Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Return of the Peacock

The peacock butterfly was back again yesterday morning, flitting among our forget-me-nots. Doesn't it look amazing against all those blue flowers?

I ventured out to the grocery store again yesterday. I went back to the big Sainsbury's at the O2 Centre rather than our little neighborhood shops, where the aisles are very narrow. At the big store I have more selection and more space, though it's less convenient.

Grocery shopping has got to be one of the least pleasant aspects of this coronavirus situation. It's no fun even in the best of times, and now -- with the added specter of infection and the need to skirt everyone else as widely as possible -- it's even worse. But I got out with enough food for the next three days, plus two bottles of my favorite red zinfandel, which I haven't seen at Sainsbury's since this whole mess began. And pasta! Woo hoo!

Perhaps as a result of all the tension, I saw a man and a woman have a full-on shouting match near the checkout lanes. The Sainsbury's employees had to come and move them along. I couldn't tell what the fight was about -- they both had heavy accents of some type and I couldn't understand a word.

As I walked home with my bags, I took a closer look at the once-viney tree -- now blooming!

Here it is from across the street. Remember how the woman who lives in the nearest house told me she thought it self-seeded from the fruit tree in her front yard? (Despite the presence of support stakes that were clearly put in by the council when it was planted.) Well, you can see her tree too, in the rear -- and it's blooming white. Definitely not the same variety of tree. Whether that woman will notice or admit that is anyone's guess.

Anyway, it's not in full bloom yet, so you might get one more picture when it flowers completely. I cut a bunch of sprouting hops vines from around its base yesterday. Those things are persistent. I imagine them writhing and hissing like evil snakes.

Olga and I went to the cemetery in the afternoon. Her enthusiasm for these cemetery walks has definitely waned. Maybe she's bored and I need a new destination. We heard the turaco, and I had my good camera so I lingered hoping to get a new picture of it, but every time Olga and I got close it stopped calling so I could never pinpoint its location. Crafty!


Yorkshire Pudding said...

Coincidentally, "Woo Hoo!" is also my favourite pasta brand. I wonder what the hop vine shoots will write. I further wonder how snakes write when they do not have hands or fingers. Life is filled with mystery.

David said...

Love the picture of the viney tree! But I notice someone else beat me with the quip about snakes writing.

Steve Reed said...

YP & David: Everybody needs an editor! Thanks for pointing out my typo, which I have fixed.

crafty cat corner said...

Wow, That Turaco is impressive, looked it up from your link. Poor bird probably will never find a mate, guess it got out from somewhere.

Sabine said...

You saved a tree! Excellent and well done.

e said...

Thanks for saving a tree and yes, that Turaco is clever...Love your photo today.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Ha! Maybe your neighbor will tell you when the tree self-seeded it changed color. But seeing that in bloom must be so satisfying for you. Grocery shopping stresses us even here... just because of the exposure. But most people are VERY aware of space requirements. And our supermarket is well managed and crowd-controlled... plus it's almost completely empty most of the time.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Sorry. Howe could I forget. The butterfly photo is beautiful. I've never seen a peacock butterfly, so thanks for the up-close.

Mary said...

My DH is doing the grocery shopping and along with the groceries (he can find) he brings home photos of the empty aisles--virtually no frozen food, no canned goods or pasta, limited meats, half empty milk compartments. All well and good to say shop for a couple of weeks but the empty aisles have persisted for four weeks in our middle class area. We're lucky it is just the two of us as I can't imagine trying to feed a large family right now. It is also driving him crazy that folks aren't social distancing in the store. I made him a mask (and ones for the rest of family and friends, too) so he has that but it is disheartening/frightening to see just how quickly things can fall apart. Sigh. Happy to look at your photos of the peacock butterfly and the blooming tree you saved to remind me of better things.

Vivian Swift said...

WOW! That photo of the peacock butterfly is gorgeous! And who thought that grocery shopping would be journal-worthy, but it is fascinating what people buy in times of trouble. I needed to buy cabbage. I like to make a big pot of cabbage soup every week. It makes me feel healthy .

I love it when people fight in public. I pull up a chair and pour myself a drink and enjoy the show. If I don't know the language, I'm pretty good at reading body gestures and tone. Besides, what do people usually fight about in supermarkets? Was the guy in the express lane with more than 10 items? Was he a husband who forgot to pick up the right kind of butter? Or was he a boyfriend who told her he was out of town when he was shopping for his secret family?

Ms. Moon said...

Steve, that is now YOUR tree. That's all there is to it.
That butterfly is unbelievable. I'm so glad you got such a good shot and could share it. Thank you.

ellen abbott said...

I had a monarch on the german verbena yesterday. don't think I saw a single one last year. the tree is definitely happy. you'll have to continue to prune back the hops vine. it may eventually die but then it may not. when er bought the house next door when we lived in the city, the woman told us that there was a wisteria in the corner that she kept mowed down for many years. we stopped mowing that spot and it grew back.

Red said...

Grocery shopping is a challenge with distancing. It doesn't work very well.

Edna B said...

