A liverwort and a bumblebee


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The pictures above show sporophytes of the liverwort Pellia epiphylla. The third one is at the spore dispersal stage.

Found this rather lethargic bumblebee on the drive. It crawled very slowly onto my finger, which I’d dipped into some simple syrup. Then I took it over to a woodpile and poured some more syrup for it there. It seemed to be drinking well.

Dead rhododendron wood


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I’ve been cutting up into stove-sized lengths/chunks the rhododendron wood that has been stacked in a dead headge sort of arrangement for quite a while. There is still a lot to do but I’ve done a good load and thrown them in the woodshed.

A pile of rhododendron logs stacked in the boot room for final drying

Some of the longer branches have what looks like turkeytail fungus growing on them. It’s the palest of its type that I’ve come across.

The long temari


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Making temari (Japanese thread balls) is mainly a winter activity for me that I do when the weather is too cold and wet to get much done in the garden. Even by Argyll standards, this winter has been particularly wet.

The temari I’m working on now is based on the design on this page from temarikai.com. Mine will be a bit simpler – the chrysanthemums will have smaller petals as the circumference of the home-made ball (socks, quilt batting) I’m working on is somewhat less than the pattern calls for. I had finished winding the ball on 9 January 2022. The marking and stitching part is taking longer than I might have expected in part because of some hand soreness so I’m only doing a little at a time.

The marking of a temari ball always takes a while before you can start stitiching. The division for this pattern is called an 8-combination or complex-8 division which, in my head, means that you are in effect dividing a sphere into a “curvaceous” cube. I’ve always had a fascination for the Platonic solids so the relationship of temari divisions to them is part of the appeal of temari-making for me. By 4 February I had completed four of the ‘cuboid faces’ of this temari and begun the fifth. The ‘corners’ (see pattern link above) will come later.

I’ll post some end pictures when I’m done.

Previous temari made this winter. Usually I would only make one or two. This winter I will have made eight!