#30DaysWild Day 20 Polychrome Pleasure

P1030172 peacock and primrose (2)

Peacock Butterfly on a Primrose, Rathlin Island April 2019 (c) Sally Hutt


Orchid, Bellingham June 2019 (c) Sally Hutt

Through April and May
the land blazes with yellow –
cheer after winter grey

Purple, green and white
dominate and decorate
trackside banks in June.

(c) Vivienne Blake June 13 2015



Mum wrote this poem for the 30 Days Wild challenge in 2015.  It was inspired by a haymeadow sound recording that I shared with her.  This same hay meadow featured in a video taken throughout the year using some stunning time lapse photography.

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#30DaysWild Day 19 Where are the bees?

P1050550 (2)

Bee on Yellow Rattle (c) Sally Hutt 19 June 2019

We’ll crunch no apples this autumn
for the blossom will  not be transformed
by the work of our friends the bees.

I haven’t seen a bee this year ─
last Spring the farmer did his worst
One Sunday on the quiet
he turned his lethal illegal spray
onto the growing corn.
The corn it grew and grew and grew
but I haven’t seen a bee this May.

We’ll crunch no apples this autumn
for the blossom, late appearing,
will  not be transformed
by the work of our friends the bees.

(c) Vivienne Blake 12 May 2016

I am lucky to have an area of grassland left long for its wild flowers at the bank of my office.  With lots of orchids in flower it is looking particularly pretty at the moment and the bee in the photo was visiting lots of yellow rattle flowers at lunchtime today.  Those of you that have followed Mum’s blog for a while may remember that we bought an apple tree for Jock’s 80th birthday which is in our garden.  It was in a pot for a number of years but I did plant it out with some of Mum’s ashes and it has lots of small apples growing this year so we must have had enough bees in our garden.

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#30DaysWild Day 18 The Parliament of the Sea Creatures

IMGP0947 ((c) Fraser Hutt) blue crab

Blue Crab from Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands (c) Fraser Hutt

‘Hear ye, hear ye,’
the trumpet fish waved his long snout
’The Boss is anxious to sort things out.
He’s calling a meeting of all you chaps
to right a few wrongs, so perhaps
you would kindly make your way
to the reef at eighteen degrees South
by one four eight East
on Sunday week at half past four. ’

At the appointed hour Poseidon thumps his trident.

IMGP0923 upsidedown jellyfish

Upside down Jellyfish from Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands (c)The Hutts

You should have seen the throng:
of whales and sharks and lion fish
with cod and hake and herring;
anemones and sea slugs
sea cucumbers and angel fish,
coral, fighting shy of parrot fish –
it should have been a disaster
but I quelled them with one Godly look.

We’re here to talk, not nibble
you can quibble later. I’m having my say
and what I say goes.
We need to keep a balance
of species and varieties,
so you must control your appetites.
Give and be given, live and let live.

TCI beach litter

Fishing Litter, Blowing Hole Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands (c) Sally Hutt

It’s those blasted humans
who’re spoiling the ocean for us –
whose greed and careless waste
cause  pain, pollution and worse.
That’s what we’re here to discuss.

Mutter mutter, argy bargy,
piffle, waffle and baloney –
after hours of fruitless discussion,
the God’s expression stony,
he came to a momentous decision.
What I propose is to intervene
with the Gods of storms and weather,
but most of all with the human race
to work together,
clean up our act,
save us all this bother.

‘Twas soon agreed by one and all
that it was worth a try:
the case was taken to Zeus, my brother,
and won – unique in unanimity.

(c) Vivienne Blake 21 May 2013

Photos taken by the Hutts when they spent 3 months in 2010/11 volunteering on the Turks and Caicos Islands – a British Overseas Territory

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#30DaysWild Day 17 Kielder Midges

IMGP3749 islands

Top end of Kielder May 2014 (c) Sally Hutt

Kielder Midges
A hatch of midges hovers in a cloud
above Kielder Water at eventide.
Hungry for human blood they are avowed,
not to disperse until it is supplied.
Despite this hazard, hardy walkers crowd,
for the beauty of the lake can’t be denied.
As complex eco-systems demonstrate,
it’s nature’s way ever to compensate.

(c) Vivienne Blake 17th July 2014

An Ottava Rima form of poetry: a poem writ7ten in 8-line octaves. Each line is of a 10 or 11 syllable count in the following rhyme:scheme – Abababcc

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#30DaysWild Day 16 Renaissance Camp

I’ve been browsing through the box of Mum’s writing I have and came across this poem about Sandwood Bay which was a family favourite on our 3 week caravanning trips around Scotland for many summers.  These summer trips did inspire a love of wild places and exploring.  There is no public road to the bay – it is still a 4.5 mile walk along a track from the nearest road.  Sally

Renaissance Camp

Sandwood Bay in Sutherland
in days gone by only reachable
after a twenty-mile trek across moor and mountain.
Nowadays a road ties it to so-called civilisation,
a retrograde step.

My renaissance camp would set up there
back in time, like a Tardis,
I’d wander the pristine shore
rejoicing in the sounds of the sublime
the swish of sea, the cry of guillemot
the scream of dive bombing oystercatcher.

Mermaids would whisper their stories
into my ear to re-invent for the children
who’ve accompanied me there –
sturdy trekkers that they were,
receptive to wilderness and beauty.

They’ve picked up the baton
in search of remote places
now that trekking is behind me,
renaissance of the seeds sown so long ago.

(c) Vivienne Blake – first published on this blog 20th July 2014

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#30DaysWild Day 15 The Birds Came

A survey of bird life hereabouts
showed nary a one when we moved in.
The need to see life is vital to me
so I set about planting treats:
flowers to lure insects,
greaseballs stuck in the apple tree
and a regular supply of crumbs.
You have to laugh, or you’d cry
…………………………………….for no birds came.

