rambling ratz

The cyclamen are flowering now. They are members of the family Primulaceae, along with primroses. They are native to Europe and the Middle East and prefer shady areas in which to grow.Photo of cyclamen flower

A friend on Twitter likened the flowers to butterflies. The flowers start off drooping and furled, then they open out and the petals stretch upwards, delicate and shining.

The name derives from the Latin, cyclamīnos, meaning circle, due to the round tuber whence the leaves and flower stems grow. They are also known as sowbread as it was thought that pigs enjoyed uprooting and eating the tubers, which resemble little loaves of bread. Modern anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that pigs don’t actually like them. They are also poisonous to cats and dogs. However, the caterpiller of the gothic moth feeds on them.Photo of cyclamen opening

Once they have stopped flowering the stems coil up and a fruit pod…

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Permaculture for Druids, Part I: Sankofa and a Weaving of Past, Present, and Future

The Druid's Garden

Sankofa. This was the first principle taught to me during my Permaculture Teacher Training (from which I’ve just returned), by the incredible teacher Pandora Thomas. Sankofa is a word from the Twi language in Ghana that refers to the idea of it not being wrong to go back and finding something that has been forgotten, or literally, « go back and get it. »

Symbols of Sankofa Symbols of Sankofa

Sankofa, the art of finding again what has been lost.

Sankofa, the importance of understanding our past to live regeneratively in our present and shape our future.

Sankofa, the knowledge of the ancestors manifest today.

deeply resonated within me as a druid and as a human being, someone trying hard to regenerate our lands and tread lightly upon the earth. When I look at the many movements that have touched me–of reskilling, sustainable living, natural building, community…

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Sky Show

rambling ratz

Saturday 3rd September started reasonably enough with a pleasantly dappled pinkish dawn.Photo of dawn sky

Mrs Fancypants-Tail, the squirrel, stocked up on peanuts. It was just as well as it pretty much rained for the rest of the day.Photo of squirrel in tree

Then in the evening the muddy rainclouds combined with the setting sun to cast a weird and sickly orange glow over everything. The sky looked like this.Photo of orange sky

Then this.Photo of clouds at sunset

Then it turned vibrant pink.Photo of pink sky

Then it started getting more blueish.Photo of clouds at sunset

These ominous clouds barrelled in.Photo of clouds at sunset

Then it went black and rained again.Photo of rainclouds at sunset

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Meteorological Autumn

rambling ratz

September 1st was the start of meteorological autumn in the northern hemisphere. However, astronomical autumn does not begin until the autumn equinox on 22nd September, when our hemisphere will begin to tilt away from the sun.Photo of rosehips silhouette

There are already tangible changes. The honeysuckle has gone from this …Photo of honeysuckle

…to this.Photo of honeysuckle berries

The rose blooms have faded …

….to rosehips.

It’s not all berries though, there are still delicate flowers popping up in the form of cyclamens.

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