I had a beautiful weekend in Herefordshire with a friend who also has a large and very useful collection of Lewis Carroll and "Alice" material. I was researching unpublished material on Carroll, but it was really too nice to stay indoors so I spent a lot of time outside in the garden.
Something about the light in that part of the world appeals to me so much - it's hazy and yet bright, colourful and almost luminous at times. I often notice it and wonder what causes it. Perhaps the shape of the landscape, with the distant hills blue and misty but the foreground so bright. And at this time of year the countryside is a great shout of green, with all the leaves opening and the blossom on the trees.
Pretty sure these are apple blossoms - not that I'm a great expert.
And here is my friend's magnolia tree....but do you notice the silent and (I think) rather creepy onlooker in the shed? I don't know why the Cheshire Cat is so disturbing - he is friendly enough, after all. Maybe it's the idea of a disembodied head that's a little bothersome. What do you think?
Incidentally the idea of the Cheshire Cat is supposed to have been inspired by this ancient carving in the church of Croft on Tees, Yorkshire, where Lewis Carroll spent his teenage years as the rector's son. He and his 10 brothers and sisters would surely have spent many hours listening to their dad's sermons while sitting in the nearby pews under the gaze of this ancient creature.