Dicing With Death


What does Aaron have in common with a bee? You might be forgiven for imagining that it is that they both have very high work rates. That would be a good answer, but incorrect.

Aaron lopping cypress 1Aaron lopping cypress 2Aaron lopping cypress 3Aaron lopping cypress 3Watching our friend, unlit ciggy between lips, firing one-handed from the hip with his petrol-operated chain saw as he tackles the reshaping of our cypress tree, may provide a clue,

Aaron lopping cypress 5Aaron lopping cypress 6

especially when you see the height of his tripodal ladder.

Aaron tidying upAaron tidying up 2

Aaron always clears up along the way. Today he dragged branches to the Back Drive where he cut up a few logs for his client, Susan, leaving the rest for the ‘burn site’ of the dump.

Lopped branch on cypress

This branch demonstrates his clean cuts,

View from patio showing Aaron's completed work on cypress

while this view from the patio displays the finished shape.

Persicaria Red Dragon

The persicaria red dragon baring its bloody fangs in the Dragon Bed,

Crocosmia solfaterre

and the crocosmia solfaterre are among the plants that will now receive more light and air.

Fly on Winchester Cathedral 1Fly on Winchester Cathedral 2

In the Rose Garden, an intrepid fly scales the walls of Winchester Cathedral,

Geraniums and Summer Wine

and geraniums in the stone urn beside the potting shed enjoy a glimpse of Summer Wine.

Japanese anemones

 Japanese anemones appear to grow a foot each day.

Bee and spider's web 1Bee and spider's web 2Bee and spider's web 3

The bee skirting a hopeful spider’s web, in order to work on a verbena bonarensis, provides the answer to my opening  conundrum. Each in his own way is successfully dicing with death.

Later this afternoon we pulled up some brambles. As I walked along the Back Drive to deposit them in a bag for the dump, I almost stepped on twin juvenile collared doves sunning themselves on the gravel. Naturally I hurried indoors for my camera. When I returned they seemed to have disappeared. They were, however, simply playing hide and seek, foraging among the pebbles.

Collared doves juvenile 1Collared dove juvenile 2Collared doves juvenile 3Collared doves juvenile 4

Not yet old enough for timidity, almost in tandem, they carried on about their business and left me to mine.

Sweet pea

Here is a sweet pea for Bruce.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s Hordle Chinese Take Away fare. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the cabernet sauvignon.




  1. I thought the header pic was a wow until we got to the juveniles going about their business with you standing over them taking those beautiful photos. Which just about proves my theory that we are all unafraid of each other until educated by our elders to be otherwise. I wonder if nobody told Aaron he had to be careful or he might fall……….

  2. I take it Aaron is planning his retirement to the Riviera after finishing your garden, where he can relax and light up his ciggy/fag and smile at his good fortune.

    I rather like spiders, although I must admit wariness of some here, two in particular.

    When I was living up on the Northern Beaches we were lucky to have quite a few Huntsmans and it never ceased to amaze me how the larger female always devoured the male after he’d mated. I suppose that stops any chance of in breading keeps the strain strong. Perhaps humans should try that. They are somewhat timid and I’d sometimes be fortunate enough to have one sit calmly in the palm of my hand.

    For those arachnid lovers who follow your posts heres a link they might enjoy from the Australian Geographic Mag.


  3. I am amazed that the answer to “What does Aaron have in common with a bee?” is identical to the Mad Hatter’s “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” What a small world!

    Photos are lovely – especially the sweet pea!

  4. They are all excellent sculptors for livelihood: Aaron, the spider, the bees… Such a philosophical post! Those images have exquisite clarity.

  5. Lovely pics as usual. I liked using my branches of the cut-off pine trees as an additional log to the fire. They have a tendency to douse the fire but smell good despite the smoke.

  6. Tom Sawyer is a softy, using that nice comfortable ladder. I operate mine perched on branches — but I do try and avoid standing on the one I’m cutting.
    Love the delicate web.

  7. The photos of Aaron on the ladder reminded me how happy I am our youngest son stopped doing tree work. He nearly delighted in terrifying me with pictures of himself 60 feet up in a tree with a chainsaw in his hand.

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