2022 May

May 2022 Calendar
Calendar for May 2022

May begins and the world here turns from Spring into summer. Mostly it is overcast with few sunny days, little rain – and there is a constant cold wind. But despite that, the crab apple and the Victoria plum trees are full of white blossom, and the azaleas and rhododendrons give the garden some magnificent colour! No matter how cold it feels, the colours warm me!

May begins with rape seed

Even the dark and threatening sky can’t take away from the colourful world around us. There is such a lot of rape seed planted here this year!

Late light on the acer

In the rockery the delicate acer bushes have been suffering from so little rain, so we’ve been watering them carefully to keep them growing! Caught here is a burst of late evening light.

Early apple blossom buds

As the month started the crab apple tree began to turn a deep pink – a sure sign the blossom is on its way. Caught in the late sun, every branch and twig is glowing with the promise of the visual delight to come.

apple blossom in May

As the weeks pass the flowers open, and the evening air is filled with a scent of almonds. Such a beautiful extravaganza of pinks and white. When the sun catches them, the delicate pinks and white of the flowers really shine.

Yellow and green

In the wider world the rape seed and barley fields set patterns of yellow and green that fill the world. Sometimes it feels like moving through a colourful jigsaw.

The landscape is a yellow and green patchwork

The skies might be full of stormy signals, but the rainfall is still very low, sometimes nothing – at most 23 mm over an entire week.

The front garden and rockery

But the garden is a riot of colour! This is the best time of year, when all the rhododendrons and azaleas are in full bloom. We planted an entire hedge of yellow Azalea Luteum some 6 years ago.

The front garden azalea luteum

The Azalea Luteum were expensive plants, but they are the only azaleas that have a scent … and so far they have weathered all the storms and winter freezes.

books on Colour

And indoors? I’ve had little time for either painting or photography, as we have our friend, Laurie Kern across from America this month. But I am reading about the history of colour – fascinating!

The months of April and May have both been shaped by Laurie’s visit. It is so long since we had anyone to stay, even for a few days! So the spare room needed to be prepared, and an enormous amount of ‘stuff’ moved into loft, sheds, and other spaces!

Laurie amid the Azaleas

Yes – Laurie arrived early in the month, and planned to spend 10 days walking the Moray Way, over 100 miles in all. But she fell and damaged her hip, and had to return early to rest and recover.

the sea at Cullen Bay

On our way up the coast to deliver Laurie to the start point for her walk, we called in at Cullen, and I had the chance to shoot the sea there … it’s been many months since we had that delight!

It has been such an eventful and packed month, it seems to have flown past! As we move towards June, we are planning a long rest, some time to catch up with the garden and with painting, and maybe some more outings to our coast and local beauty spots!

On to June …… which brings a change of pace!
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2021 May

lines and circles
Playing with crystal orbs and marbles!

Spring is still an uncertain quantity as May begins. May 6th saw the elections to Holyrood – and the now familiar hail and gales were in evidence everywhere, with several inches of snow in the Highlands. Despite months of mud-slinging by opposition parties, and the late disruption of Alex Salmond creating a new party, the SNP led by Nicola Sturgeon emerged triumphant for a 4th term. There were huge sighs of relief, and not just here!!

As the weather remains so variable we have remained indoors a whole lot more than usual. And I have started a series of shoots of my assorted crystal balls, larger orbs and marbles. From the tiniest crystal or marble to tennis ball size and even larger, they all have their magic to weave!
The page header is a small crystal orb on a silk scarf, giving a vibrant pattern of lines and colours, reflected and refracted in the clear glass.

crystal in the sunshine
Catching the early morning sunshine

And here the same crystal was set in the window to catch the low early morning sun. With all the refracted light and inverted image of the window, the garden beyond and the sky – it is both simple and complex … and quite magical!

A decoration from Christmas
A decoration from Christmas – and one of my favourite photo props!

