Thursday, August 02, 2007


Autumn Leaves 01
Originally uploaded by derek overy.
Rather strangely, in view of the torrents that have fallen on England in the past few weeks, I've welcomed the overnight rain this week. It seems astonishing that in this patchy summer Argyll of all places should be showing the effects of low rainfall, but that's what's happened. Several evenings I've suddenly remembered a wilting pot of lobelias (bought for me to turn over my failures by) or the ill-advised Kimarnock Willow at the back door and have found myself at midnight pouring cans - or even bottles - of water one them so they'll last the night.

And it's not just the garden which is showing the effects of drought (drought! I ask you..) The other day, on the shores of Loch Long, I noticed that the bramble leaves were already turning red and brown, and the leaves on the taller trees were dry and turning autumnal. In July. I'm beginning to wonder what happens to the undeveloped brambles if they don't get enough rain - do they just stay wee and hard?

Now that would be sad.

Note: there is a hidden literary reference in here, if you're up for it...


  1. "...bought for me to turn over my failures by..." I'm guessing the reference, but I don't know it...

    I lose!

  2. I shall leave it open a little longer. Clue: a wonderful half-rhyme in the original, which I have paraphrased. Answer by tomorrow evening!

  3. Neil - meant to say you'd found the right bit! And I was too much out of it to post last night - so here you are:

    The reference is to Philip Larkin's poem "Toads Revisited" which contains the wonderful lines:
    Think of being them,

    Turning over their failures
    By some bed of lobelias

    and which you can find here should you choose to read the rest of it!