their expressions.

Cambridge Big Weekend 2017 (40 of 94)

Little Cat came along as my mentor and manager, making sure I stayed on track.

Cambridge Big Weekend 2017 (52 of 94)

Reading out loud to children is so important they hear stories being read and get to share with others,  it is also seeing that books are valued and stories mean something.    I was involved with Empathy Day earlier in June and it is was about raising awareness that   empathy can be understood through books and  by ensuring that children understand this and be aware of the thoughts and feelings of others  we can hopefully make our world a better place.

Cambridge Big Weekend 2017 (35 of 94)

I have to thank my son James for the photos as he came along with me,  I also embarrassed him a little as I introduced him to the audience and told them he had come to listen to his Mum reading out loud.

Also thank you to the wonderful Rae Snape for organising the Big Read Tent and the flamingo’s which now haunt me.

But that is another story!

 

 

Teasel

We had a lot of plants which looked a little alien as they were growing and which grew by the back path outside of house and they steadily grew upwards.

They have now revealed themselves to be Teasels.    I remember one solitary plant last autumn being along the path and having seeded itself it is now grown to about thirty of forty of them.  They are at present bursting into flowers of pale lilac and pink and are wonderful to look at and as usual I investigated further and found that they used to be used in olden times to ‘tease’ cloth    Teasels play a little known part in the manufacturing of many textile fabrics.
The stiff needle-like bracts which form just below the flowers in the head or
burr are used to raise the ‘nap’ or ‘pile’ of the cloth to produce desired finishes
on specific fabrics.   

If you click on the link above you will find that they had a multitude of uses.

July 9th Horseheat am (14 of 15)

They stand taller than me and if you stand around long enough you see a huge variety of insects visiting them.  I also know that lots of birds love their seeds,  so in the autumn I hope that I am able to see them.

July 9th Horseheat am (15 of 15)