This time it was plastic, not glass or crystal – a favourite decoration that never gets put away with the rest of the Christmas things! It is one of my photo props that always delivers!

And May has a special significance for me, as May 12th is the birthday of Florence Nightingale. No – not for the current pandemic and all the magnificent efforts being made by nurses worldwide – but because we now think that in later life she suffered from what we now call M.E. or Post Viral Syndrome (PVS).

blue hydrangeas
Blue hydrangeas for ME/PVS day on May 12th.

PVS is what changed my life back in the 1980s. It is full of resonance now, as Long Covid is just the latest version of Post Viral Syndrome! It is undoubtedly a truly vicious virus, but there are so many similarities to previous viral attacks and their aftermath – I do hope that the medical people trying to deal with Long Covid will realise the link and draw on our experiences to help their search for ways to handle post viral events both past and present!
I’ve written about ME and Me on Inedita.

And talking of Inedita itself – it has been 3 years since we began to build this site! Time does fly!! And I decided it was time to design us a new site image.

the first site graphic
Our first site graphic for Inedita!

Our first one expressed how new we were to WordPress as our means of building (well re-building) The Liddells website. Previously I had used Dreamweaver and Microsoft FrontPage 2003. But times changed, and I needed a new platform. We’d both been writing many articles, and hosting them on a friend’s website but we wanted to collect the material together, as well as writing more personal sections, such as this Journal!
So I set about finding a new image that would combine Mike’s literary strands with my photographic ones ……

the new site graphic
And our new site graphic for Inedita

So I took the theme of Seigfried Sassoon, who’s poetry Mike has written about extensively in Sassoon Agonistes and combined a WW1 image with a photograph of my own, taken with the Lensbaby an optical system I’ve written about on Inedita too. Merging and blending images is something I enjoy, using photographs, and sometimes blending a photo with a watercolour image. There’s an album of some of the blends I’ve done on Flickr here.

And so May ends with my collage of shots and images I posted to Flickr this month.

collage for May 2021
My Flickr collage of all the shots I uploaded in May 2021

And on to June, and welcome summer with the Delta variant?
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© 2021 Elisa Liddell

Don’t fence me in!

The new fence and rhododendrons
The new ranch fence adorned with rhododendrons

We’ve had a small wooden ranch-style fence in the garden for years – and this year we have replaced it.
Work completed yesterday, and the smell of new wood, and wood shavings, fills the garden! I’ve planted clematis to grow up and over the fence, but at the moment it is bare, pale wood. I wanted to celebrate the new fence, so I took some rhododendrons from the front garden to adorn it.
Shot with the Sony A77ii and the Sony 100mm F2.8 Macro.

Flickr holds Elisa’s online Photo Gallery
© 2019 Elisa Liddell

Apple blossom time!

The apple blossom
The apple blossom sways in the gentle Spring breeze. Shot with the Helios 44-2 lens

May starts, and the apple blossom is in full swing. We have a large crab apple tree – no use for apples in the autumn (even the bird and insects avoid the fruit)
But in the Spring the garden is full of the almond scent of the flowers, and the tree is a mass of pink buds and white flowers. A true joy!
My album of apple blossom shots is on Flickr
Flickr holds Elisa’s online Photo Gallery
© 2019 Elisa Liddell

“Rough winds……

… do shake the darling buds of May”

A little out of season with Shakespeare, as it is only March! But the rough winds are shaking the delicate first flowers on our Japanese plum tree!

Japanese plum blossom
early morning sunshine catches the first flowers on our Japanese plum tree

One of the early signs of Spring here in northern Scotland is the plum blossom. It comes out before the leaves, so the tiny flowers make the branches look pink. Here a gale was blowing, and I used a Sony NEX-6 with my old Russian Helios 44-2 lens. It’s frozen at F2.8, but it takes lovely shots with a special bokeh. On Flickr you can find my
Album of Helios 44-2 photos