Blue spring

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The relentless march of spring

Magdalen Walks

The little white clouds are racing over the sky,
And the fields are strewn with the gold of the flower of March,
The daffodil breaks under foot, and the tasselled larch
Sways and swings as the thrush goes hurrying by.

A delicate odour is borne on the wings of the morning breeze,
The odour of deep wet grass, and of brown new-furrowed earth,
The birds are singing for joy of the Spring’s glad birth,
Hopping from branch to branch on the rocking trees.

And all the woods are alive with the murmur and sound of Spring,
And the rose-bud breaks into pink on the climbing briar,
And the crocus-bed is a quivering moon of fire
Girdled round with the belt of an amethyst ring.

And the plane to the pine-tree is whispering some tale of love
Till it rustles with laughter and tosses its mantle of green,
And the gloom of the wych-elm’s hollow is lit with the iris sheen
Of the burnished rainbow throat and the silver breast of a dove.

See! the lark starts up from his bed in the meadow there,
Breaking the gossamer threads and the nets of dew,
And flashing adown the river, a flame of blue!
The kingfisher flies like an arrow, and wounds the air.

Oscar Wilde

IMGP0006IMGP0019IMGP0134IMGP0139IMGP0232IMGP0299IMGP0235IMGP0278IMGP0298IMGP0309IMGP0328My favourite place in the spring is the Magdalen College park, where Oscar Wilde walked when he wrote this poem, and where I took these photos between February and April.

Lately

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A spring evening in Oxford, on my way to have a rather extravagant dinner after a day out. This place, its street and back alleys, never stops to inspire me.

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The mosaic floor of Victoria & Albert Museum. I went there to do some serious photography last week, with the intent of mastering challenging light conditions, learning a bit more about certain settings. Wait for the results.

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Antonio Canova’s sculpture The three Graces, portraying the daughters of Zeus – Euphrosyne, Aglaea and Thalia – who were said to represent beauty, charm and joy. In the same gallery, there is a rather hilarious Victorian painting of two men inspecting a marble nude of a woman. Again, a beautiful statue, and a joy to behold, but rather obviously symbolic of woman’s value and place.

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Hyde Park heron. This is not my favourite park in London, but going as I was from South Kensington to Oxford Street to meet a friend, I walked through it, on a glorious spring day. I was rather sad to see the water of the Serpent to be so dirty, and the lake bottom essentially dead. People, please stop throwing your trash anywhere and everywhere. The nature deserves better.

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Cow parsley skirting the hawthorn hedge.

20140421-171815.jpgConstable’s Clouds. The skies on Staurday were particularly dramatic, yet the early evening was warm and tender.

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Forget-me-nots, growing as weeds in the flower beds of the University Parks.

20140421-171859.jpgNature taking back her own.

20140421-172124.jpgA quick visit to my secret place, the Jericho cemetery, on my way home from an afternoon in the pub with friends. Minutes later, the rain came. The bluebells are at their best, the cow parsley growing high, the beech leaves just on the cusp of turning green, and the lilacs blooming. I have spent much time outdoors over the Easter holiday, walking a great deal, enjoying the early spring after so much bad weather. I want to grab as much of the spring as I can before it goes, to enjoy the flowers and hazy evenings. In the middle of all this loveliness, it’s hard to believe that the summer has barely begun.