Sunday, February 11, 2007

sparrow visitor, barramundi, hellebore

A telephone wire, a meter or so from the bedroom window, is usually free of visitors. This morning, a sparrow alights there and stays for a moment or two. I do not imagine for a moment that -a sort of avian twitcher - it is looking in at me, but it is a pleasing thought.

In Sainsbury's on the fish counter is a fish that I have not seen there before. It is the barramundi. But no ordinary barramundi - a popular fish in Australia, where it swims wild in lakes in Queensland, and where it is also farmed. The fish in Sainsbury's is described as a New Forest barramundi. The New Forest in Hampshire is known for its ponies, its wild mushrooms, once presumably in the time of the Norman Kings, for its venison (William II was killed there deliberately or accidently by an arrow, while hunting deer); but, until now, not for its barramundi.

There is something satisfyingly modest and restrained about green flowers. Several varieties of hellebore are green. I stop in front of one in a front garden, and photograph it, using the macro lens.Then home to read about it. The plants are very poisonous. The stinking hellebore, H foetidus, was, I learn, used to "cure coughs and wheezing in horses, or for humans as a drastic emetic, according to Gerard for 'mad and furious men'".

1 comment:

Lalita Mukherjea said...

Umm, if you can believe it, a search for "woman wailing for her demon-lover" brought me me here. I intend to read more.