Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The flutterby survey

The leaning teasel is just coming into flower. Always breaking into a pale purple ring, half way, like a tennis headband that would hide your frown. Hover fly heaven. Humming hub of all for one and all on one note. And I could give in and let that delicious unison bring me to shut-eye, except, the butterfly survey chart is in my hand.

The fennel heads are bending with the weight of a ladybird gathering. Festive against the new yellow, they make each stem dance and bob. Some wear colours I've never seen. A beige one with orange spots catches my eye.

Bees are frantic in the thyme, happy that it's flowering again this year. Busy, bizy, bizzy. Three types loop and regroup. Methodical, possessed, ecstatic.

Pale confetti flits past my head, almost brushes my cheek. What I'm supposed to be looking at. Their favourite marjoram sways and flickers with their wayward contrary crowd. A white, many types that are orange and brown, and some smaller solitudes in the low stems that might be moths. They tussle over the choicest flower-heads like sale bargains, their unfamiliar names a flighty wash I cannot grasp.

And then, three blues blossom down. I'm meant to be counting them, checking a list, seeing which are the commoners and which are rare. I'm trying to see if they are all one species, but they are taking me away into wondering if they are flakes of fine porcelain adventuring out of the patterns on the tall jug you chipped on the tap by accident, as you filled it for buddleia.