Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Jelly Ear fungi

I often wonder how we managed BG (before google)

After a bit of googling I think I have identified the fungi from Sheldon Wood.

I think it is Auricularia auricula-judae, known as the Jew's ear, jelly ear or by a number of other common names, is a species of edible Auriculariales fungus found worldwide. The fruiting body is distinguished by its noticeably ear-like shape and brown colouration; it grows on living and dead wood, mainly elder but also on beech and sycamore.

Its specific epithet is derived from the belief that Judas Iscariot hanged himself from an elder tree; the common name "Judas's ear" eventually became "Jew's ear", while today "jelly ear" or other names are sometimes used.

It is meant to be edible but I don't think I'd chance eating fungi that hadn't been identified by an expert.
Autumn leaf

If I were an autumn leaf
would I set red in my hair
to blaze against the dying day

or dust my dress with gold
to light the night
with soft shining?

Would the earth creep into my veins
until I curled and crisped,
an offering for hungry feet,

not to fear the decay of death
but shoot bright a light
to warm hearts on winter’s journey?

Jane Upchurch

Havering Deanery Quiet Day

We had a quiet day for Havering Deanery clergy last week at mulberry house. Our numbers were supplemented by some local residents.

The Unexpected

I'm convinced this tree was doing a handstand!


Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.

Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

Saturday, 29 October 2011

York Minster

A few photos from my recent visit to York

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A splash of colour

It’s really interesting how sights, sounds and smells reawaken our memories; things we often haven’t thought about for years.

In DH Lawrence’s “Odour of Chrysanthemums,” one of his short stories I studied for O Grade English, the significance of chrysanthemums in the title and the memories that they revive in Elizabeth’s mind can be seen in the quote “It was chrysanthemums when I married him, and chrysanthemums when you were born, and the first time they ever brought him home drunk, he’d got brown chrysanthemums in his button-hole.”

While spending a few days away this week we walked round the gardens of the hotel and in some of the borders were dahlias. Dahlias are a flower which seems to have gone out of fashion in recent times but the memories of dahlias from my childhood came flooding back. We always had chrysanthemums in the garden too but it is dahlias which I remember most strongly at this time of year.

By now most of the flowers had gone over and were past their best, the flowers in the herbaceous border, the roses and the bedding plants a distant memory of summer and then down at the bottom of the garden a riot of colour from the dahlias. There were always a variety of shapes of flowers as well as a range of colours.

We always had some cut dahlias in a vase on the hall able and I remember taking bunches when we visited friends. Dahlias often seemed to be a hiding place for clipsheers (earwigs) and we’d often have to pick them up from the hallway and return them to the garden!

Thinking about the dahlias in the garden I can remember my Dad digging up the tubers and allowing them to overwinter wrapped up in newspaper in the garage. Think I might try to buy some dahlia tubers in the Spring to enjoy in our garden next Autumn.

Monday, 17 October 2011


If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It's a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it's time to reflect on what's come before.

Mitchell Burgess, Northern Exposure, Thanksgiving, 1992

A Day in Autumn

A Day in Autumn

It will not always be like this,
The air windless, a few last
Leaves adding their decoration
To the trees’ shoulders, braiding the cuffs
Of the boughs with gold; a bird preening
In the lawn’s mirror. Having looked up
From the day’s chores, pause a minute,
Let the mind take its photograph
Of the bright scene, something to wear
Against the heart in the long cold.

R.S. Thomas

Saturday, 15 October 2011


Ah Sunflower

Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done;

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go!

William Blake

Thursday, 29 September 2011


I sat in the garden the other day watching this spider build a web. I wish I had a fraction of the patience and perseverance of a spider...

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Acorns and ladybirds

I managed to get out into the garden on my own with my camera this week, the first time for ages.

Autumn is really beginning to arrive here. Many of the acorns on the oak tree have dropped & the "hats" are left hanging. The squirrels have been having a feast with them...

The leaves are starting to turn...

There are loads of ladybirds around, all sorts of combinations of markings (I found even more in the car park but didn't have my camera with me!)

The tomatoes are still ripening but I think I may need to find a recipe for green tomato chutney.

Elliot’s Oak

Thou ancient oak! whose myriad leaves are loud
With sounds of unintelligible speech,
Sounds as of surges on a shingly beach,
Or multitudinous murmurs of a crowd;
With some mysterious gift of tongues endowed,
Thou speakest a different dialect to each;
To me a language that no man can teach,
Of a lost race, long vanished like a cloud.
For underneath thy shade, in days remote,
Seated like Abraham at eventide
Beneath the oaks of Mamre, the unknown
Apostle of the Indians, Eliot, wrote
His Bible in a language that hath died
And is forgotten, save by thee alone.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Greenbelt Communion

The lengths people will go to get to Communion at Greenbelt is amazing...

The crowd gathered as 10.00am came and went...

we couldn't get our paper strips to stick together but were sitting next to someone who was well prepared and had a pritt stick. We managed to make a chain, only to find we had to tear it apart!

The clouds started to part