The north winds of winter
came and stayed –
the face of the earth devoid of smiles –
…………………………………..and no birds came.

A meeting of tractors conferred
and spread in formation to labour the earth.
A flutter of pigeons took the hint,
flocked to the field near the house
………………………………….and a few birds came.

Buds burst, blossom bloomed, the sun shone
my treats took heart and did their job.
First a blackbird came to sing his song
a sparrow arrived and brought his mate
to chirp and squeak.
One after another,
to change my report,
………………………………….the birds came.

(c) Vivienne Blake, 25 May 2014

Apologies for missing another day yesterday. Sally

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#30DaysWild Day 13 Woodland

An ocean of green
shadowy depths ─ through which float
islands of sunlight

Deepest forest
clouded by the breath of trees —
small creatures creep

(c) Vivienne Blake March 7 2016

Photos taken in Viv’s Wood 2 June 2019 (c) Sally Hutt.  Apologies for missing posting a poem yesterday.

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#30DaysWild Day 11 Slugs


Scanned from a print found in Mum’s paper archive.

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#30DaysWild Day 10 Nature Cento

IMG_7173 southern hawker

Southern Hawker (c) Duncan Hutt

Insects flittering,
leaves flickering in the breeze
filter the light with moving speckles.
Glistening blue and green
of dragonfly delight the eye.
Cacophony of birdsong
tunes the ear to individual airs.
A waft of flowery fragrance
scents the air as a small miracle
of light bathes fields in gold.
Scent, sight and sound restore me –
defeat my grumpy mood.

(c) Vivienne Blake, July 29th 2015

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#30DaysWild Day 9 The Kielder Gypsy

pretty pair on nest 1 2

Kielder Ospreys (Mr and Mrs YA) (c) Forestry England 2014

From wandering far,
wind-soaring nobly,
wearily back to remembered refuge,
Litter-strewn encampment,
scruffy pile of sticks:
I don not belie the reputation of my kind.

So why?
Why do they watch me,
peer at me,
target of telescopes
and paparazzi lenses?

Twitchers queuing
to see what I’m up to.

IMG_0292 Osprey Watch Fraser Duncan

Fraser and Duncan Watching Ospreys (c) Sally Hutt

I’m not here to entertain them.
I’m just doing my job,
catching fish
while they shop,
fathering young,
tending my brood,
while they abuse.


Kielder Ospreys – Feeding Time (c) Forestry England 2019

Tell them from me
to live their own lives.
My life is free,
while theirs is all chained,
to places, to things and to greed.

Tell them, tell them for me,
to live as I do.

(c) Vivienne Blake 2010

This is a poem I have found in Mum’s paper collection.  She may never have posted it on her blog before.


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#30DaysWild Day 8 Monsoon



The Hutt’s garden after the monsoon – 21mm of rain in 12 hours (c) Sally Hutt

Eagerly awaited in parched places
producing life in desert oases
feared in low-lying river basins
suffered stoically on vacation
welcomed by gardeners
inhaling petrichor* with appreciation.

* Petrichor – the smell given off by rain falling on dry earth.

(c) Vivienne Blake 24 June 2015

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#30DaysWildDay 7 Wild Haigu

meadow ecosystem haiga

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#30DaysWild Day 6 The Cream of the Garden

The Cream of the garden

SG1L1456 Fraser April 2009

Viv’s Grandson, Fraser, in the old stump in the hedge bank April 2009

The bank, left wild for birds, insects,
and January primroses,
before violets, bluebells, nettles,
cow parsley and foxgloves.
The hedge, murdered every few years
for winter logs and kindling – a motley thing
of alder, hazel, chestnut,  ash,
wild cherry and baby hedgerow oaks;
there’s a hollow stump sprouting hazel hair,
where a blackbird raises a brood in Spring,
becoming hideaway for summer children.
Its brambles give us jelly and crumbles,
sweetness from undergrowth.
Sweetness, too, behind the shed
where grass cuttings, weeds and waste,
moulder undisturbed into compost,
loved by vegetables, flowers, fruit, and me.

(c) Vivienne Blake

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#30DaysWild Day 5 One Beautiful Morning in May

One Beautiful Morning in May

It seems as though the path runs through three seasons –
where just three weeks ago the foliage was sparse,
now  banks are full of flora in abundance.
Fauna also leaves its evidence –
I stumble over mid-path lines of molehills
and a badger sett shows signs of a spring clean

P1050342 Common Dog Violet Viola riviniana

Common Dog Violet (Viola riviniana) Taken in Viv’s Wood 02.06.19 (c) Sally Hutt

For company, my shadow and a blackbird
who sings his courting heart out, free, for me.
I trudge through fluff of fallen pussy willow,
see  violets from March still here and there.
Rosettes of knobbled primrose leaves I see,
though February’s buttery flowers are gone.

Campion, dandelion and pignut flourish
side by side with early foxglove spires.
Umbrellas of froth, cow parsley rubs shoulders
with bracken, unfurling fronds of autumn promise.
Flashes of light flicker through the trees,
arouse the scene to joyful life once more.
© Vivienne Blake 04.05.14

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#30DaysWild Day 4 The Storm

The storm crashes through the membrane
of blue sky, brings booming thunder,
streaky wayward lethal lightning,
machine gun hail  to batter us.

The limb of ancient oak creaks and cracks,
tumbles from force of wind on wood;
perfect habitat of birds transformed
to home for insects, fungi, lichen.

Creatures cower in the undergrowth
fearing the storm as bird of prey
until the drama fades,
and they creep away.

(c) Vivienne Blake

Not quite thunderstorm weather but it has been raining all afternoon here in Northumberland.

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