Your "viney tree" is really quite beautiful. I don't know if I've seen a peacock butterfly. It's very pretty. Olga is probably just feeling sort of bored like so many of us do. You did good at the market. Stay safe and have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

Sharon said...

Gorgeous butterfly shot! That "viney tree" is very pretty. It would have been awful to see it strangled by that vine.
When I shopped last week, I bought ingredients to make some beef stew thinking it would make several meals. I hadn't thought about the fact that I'd get so tired of beef stew that I wouldn't want any. I put the remainder in the freezer. Maybe I'll want it in a week or two. I am missing the variety of eating out very much.

Linda Sue said...

Your photos generally make me gasp and wonder "how?" The butterfly on blue is one of those gasp worthy!! Perfect. Love that you unchoked the tree, it is much happier. Olga is such a lucky girl, to even go for a walk rather than just put out back and told to poop...Every dog I have ever had though was the same, they seem to need variety and change . Adventure!! As we all do, I suppose.

Allison said...

I was looking at the cut outs in the sidewalks and that bricked area. There's really not much room for those poor trees. It's a miracle that anything survives.
Beautiful butterfly and kudos to you for capturing it.

robin andrea said...

I love the peacock butterfly so much. Thank you for photographing it and sharing it. What a beauty!

Catalyst said...

Oh yes, your butterfly is posing for your camera and you caught its glory. The last few times I've gone to the grocery we ordered everything on-line and an employee of the store brought them out and loaded them into my trunk. But I still miss going into the store and shopping. But so it goes. Some day this will all be behind us and I just hope I'm still around to enjoy the return to normal life.

Joanne said...

The Peacock butterfly is unreal!! So glad you got the photo and shared it with us.

gz said...

I did the Trolley Dance last week in Sainsbugs! Making light while keeping distance, raises a much needed smile.

Penelope said...

The peacock butterfly is beautiful.
If I only had enough food for three days I would be in a panic. I am sure you have no worries in a big city like London but we only have two grocery stores here and it is a long way to another.
I shopped last Sunday and was pleased to get most of the items on my list. The shelves were pretty sparse but a surprising variety was available. I have enough for about six months if I am careful. I am not confident there will be food on the shelves by then.

jo(e) said...

I always liked grocery shopping because I live in a small town where I'm likely to run into people I know. But now that the stores have become this dangerous place where people wear masks and gloves and keep their distance -- it's just as well that I have grown kids to do the shopping for me. I think it would make me sad.

Lovely photos.

The Padre said...

My Newest Hobby That I Am Subpar As The Rest Of My Hobbies, Acrylic Painting - Your Peacock Butterfly Has Given Me Inspiration - Thanx Brother Steve

P.S. On Your Next "New" Location With Olga , Drop Her A Biscuit From Uncle T

Elizabeth said...

I hope you're all ok, Steve. This is all so weird; I don't even know how to respond to everyone other than to wish you health and ease and that this "thing" will end.

Steve Reed said...

Briony: I've thought the same thing -- it's kind of sad that it's flying around out there all by its lonesome!

Sabine: Thanks! I feel so good every time I see it.

E: I think it's especially wary when Olga is around.

Mitchell: Ours is crowd-controlled too but I'm always amazed how many people stand around, obliviously texting in the middle of the aisle or something, blocking everyone's path!

Mary: I'm surprised you all are still having such issues with availability. Our shelves seem to have returned mostly to normal. (I go early, though, which probably helps.)

Vivian: I couldn't even tell if they knew each other or were just strangers going at it. The most revealing aspect of this whole coronavirus situation was the toilet-paper hoarding. That says so much about people and their insecurities!

Ms Moon: My adopted child!

Ellen: I keep thinking it's GOT to die at some point. Hoping I can kill it this year, but everyone tells me hops vines are very vigorous.

Red: It's a challenge any time, and especially now!

Edna: I don't think this variety of peacock lives in North America, although the USA does have other butterflies that go by the peacock name.

Sharon: That's the trouble with leftovers, isn't it? They can linger too long!

Linda Sue: I'm trying very hard to make sure Olga gets her exercise. (Not to mention me!)

Allison: Surprisingly, they do fine. For one thing it's obviously much wetter here than in the American Southwest, so moisture can get down to the tree roots even through that small space. There was a big street construction project right next to that tree last year that must have cut some roots, and that didn't seem to bother it either. It's durable!

Robin: One of my favorite British butterflies!

Catalyst: Interesting! We could apparently apply to have groceries delivered due to Dave's vulnerability but we haven't pursued that.

Joanne: Glad you enjoyed it!

GZ: "You gotta laugh to keep from cryin'," as one of my former coworkers used to say. (She was from Alabama.)

Penelope: SIX MONTHS?! Wow! We could survive much longer than three days if we delved into our canned goods and all that stuff, but I'm talking about fresh food. I can't physically carry food for longer than that -- not without a car.

Jo(e): Yeah, it does make me yearn for the time when we could just walk into a shop and mingle and rub elbows to our hearts content!

Padre: I'll keep an eye out for your paintings!

Elizabeth: This is all very weird. We're fine here, knock on wood. Just coasting along in relative isolation. I really hope warm weather helps wrap this thing up, although it looks less and less likely that will be true.