Friday, June 26, 2015

Un-lucky thirteen?
Just discovered that my pic of Kinlet Hall taken on the West Somerset Railway has been used for 2 book covers. Counting another steam loco at the same time it makes no less than thirteen book covers using my photos from Morguefile.
How can I say that thirteen is not lucky

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Found at last !

When I came back from the Arnhem Pilgrimage last autumn I brought with me several seeds from plants in the park of the Golden Tulip Hotel in Dorwerth.
Just before I went on holiday I had a problem with the fridge that meant cutting the electric off. One of the first jobs I needed to do when I came home, was to get hold of another fridge.
I decided to use the veg box from the old one and filled it with compost to plant the seeds. In the spring I was a little surprised to see some plants growing but thought I would leave them just to find out what was coming up. One of the plants looked very much as if it would turn out to be a Willowherb or one of the Geranium family. I searched in vain in a couple of my books and then found it in my trusty Octopus. However I checked on Google because the Octopus had been in error previously with the Latin names of plants. 
Sure enough it was Hoary Willowherb, Epilobium Parviflorum,
That's what I thought; however it turned out to be 
 Hoary Willowherb, Epilobium tetragonum,
Growing quite happily as I kept it watered well.
Another plant was Pearl Wort that I have posted earlier, much simpler to find as it was right in front of me on the first page of the Octopus book. The third one has yet to throw a flower.

 Life size twin blossoms.

 Twice lifesize

 3 times lifesize

3 times life showing the Calyx
In spite of the angled view the ring flash has thrown no heavy shadow, yet still shows an almost three dimensional view. Simply because the light is outside of the lens viewpoint. The power of the flash and the option of cutting it down to as low as 1/8th strength for extreme close-ups allows pictures to be taken with an f32 stop giving maximum depth of field.

The more pix I take of small flowers like this the more I am pleased that I sprung myself to the control unit for the Minolta1200 AF flash.
Even though it cost me an "Arm and biggest part of a Leg" I have seen new ones since advertised at over twice the price I paid for mine and mine included the twin flash fittings as well.
Although I haven't used the twins because the ring flash has given me a balanced light with no shadows. I believe that to be essential when taking flower pix at 2 or 3 times life-size.

Seeds are distributed in the typical Willowherb-Cranesbill style. As the seed pod ripens it turns darker and then dries and splits permitting the pappus  to drift in the wind carrying individual seeds 

Friday, June 05, 2015

I wonder why?

What seems so special about this picture that it has had over 6,500 views on Flickr?

I admit that I like it but don't think it's all that better than a lot of my shots of the moors.
Composition is OK but nothing outstanding, yet for some reason or other just after I posted it on Flickr it 'Took off' with view after view. Made me think it was something gone wrong with the website.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

It's so easy to ignore the obvious.
I noticed the Ribwort plantain growing on the lawn. Snipped off a sample and got some shots. 

Ribwort, Plantago lanceolata, AKA Narrow leaved Plantain, 
Only got it just in time, a couple of hours later the contractors were round cutting the grass again. The little bit of rain we've been getting is making it grow quickly.

The leaves are very tattered from previous cropping. They are spreading flat and survive in spite of the machines.

It seems that Culpeper treats Plantain as a regular panacea and this humble little plant was highly regarded.

Government and virtues:—

It is true, Misaldus and others, yea; almost all astrology-physicians, hold this to be an herb of Mars because it cures the diseases of the head and privities,  which are under the houses of Mars  Aries, and Scorpio. The truth is it is under the command of Venus, and cures the head by antipathy to Mars, and the privities by sympathy to Venus; neither-is there hardly a martial disease but cures. 'CM
The juice of Plantain clarified and drank for divers days together, either of itself, or in other drink, prevails wonderfully against all torments or excoriations in the intestines or bowels, helps the distillations of rheum from the head, and stays all manner of fluxes, even women's courses, when they flow too abundantly. It is good to stay spitting of blood and other bleedings at the mouth, or making of foul and bloody water, by reason of reins or bladder, and also stays the too free bleeding of wounds. It is held an especial remedy for those that are troubled with the phthisic, or consumption of the lungs, or ulcers of the lungs, or coughs that come of heat. The decoction or powder of the roots or seeds, is much more binding for all the purposes aforesaid than the leaves. Dioscorides saith, that three roots boiled in wine and taken, helps the tertian agues, and for the quartan agues, (but letting the number pass as fabulous) I conceive the  decoction of  divers roots may be effectual. The herb (but especially the seed)  is held to be  profitable against the dropsy  the falliing  sickness, the yellow   jaundice, and stoppings of the liver and reins. The roots ot pliantain, and Pellitory of Spain, beaten into a powder, and put into the hollow teeth, takes away the pains of them. The clarified juice or distilled water, dropped into the eyes, cools the inflammations in them, and takes away the pain and web and dropped into the ears eases the pains in them, and heals and removes the heat. The same also with the juice of Houseleek is profitable against any inflammations and breakings out of the skin, and against burnings and scaldings by fire and water. The juice or decoction made either of itself, or other things of the like nature, is of much use and good effect for old and hollow ulcers that are hard to be cured, and for cankers and sores in the mouth or privy parts of man or woman; and helps also the pains of the piles in the fundament. The juice mixed with oil of roses, and the temples and forehead anointed therewith, eases the pains of the head proceeding from heat, and helps lunatic and frantic persons very much; as also the biting of serpents, or a mad dog. The same also is profitably applied to all hot gouts in the feet or hands, especially in the beginning. It is also good to be applied where any bone is out of joint, to hinder inflammations, spellings, and pains that presently rise thereupon. The powder of the dried leaves taken in drink, kills worms or the belly; and boiled in wine, kills worms that breed in old and foul ulcers. One part of Plantain water, and two parts of the brine of powdered beef, boiled together and clarified, is a most sure remedy to heal all spreading scabs or itch in the head and body, all manner of tetters, ring-worms, the shingles, and all other running and fretting sores. Briefly, the Plantains are singularly good wound herbs, to heal fresh or old wounds or sores, either inward or out­ward.   V

So there you are, if perchance you should get bitten by a rabid dog, or a poisonous 'Queen snake' as Linus would have it. Dive in quick for your plantain poultice. I doubt it will save you, but it might LOL.