Sandy banks and Butterbur

They say ‘nature finds a way’ and this is certainly true on the banks of the River Tees. My leisurely morning walks with the dog have now become a stomp. However, going out at sunrise provides a beautiful quality of light and stillness and a perfect time for refection. The first photo was taken on 9th February this year. It’s ironic that we had only just made it over the bridge before the police closed both the road and the footpath. Now we are in lockdown, it seems we are somewhat trapped on this side of the bridge! All unnecessary travel is banned so for now, our daily life is contained to the village.

Resilience and triumph

The River Tees, 9th February 2020

The force of nature constantly amazes me. To think that little raindrops join together to create this amount of water, thundering along at this volume for hours and hours is just incredible.

It’s hard to believe that these trees were almost completely submerged a few weeks ago (see photo above) yet they have survived the floods and are now covered in buds!

Here I am stood at the foot of these trees, whose tips were just visible in the first photo above. They survived the floods, hung on in there, waiting and waiting for the waters to subside, which they did and now it is their turn to shine. The buds are soaking up the energy from the sun and they are about to uncurl and change the colour of landscape from brown to green.

The Butterbur flower is like a cluster of individual bouqets. Soon the large leaves will outgrow the flowers.
Butterbur flowers appear before the leaves. The huge heart-shaped leaves were once used to wrap butter.
The sand was deposited here by the floodwaters. The butterbur is now poking its head through the sand to greet the early morning sunshine.

It’s incredible that the ferocious floodwaters could not wash away the roots of this plant which according to 17th Century herbalist John Gerard, offered some protection against the plague!

…and what a beautiful shade of pink! I think this could be the inspiration for my next textile piece.

Our food shopping has gone a bit strange lately. The only avacado option was to buy a bag of eight. Just as well I like them! Well anyway, I’m thinking that I will create a dye using the skins and stones. Avacados produce a beatiful blush pink. I may try dyeing some wool fabric I have and recreate the detail in this flower stem with sculptural qualities.

I hope everyone can look to nature today to find something to marvel at, admire, gain comfort from or to use as inspiration in some form of creativity. This worrying time will pass.

Lindsey x

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