Sunday, 20 September 2009

Break Break

I'm interrupting my self imposed blogging break* to ask you a question.

After a year of being redundant Stevie has gone into the paintball business, with a friend. Understandably he was a little trepidatious but having made the decision to go ahead he has thrown himself into it with enthusiasm. Now he has things to do and places to go and is, as they say, out from under. There are breaks between the Geiger counter's beeps.

So when he said, 'do you want to come to the wood-yard with me?'
I said, 'OK', rather than, 'what?'

Amongst all the old sheds, planks, machinery, and sawdust were these:


Single stem.


A lone pale one.

I don't know what they are but feel I should. So can anyone tell me?

*While I'm here: thank you for all your encouraging comments, understanding, and general firm friendliness.


jinksy said...

Just popped across to assure you, I have no intention of blocking you from my blogsite! You are obviously a real person - not a creepy, silent follower with dubious intentions! :) Sorry I cn't help with the plant identification...

PI said...

No but what a bonus. They look special.
Best of luck with the new business. Good for him!

steven said...

hey eryl, i've no idea of course as i never know what plants are. nice to see you up and about blogland. i hope your man's business works out and that your own work is moving along swimmingly. steven

Eryl Shields said...

Jinksy ~ great; I can be a bit silent at times bit hope I never fall into the 'creepy' category!

Pat ~ thank you, it's nice to see him enthused again.

Steven ~ my own work is doggy paddling but still afloat! It is nice to be around blogland again and I will make the most of it being a Sunday and come and visit a few blogs now: who works on a Sunday?

Rachel Fox said...

Send for the Weaver of Grass! Or Apprentice (my elastic gap year). Or Colin Will. Or Crafty Green Poet. They all blog/know a lot about nature and that. I'm better at name that tune than name that plant...

angryparsnip said...

Yea ! Eryl. . .
Kind looks like Lady Slipper but . . .

Left a zen moment on comments over at my blog if you have time !

Luck for you both,
cheers. . . parsnip

Scarlet-Blue said...

I'm rubbish at plant ID! But they must be made of stern stuff if the slugs haven't got them.

angryparsnip said...


Should have said... Mt Fuji as Viewed From Lake Tanuki. . .

made too many mistakes today....

Scarlet-Blue said...

Is it some sort of orchid?

Kanani said...

Lady slipper? Not sure. What does the leaf look like again?

gleaner said...

Can't help, I don't even know what a paintball business is?

savannah said...

i have no idea, sugar, but they are really pretty! best wishes for stevie and the new business! xoxoxo

Kim Ayres said...

When I saw paintball being mentioned, I half wondered whether one of those pics of you with the painball gun and wedding dress was about to appear :)

debra said...

Good to see you again, Eryl. I was thinking an orchid, but I'm not sure of the leaf. It'd probably be better for someone on your side of the pond to ID it. Best of luck on the new business.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Hello Eryl - hope your break has been productive for you and nice to see you again!

This looks like a plant I have seen on my visits to planet Earth, called Himalayan balsam. It is a problem in many areas of the UK around riverbanks and public areas as well as wasteland, in that it grows prolifically and is very hard to get rid of. There's quite a lot on Google about it.

Fortunately it is not a problem in Giraffe World! :)

Mary Witzl said...

I have NO IDEA what that is, but Himalayan balsam sounds great, so I'd be tempted to call it that anyway. The flower part looks like a wild orchid, but the leaves don't.

Lucky you: the weeds I get are creeping buttercup, ground elder and dandelions, and they aren't half as pretty.

Colin Will said...

(Sent over by Rachel). It's Himalayan Balsam, a 19th century garden escape which has colonised many of our waterside environments. It's rather attractive, and not nearly so thuggish as Japanese Knotweed.

PI said...

Oops! I got it wrong. Queen Soraya was born in 1932 - died 2001 so was 69 when she died. Sorry.

Eryl Shields said...

Rachel ~ pity we can't play name that tune here!

Parsnip ~ Lady's slipper is a lovely name. Loved the Zen moments too.

Scarlet ~ they must, and I should probably transplant some to my garden as the slugs have had everything this year – bastards.

Parsnip ~ I can't remember what you did say but I found some lovely sites of mt Fuji views.

Scarlet ~ I was hoping for orchid.

Kanani ~ I want it to be lady's slipper, now I've heard the name.

Gleaner ~ ha! paintball is a game where people shoot each other with balls of paint. Apparently it's fun!

Savannah ~ thank you, I'm just happy he's found a purpose but a bit of cash would be nice too, XXX

Kim ~ I won't be showing those particular photographs to anyone anytime soon: the mask makes me look like a chipmunk.

Debra ~ it's nice to be back, if only for a quickie.

Raph ~ thanks, I'll google it later. I've never seen it before which just goes to show how often I go scrambling about river banks.

Mary ~ it's a lovely name isn't it? I wish it were in my garden but sadly it's not.

Colin ~ thank you for coming and sharing your knowledge. Glad it's not too thugish, it is very attractive and I was delighted to see it in such a place.

Pat ~ that you knew Queen Soraya ever existed at all is good enough for me! Sad she died so young.

Titus said...

Hi Eryl, missed the ID game but have you read this by Anne Stevenson?

