A couple of days ago in one of my blogs I mentioned the Wombles and their "making good use of the things that they find, the things that everyday folk leave behind" song. But not everything is 'useful' in the Wombling sense.
I pick up things on my daily dog walks for which there's no obvious use: feathers, attractive stones, bones (I have two friends who treasure them), lichen-covered sticks.
They're beautiful to look at, to treasure for a little while.
Today I spent a short time rummaging around the river-bed with my friend J. I was going to write a different blog today but she's sent me these pictures and I really wanted to record a lovely time spent in the early Spring sunshine, just absorbed in trying to spot treasures.
It wasn't really mud-larking, although I do like the 'larking' bit. It was more pebble-panning. There's a place near my house where the River Ure only flows when the river is high, creating an 'island' for just a short time each year. Most of the time it's a dry stoney area, where wood sorrel, wild garlic and grass quickly grow and green immediately after any rain. It's a perfect spot to hunt little gems carried down by flood water. The water was recently quite high so we looked forward to a lovely mooch of discovery.
We quickly found muscle shells, feathers, fragments of bird's eggs and then started to notice the pieces of glass and ceramic among the pebbles. At first everything appeals and then gradually we got pickier, discarding the clunkier, uglier, less eroded pieces of thick glass in favour of more interesting smaller gems.
I'm sure many would see the things we found as pure rubbish but we both love to speculate on the stories behind the pieces, to hold them and feel the once rough edges shaped by the power of water. My artist sister had put in an 'order' already for any pieces of ceramics we found so we carefully divided our hoard before waxing lyrical about the value of imperfection.
Thanks J - just what I needed!