The Changing Seasons – April 2020

This challenge is hosted by Su from Zimmerbitch. You can find out how to participate at the end of this post!

I was not going to blog about COVID-19 or the lockdown. I am healthy, safe, and still employed – so am a lot better off than some.

But. I am sleeping badly and struggling to focus. Dark thoughts never far away. ‘Working from Home’ means my main stressor has invaded my space and I have no means of escape. I am not going to write more as I just get even more upset.

Sunrise, Morecambe West End
Flying Sprog, Morecambe.

As you can see. I was allowed out for a bit of an early morning stroll. Morecambe promenade is long and wide and ideal for social-distanced outings. The above sculpture is correctly called ‘Venus and Cupid’ and commemorates the 24 Chinese cockle pickers who drowned in an incident nearby in 2004. Given the location in windy Morecambe Bay I think it depicts a woman trying to prevent her child being blown away, in which case it faces the wrong way – into the prevailing wind.

Another form of exercise this month was cutting up all this wood for burning next winter, mostly the frame of my old greenhouse.

I have not sown a lot of seeds this year but this success shows youngsters of a North American Milkweed (Asclepias) from seed sent by my friend Lisa of Lismore Paper. They need a cold spell before germination so had spent 3 months sown on damp kitchen paper in a box in the fridge, before being sown properly and moved to a warm propagator. This is just a week later.

Easter happened this month of course. Appropriately the Pasque flowers in various colours were at their peak.

Elsewhere in the garden, the tulips relished the very sunny month. These tulips stay planted all year round as our dry silty soil allows them the summer rest they need. In much of the UK most tulips have to be lifted for the summer.

Two species of Turbinicarpus and Pediocactus knowltonii

The earliest of the Cacti flower in April here.

My favourite plant in the garden – this unidentified Tree Peony has dinner-plate sized flowers with the most amazing strong scent that fills the garden.

Artistic endeavours were restricted to experimenting with coloured pencil on black backgrounds.

The weather changed in the last few days of April, with incoming clouds and some spectacular sunsets from the west side of our house.

If you would like to join in, here are the challenge guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su’s original post, she can update hers with links to all of yours.

22 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry you’ve had to allow work into your home, and understand how stressful that is.
    Your photos are wonderful and I love getting glimpses of your garden.
    Whether seen as Venus and Cupid or The Flying Sprogg (you know which title I prefer), it’s an interesting piece but doesn’t immediately speak to me of commemorating deaths. Oh well.
    I hope you can find ways to confine the work beast. Sending hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Su. I am really struck by how badly it is messing with my head!
      Glad you liked the photos. I can’t equate that statue with the incident either.
      Hugs gratefully accepted and reciprocated😍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I worked from home for years, and I know that when a project has been stressful it feels really overwhelming because there is no escape. I got better at separating the two — bot in terms of physical space and time, but it took a long time, and your situation is not the same. Wish I could think of some way to help.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Interestingly, last week I applied for a job that would involve significant home-working but now I would have second thoughts.
          Moving my computer out of my drawing studio for the duration might help as that room is supposed to be a sanctuary for me. It would be a start anyway.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Home-working can be really good, but takes a bit of practice. I think anything you can do to restore a sanctuary space will be really worthwhile. Space and time seem to be the hardest things to manage, and when work is stressful, there’s no point in me saying “have work hours then shut off.”

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  2. Yeah, there have been times in my life where I’ve had to do prep work from home and I hated it. At this point though I’m used to it which is what it is. Perhaps if you could find an annoying school bell going off sound so that when the day’s work is done that would help create some sort of space. Or maybe you could don a hazmat suit during working hours… Be creative, Darren! Find the edges of the Matrix, damn it.

    I like those Tree Peonies as well! They remind me of big paper flowers. Rather incredible that they have a nice scent too. Some flowers have it all, don’t they?

    Take good care! Let’s hope May brings more forward movement and momentum. xo

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    1. Funny isn’t it? It really does mess with my brain! I would never have expected it.
      The Tree Peony is amazing. I have a small plant of the true P.rockii, which is similar but has a purple blotch at the base of each petal – and I look forward to that flowering too!
      Take care too my friend, and stay safe.x

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  3. Lovely photos of your garden Darren. I am glad you are healthy, but sorry to hear you are struggling a bit with working from home and your thoughts. It wont be long before we are all back to our new ‘Normal’, here’s hoping anyway! Sending positive thoughts and a virtual hug your way. Have a nice weekend 🙂 xx

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  4. I hope you felt better by the time you put this amazing post together Darren. Adjusting to change takes patience, time, self-care and courage. Try to focus on all the things you have within your control Darren and offer up the rest. Thinking of you. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Those tulips are so pretty and that sunset is wow. Good to focus on the seasons and nature and not on that nasty C word. Stay well and safe Darren. I hope you’re sleeping better too. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Miriam. Sleep still variable, though taking antihistamines after a small (stress related) eczema flare up did knock me out for two nights this weekend! Government changed rules slightly today so will find out tomorrow if I have to return to work later in the week. Stay safe too!

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      1. Take care Darren. Here’s hoping for better sleep (for both of us, I had a crappy night last night too) and some sort of easing of restrictions and a calmer world. What a strange time we’re living in. xx

        Liked by 1 person

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