24.7.08

Riddle of the hand

What's in my hand?

A giant puffball, the first we've ever picked...and eaten.




What's not in my hand?

The other giant puffball kicked into a hundred bits by a previous ignoramus.

What's in my hand?




A blue jay wing feather, twinkling on the ground, bright as the summer sky.

What's not in my hand?

Two sleek copper roe deer, a hind and a buck, cutting across our path. Disappearing into the birch woods, whickering softly to each other.

What's in my hand?




Tiny wild raspberries, sweeter than mere rubies.

What's not in my hand?

The sleepy corn fields of Oxfordshire, nestling warmly under the sinking Sun.





29 comments:

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Raspberries, my favorite.
but I must be an ignoramus...I don't know what the giant puffball is! Mushroom? Rutabega? What?
Good for you for getting out of the studio for a bit!

graphiquillan said...

I, too, had a moment of mouth-watering at the sight of those raspberries.

West Oxon is looking so much more lovely than Birmingham tonight! About time you had the best part of the day to enjoy it.

:)

Hens teeth said...

Lovely post, just lovely.

norfok cottages said...

Raspberries, my favorite. look sod delicious.

Catherine said...

For shame, I have never eaten raspberries...or a puffball (looks like a mushroom, am I right?)
Your surrounding countryside is so beautiful...do you have room for a lodger?

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

Well I'd say you have it well in hand. (I know, groan, I'm a bit sorry but I had to say it.)
I love it when you take us on field trips.
(())

Mary Beth said...

If I had any money at all, I would be on a plane at this moment! Right now, my dream vacation is to rent a cottage in the Cotswolds, have a car, and just disappear for a month or so.

kate smudges said...

I like the look of the raspberries best of all ...the countryside looks so appealing!

Caroline B said...

Never seen wild raspberries - they look delicious. Must admit to having used giant puffballs as footballs when a child - sorry!!(It is quite spectacular......)

Sarah Laurence said...

It figures the sun would shine as soon as I left England, sigh. Your lovely images make me miss the English countryside all the more. Although Maine is nice too - we have raspberries and blueberries growing wild in our backyard. They must have been planted by birds.

It was fun to see your workspace too. It sounds like you've been busy with work just as I've been busy with packing-moving-unpacking. I'm looking forward to getting back to painting too. So nice to catch up with you! I've added you to my blog's sidebar so I don't lose track of you again.

Alan from Adanaland said...

What did the puff ball taste like, Gretel? I only ever come across them after they've ripened and live up to their name.

PG said...

hi Mr Adanaland! Andy and I were in dispute about it - when I'd sliced them (as shown) I fried them in butter and added them to a pork casserole I'd had going in the slow cooker. Andy said he didn't think it had much taste. I disagreed - it didn't have as much flavour as the small puffballs, which go crsipily nice, but it tasted more or less like a normal mushroom. But there was lots of it - and it was free!

Rosehaven Cottage said...

This post is so wonderful... I love how it flows. I can see it translating into a great picture book. Oops... did I say a "dirty word"? ;)

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

tlc illustration said...

Mmmmmmm..... Glad to see you making it outside. :-)

natural attrill said...

I've never eaten a puffball, would love to try.
P.

Sue said...

I've never seen wild raspberries, they look lovely. And I haven't seen a giant puffball either, that one looks magnificent. Ooo I can just taste crispy mushrooms!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Yum, puffball, fields look like quilt pieces, warm and cozy, I want to curl up on them and nap.

Elizabeth said...

The raspberries seem to be the biggest hit!
Not a surprise there.
I have never eaten a wild mushroom after my mother told me she nearly killed my dad and herself cooking a 'mushroom' pie from ones she found in the park.
Dad looked them up.........they had scrambled eggs instead.
I do miss England.

Rima said...

What a lovely post Gretel....
Yes glad you are getting out of the house :) in the tardy summer ...
You know puffballs are excellent for staunching bleeding!
x R

hen said...

Such a lovely post to read! Felt like a big warm heart squeeeze!

Hope your book is going well!


hen
xxx

Dana Jones said...

what a fun post! I saw an 8 point buck myself this weekend. He gallantly leapt out of the trees and stopped in the middle of the road, made eye contact with me and then retreated back to where he came from. Luckily I was on a slow drive and had plenty of time to stop and just admire him.

acornmoon said...

Thanks for adding me to your blog roll, I have done likewise. You are very brave to eat fungi! I love Jay feathers so pretty.

Jess said...

Lovely pictures! It reads just like a picture book, I think secretly you're full of potential books...;)

Cecelia said...

I enjoyed reading your blog. My grandson brought home a Blue Jay feather last week from his trip to the Texas Gulf Coast. No shells, just bird feathers.
We used to have Blue Jays, Red Birds, Blue Birds, and all sorts of birds, but we only see the occasional Red Bird now. Robins, sparrows, and quite a few birds from the north spend the winter here.
I really like the way that you presented your pictures in this post. What a beautiful area!

OldBagNewTricks said...

I'll say it too -- such a nice post. And that fabulous view of West Oxfordshire is out of a storybook. Mushrooms and raspberries and deer, oh my... it is a bit magical, isn't it?

Jenny

Lisa "Oceandreamer" S. said...

prey tell is that a type of mushroom? the puffball I mean? I loathe mushrooms unless there's a fairy sitting on or under one for show. BUT it looks interesting nonetheless.
Ah but the raspberries, that's another story entirely.....mouth watering!
XOXO

Anonymous said...

It's not a blue Jay, it's from a Eurasian Jay =) I have one like those at home. Google on "Eurasian Jay feather". Blue Jays have more grey and not brown on their feathers =) I thought you might want to know this.

Lucky to have found it though!!! It's super gorgeous!!!! =3

Gretel said...

Dear anonymous - thank you for the input. I'm actually British and my blog is from then UK, so of course the jay feather is a British jay. We just call them 'jays', not blue jays as my American friends do, When I said 'blue jay feather' I literally meant, a feather from a jay which was blue in colour, not a feather from a blue jay. We only have one species of jay over here, and as you say, they are more grey with very little blue.

Anonymous said...

Dear Gretel

I see! Then it's my mistake! =) appologizes if I upset you in any way. Really sorry!

It's still a gorgeous feather =) You're very lucky!

and that mushroom looks taaaasty! As do the raspberries... you make one long for summer! ^^