Not Much Call For It In 2020

On another gloomy and cold morning we ventured out into the forest trusting that the nearer we arrived at midday the brighter the light may become. If anything there was more darkness at noon.

We stopped at Setley Ridge Garden Centre which Jackie, masked up, entered and bought some Christmas presents while I focussed on the displays outside, in the doorways, and through the window.

Afterwards Jackie tucked the Modus onto a verge in Church Lane while I

photographed the fast moving bubbling, rippling, stream with its arboreal reflections.

The old quarry lake at Pilley was once more full enough to provide a still canvas for artistic reflections.

No-one had plucked mistletoe from a fallen tree. I guess there is not much call for it in 2020.

A trio of donkeys spilled over the road at Jordans Lane.

Jackie photographed a driver’s eye view.

Our starter for this evening’s dinner was Jackie’s chicken, bacon, and vegetable stoup. The main course was her succulent shepherd’s pie topped with crisp croquette potatoes; served with firm Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli; and meaty gravy. Dessert was apple and gooseberry crumble and custard. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Merlot.


  1. I really enjoyed the mistletoe photo. It’s not only a fun plant with great associated traditions, it made for a lovely abstraction. I also enjoyed the second line of your text. I suspect Koestler would have been pleased by the reference, too.

  2. I’m looking forward to visiting my favorite garden center, but my son has been too busy on the weekends renovating the living room of his new rental apartment to use as a gym. The pandemic abruptly ended his early morning workouts at our local gym.
    I love the two large toads in the photo with the roller. They would fit in well with five other frogs and toads in my garden πŸ™‚

  3. Upside down houses are clearly reflected in water – great shots. On a different note, I much prefer to view the splendid roses in your garden, Derrick, than those metal ones.

  4. Thank you for the lovely garden centre displays …. very much missing going to buy plants (we’re sheltering our disabled sons) so am vicariously enjoying it via your lovely blog πŸ™‚

  5. I love wandering around Garden Centres and nurseries. Even if I don’t purchase anything I take away a fortune of creative ideas. There’s lots of ideas in these photos.
    Cyclamen is one of my favourite veranda plants that add just the right amount of colour is small corners.
    Another delightful post Derrick. Thanks for sharing your day. πŸ™‚ mmm… You could have shared the Merlot. πŸ˜‰

  6. I’m starting with supper because it sounds just lovely.
    I actually made an effort today. I got up early and popped braising steak in the oven on four hours slow. It was a welcome delicious lunch.
    Loved the donkeys and those beautiful images on Church Lane.

  7. The local garden centers were closed for long and open so briefly, I miss them. I like the statuary at yours.
    I’ve never seen real mistletoe. It reminds me the story of Baldr, as it really does look harmless!

      1. It’s too cold here. I asked our local natural resource officer about it. She said southern Ohio (the state below mine) is the northern-most range for the native species that are most like the European mistletoe. The North American cold-hardy “dwarf mistletoe” doesn’t have leaves; it’s a bristly thing grows on evergreens. Yours is much prettier!

  8. You’ve outdone yourself with the reflections series, but I’m going to have to go with the frogs with roller as my favorite. There’s just something about it . . .

  9. Thank you for taking us along to the garden center. I enjoyed the displays. The upside down reflections were fun and the donkeys were especially adorable.

  10. Nurseries are perfect escapes for dreary days, methinks! The fog over here didn’t lift until after 10… it felt very mysterious. Dark, rather undefined shapes moving around in the wet haze. I think those donkeys would have had to come home with me…

  11. I am eagerly awaiting the government’s ruling on mistletoe use, both during the Christmas relaxation of the strict rules, and in the Tier Three we currently have here in Nottingham.
    The old roller in the garden centre is absolutely beautiful, especially the handle. You could prepare a pitch for a test match with one of those.

  12. Oh, what wonderful gifts at the Garden Centre! I love all the statues…especially the doggies! πŸ™‚ A few of the other statues look like they could be sisters of Florence. πŸ™‚
    Jackie, I love the driver’s eye view…all ears!!! πŸ˜€ I adore the donkeys! πŸ™‚
    Oh, your reflection photos are always artistic, but these are breathtakingly beautiful! πŸ™‚
    Your meal sounds yummy! We cooked a delightful-smelling pot of red beans all day…then added chopped sweet onions, mild peppers, and spicy sausage…then served it with moist brown rice.
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

      1. Funny story…we have “poop” bags by each door, so when we take Cooper out on walks we can grab a bag to use if he poops. The bags are scented very “loudly” Ha! And each time I walk by them I appreciate that I can smell them.

  13. Not much call for it, indeed. I wouldn’t have known that the photo was mistletoe.
    The “darkness at noon” led to some wonderful photos. I love the reflections, but those sweet donkey faces. . .

  14. The reflections make for sterling photographs. The barely visible Modus makes its presence felt in the image. The driver’s eye view made me smile. The donkeys though bear a stance that smacks of scepticism.

  15. Those demure donkey faces made me smile. I hope the mistletoe will enjoy its year off more than we enjoy not having a good use for it. Darkness at Noon was a favourite book as a teenager. I wonder what Koestler would make of today’s politics?

  16. Ah donkey ears, so soft, so funny.
    Poor mistletoe, no kisses this year.
    Lovely stuff in the Garden Centre. I already made a shopping list πŸ˜‰

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