This is not a cat blog, but…..

IMG_1743Dear Readers, last week Mr Baldwin Hamey (who has a wonderful blog called London Details) commented that he was unable to have a Christmas tree because his cat would knock off all the baubles with great glee. Easy peasy! Restrain yourself from adding baubles, and you can have a cat tree instead. Though, in retrospect I might not have included fairy lights in case of feline strangulation.

This week has been a difficult one for me personally – my 80 year old parents came to visit me for the Christmas festivities, but last Sunday my mum was admitted to Whittington Hospital in north London with a horrible chest infection, and as at today she is still there. So, in between the visits, I have been applying myself to noticing which plants are in flower at the moment. The mild winter has convinced all kinds of flora that it’s time to buck up and get blooming, even though there are few insects around to pollinate them. All the photographs below have been taken in the past week. If I have written about the plant there will be a link below the photo – click to find out more about the plant.

California Lilac (Ceanothus sp) - usually in flower late spring to early summer

California Lilac (Ceanothus sp) – usually in flower late spring to early summer

Cowslip (Primula veris) - flowers early spring

Cowslip (Primula veris) – flowers early spring

Periwinkle (Vinca sp) - flowers April to September

Periwinkle (Vinca sp) – flowers April to September

Feverfew (flowers July to September)

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) (flowers July to September)

If anyone doubts that something is going on with our climate, I would have thought that looking at these plants, and at their usual flowering dates, would give them pause. The time is out of joint, and these small blooms, produced so far out of their usual season,  savour to me of the apocalyptic. Our relationship with nature has become unhinged. In my mother’s ward (as in every other hospital that I’ve visited recently), plants and flowers are banned because they are considered unhygienic. At the same time, my mum is battling a superbug, probably acquired in hospital (not the one she’s currently in). We have to work with nature, not try to exclude her altogether, because, like it or not, we are animals too, and apparently not very clever ones at that.

Rant over. And to confuse the issue of whether this is, or is not, a cat blog, here is another picture of my cat Willow, taken this week. She, at least, is unworried by human illness and human folly and shortsightedness. All she needs is a warm place to cuddle up, a plate of food and someone to pay attention to her. Which, thinking about it, is all most of us want.


20 thoughts on “This is not a cat blog, but…..

  1. Daisy Solomons

    Remarkable photos- I’ve noticed several out of season blooms too – in London and Devon. And yet, so far – nothing in any news media I’ve seen. Wishing your Mum a speedy recovery

  2. Anne Guy

    I follow Baldwins site too it is fascinating! Sorry to hear about your mum hope she improves soon…great photos too of unseasonal flowers…hope that Mother Nature gets her act in order soon! Happy new year to you and look forward to reading about your future adventures!

  3. Toffeeapple

    Hello, I have just found you via Spitalfields Life and what a find! I am now a follower and will read all that you write.

    I hope that your mother improves very quickly and is back home soon.

  4. Katya

    I’m very keen to find out how the flora will get on once winter is over. Best wishes for your Mum’s recovery. I can almost hear Willow purring in her sunbeam.

    1. Bug Woman

      Me too, Katya – I’m waiting also to see if my frogs emerge earlier than usual. I wonder how much of the seasonal behaviour of nature is influenced by day length and how much by temperature? We live in interesting times to be sure…

  5. Baldwin Hamey

    Thanks for mentioning my blog and I think I will try the cat tree next Xmas; I am sure he-whose-name-we-won’t-mention will appreciate it! Agree with Beach-Combing Magpie: keep all the cats, bugs and plants coming. Sorry to hear about you mum; hope she feels better soon.

  6. Anne R

    Hello there. Have you heard of the BSBI New Year plant hunt? I’m sure they’d love your records. Keep up the great blog work. (Hope all is well soon)

  7. Gail

    Thank you for finding the time in the middle of all your worries to post your lovely blog. I look forward to it very much, it never fails to interest, inform and delight me. My very best wishes to your mum, that she recovers quickly and fully. Gail


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