Himalayan Balsam

Orchard-lipped, loose-jointed, purplish, indolent flowers,
with a ripe smell of peaches, like a girl’s breath through lipstick,
delicate and coarse in the weedlap of late summer rivers,
disheveled, weak-stemmed, common as brambles, as love which
subtracts us from seasons, their courtships and murders,
(Meta segemtata in her web, and the male waiting,
between blossom and violent blossom, meticulous spiders
repeated in gossamer, and the slim males waiting).
Fragrance too rich for keeping, too light to remember,
like grief for the cat’s sparrow and the wild gull’s
beach-hatched embryo. (She ran from the reaching water
with the broken egg in her hand, but the clamped bill
refused brandy and grubs, a shred too naked and perilous for
life, offered freely in cardboard boxes, little windowsill
coffins for bird death, kitten death, squirrel death, summer
repeated and ended in heartbreak, in sad small funerals.)
Sometimes, shaping bread or scraping potatoes for supper,
I have stood in the kitchen, transfixed by what I’d call love,
if love were a whiff, a wanting for no particular lover,
no child, or baby, or creature. ‘Love, dear love,’
I could cry to these scent-spilling ragged flowers,
and mean nothing but ‘no,’ in that word’s breath,
to their evident going, their important descent through red towering
stalks to the riverbed. It’s not, as I thought, that death
creates love. More that love knows death. Therefore
tears, therefore poems, therefore long stone sobs of cathedrals
that speak to no ferret or fox, that prevent no massacre.
(I am combing abundant leaves from these icy shallows.)
Love, it was you who said, ‘Murder the killer
we have to call life and we’d be a bare planet under a dead sun.’
Then I loved you with the usual soft lust of October
that says ‘yes’ to the coming winter and a summoning odour of balsam.

hellbent on life said...

it looks like a bleeding heart too me...... beautiful none the less

Emerson Marks said...

They could be poisonous. Those are the sort of plants that agree to grow in such places.

Eryl Shields said...

Titus ~ I hadn't read that and, oh my god, I'm going to write it down!

Hellbent on life ~ hello, good name (yours) and bleeding heart too.

Emerson ~ that's a very poetic thing to say.

Khanh Ha said...

And are you still in love with the Himalayan balsam? When I first saw the photos, I thought, like Kanani, the leaves weren't the orchid type of leaves. But there's always an expert out there besides our favorite friend Google.

When are you coming back to share with us your charming stories?

willow said...

Oh, my guys adored paint ball when they were teenagers. They were really into it with all kinds of fancy guns.

Lovely flower, but I can't give it a name.

Entrepreneur Chick said...

I was hoping you were going to ask a question about business- because I might know that answer. Flowers? Not so much.

I've been reading all these amazing blogs (like yours- LOVE the graphic; it's excellent) and I have labeled myself such a LOSER.

These women can decorate and bake and... all I can do is start companies and run them. It's not warm and pretty.

Entrepreneur Chick said...

I was hoping you were going to ask a question about business- because I might know that answer. Flowers? Not so much.

I've been reading all these amazing blogs (like yours- LOVE the graphic; it's excellent) and I have labeled myself such a LOSER.

These women can decorate and bake and... all I can do is start companies and run them. It's not warm and pretty.

Kathryn Magendie said...

You know, my Virginia Kate would know what it was, and if she didn't, she'd look it up immediately because she likes to know the names of things - me, however, huhn, I forget names, mix them up - but those do look familiar!

Philip said...

definitely himalayan balsam. Pretty but invasive and chases out stuff you wouldn't want it to.
my blog's at www.domesticatedbohemian.blogspot.com if you fancy a look.

Emil Kirstein said...

Very interesting. Blessings.

Eryl Shields said...

Khanh Ha ~ I kind of am, I like tough and pretty!

Things are coming together now with the writing so I might come back soonish, we'll see.

Willow ~ my husband loves it, but he is rather teen-like!

Entrepreneur Chick ~ some businesses are warm and pretty, I have found, but on the whole there doesn't seem to be much cake involved with most of them. Wouldn't suit me, but thank goodness some people can do that sort of stuff.

Kathryn ~ I really must get round to finding your book and reading all about Virginia Kate, she sounds admirable. I get names mixed up too.

Emil Kirstein ~ thank you! I came to visit you then got distracted, will come back soon your blog looked very interesting.

Wigeon said...

If only I'd seen this first I'd have given you the answer straight off thanks to my background ....but now I'm seriously studying again life just isn't like that and I feel like a rabbit in the headlights at the mo!
Yep it's HB and it's an invasive plant. A bit of heat bursts the seed pods and sends them scattering so it's incredibly successful .....but smothers out some of our beautiful natives.
Good luck to Stevie with the paintballing and to you for your writing folio. It'll be fantastic.x

pilgrimchick said...

Those look incredible--what a nice discovery. I'm sorry I can't at all reflect on what they are.

savannah said...

thanks, sugar, for stopping by! i have stuff to send you! :~D xoxoxo

Dr Maroon said...

They are flowers darling. That's what we call them. Don't panic dear, a lot of us keep them in places called gardens. They don't do much but are easier to keep than mink which are horrid little snapping bastards.
Kind regards,

Grump said...

You are very lucky it isn't Japanese knotweed. I had that once and talk about thuggish it was murder to get out and every time you pulled it 10 new ones grew there. I had to leave the country never to return.
Woof x

Crafty Green Poet said...

If you do want to get rid of Himalayan Balsam (eg along a riverbank where there are lots of pretty native plants) its really easy, it lifts out without a complaint.

It is pretty though and somewhere which is waste ground with nothing else growing its quite a nice addition. Stinks though.