Camassia leichtlinii

Camassias: And Some Blog Love (1)

My favourite thing about blogging is the friendly community that you can become a part of. At a time when it’s impossible to visit my friends locally, the relationships I’ve formed with bloggers from all over the world are deeply valued.

So it was a welcome surprise to find that I’d been nominated for a ‘Liebster Award’ by my lovely friend Liz at Exploring Colour. (You’ll find that Liz’s blog is a wonderful mix of life-enhancing colour and fascinating articles, many tackling issues that are important to the natural world.)

Now you may be wondering just what the ‘Liebster’ (German for ‘favourite’ or ‘dearest’) Award is. It’s a means to allow readers to discover new blogs and by the recipients nominating more blogs, lots of bloggers have a chance to be found. (A sort of bloggers-helping-other-bloggers chain letter!)

Liz had eleven questions for her nominees, which I’ll answer here. The following part, where I can tell you eleven (probably random) facts about myself will be kept for next week’s post. (Along with my own questions for the bloggers I nominate.) This post might get awfully long otherwise!

Let’s get down to the questions:

1. What connection (if any) do you feel that you have with New Zealand? Not a direct one, but through my husband, Colin. Colin has a cousin named Madeline who lives there and came over to Scotland to meet everyone. I remember a family boat trip along Loch Ness (no sign of Nessie) and a huge party afterwards.

2. What place in this world do you most love? My garden – a close runner-up is Argyll, on the west coast of Scotland because it’s so beautiful.

3. Your favourite colour(s) are what? And what do you associate with the colour? Blue and purple. I think of blue skies, my hubbie’s lovely blue eyes and blue and purple flowers.

4. What connection do you feel/experience with nature? I’ve always felt a strong connection to nature. I was brought up in a house surrounded by open countryside with only one other house in view. That tends to make you aware of every living thing around you and of the weather, the seasons, the amazing skies and sunsets…there weren’t many other distractions in those days. As a keen gardener, the connection to the garden and its plants and the many little creatures that live there is extremely important to me. I believe that it is vital for us to remember that we are ourselves a part of nature.

5. Your favourite ‘active’ recreational activity…? Is walking along the country paths here. And best of all is walking around gardens that we’re visiting!

6. Your favourite ‘quiet’ hobby/interest? If you read this blog regularly, you’ll guess…gardening!

7. Is there something you enjoy ‘having a go at’ regardless of skill? Drawing – it’s something I’ve been trying to learn to do better over the last couple of years because it is so useful for printmaking.

8. What was (or is) your favourite children’s book? ‘The Starlight Barking’ by Dodie Smith. (The sequel to ‘The Hundred and One Dalmations’.)

9. Your current or past ‘occupation’ i.e. work/study/keeping busy..is what? When I lived near Edinburgh, I used to write for magazines and newspapers. That was mainly about incidents from Scottish local history, but also work for my local newspaper. I wanted to improve my photography to be able to use it to illustrate my magazine articles, so I went back to college to study HND Photography. Now the photography has taken over…

10. What’s your favourite creative activity…what do you have a passion for? Photography! My parents gave me a Kodak ‘Instamatic’ when I was eleven and that started me on a lifetime of taking photographs. Photographing flowers is my passion and a great way to blend my favourite activities.

11. Is there something you can share about a challenge you face, or have faced? The biggest challenge I’ve faced has been dealing with my mother’s dementia. I suppose we were lucky, in that it didn’t get really bad until the last couple of years of her life. Mum was almost 92 when she died, and she’d had a very full and happy life up until the time her health started to fail in her late 80s. But dementia is a dreadful way for a life to end. You lose everything – your home and interests, your relationships with family and friends, and even a large part of yourself because you forget so much of your life. Mercifully, Mum was looked after by lovely, caring people and she always remembered who I was and found my presence reassuring. (It doesn’t always go like that.)

Wow! This is a much longer post than usual! So thank you for making it this far and thank you Liz, for the questions!

Flower of Camassia leichtlinlii
Seen a little closer…

22 thoughts on “Camassias: And Some Blog Love (1)

  1. Wow Ann! That’s an amazing response and thank you so much. I was drawn to your tweet when I saw the camassia flowers in my twitter feed – they’re stunning! My distant brush with dementia came when we bought our current cottage, the seller’s parents (who’d lived here) had moved to a home for people with dementia and I learned a little about their circumstances. There must be comfort knowing that your Mum remembered you, very special. It was a treat to learn more about you and your interests, and also that there was a sequel to The 101 Dalmatians – I don’t think I knew that! I’d really love to visit Argyll some time. Thanks for sharing so generously Ann! xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it – I was afraid I might go on too long! Argyll is a beautiful and fascinating part of Scotland to visit. (We named our house after a place there. πŸ™‚ ) I’d love to get back there myself!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting insights into your life, and splendid camassia too! πŸ™‚
    I had a similar encounter with dementia, with my mum also starting to suffer from it in her late 80s and dying in her 91st year. It was a very painful episode, and I remain grateful to – and a little in awe of – the wonderful staff at her care home. These are dedicated, loving people, not well paid and not always receiving the recognition they deserve, although the reporting of Covid-19 tragedy has given their role and skills a higher profile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was really impressed with how genuinely caring the staff of Mum’s home was – absolutely wonderful people. But I dread to think what they must be going through at the moment. It must be heartbreaking in some homes right now. These carers deserve more recognition than they’re ever likely to get.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Indira! Maybe I’ll have a few more of them next year so that I can pick some to photograph in the studio! πŸ™‚

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  3. Enjoyed your blog Ann. Nice to find out about your background and how you got so good at Photography. I understand the dementia thing – my Mom thought I was her niece for the last few years of her life. I try to remember her when she was a little younger and the terrific person who brought me up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it Syd! Mum did go through a spell of thinking I was a carer but when she went into the home, I got into the habit of telling her who I was when I visited. And the carers were great too- they would talk to her about me and that helped to keep me in her mind. My brother was less fortunate – on his last visit she couldn’t remember him and was pretty unresponsive. (But he lived a long way away and couldn’t visit often.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. An interesting and insightful post Ann, I’ve enjoyed it. You’ve also reminded me that I meant to plant camassia bulbs ready for this spring but forgot! (I think there are some bulbs hiding in the garage somewhere)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved learning about your life and all your interests, Ann! And I am so glad your mom recognized you and found your presence comforting, even when she was suffering from dementia at the end. Thank you for sharing about your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shelly! I felt that being reassuring and trying to help Mum feel safe and cared for was all I could really do for her in the end. At least it seemed to help.

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  6. Wow thanks for sharing all those insights and that lovely Camessia, I ‘m not at all familiar with them. I feel really sad about people with dementia. My mother in law had it, and I see it every day in my job. But you have some lovely interesting hobbies there. I wish I could draw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill, I saw quite a few people who were in a worse state than Mum in the home, so in a way I think she was spared a lot. The staff there were brilliant – and it must be a very hard job at times. These days I’m enjoying doing the things I want to do, so I’m pretty lucky! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your Camassia photos are lovely. I have grown them for the first time this year, and only one blue has appeared so far, the bees seem to like them. Dementia is an awful disease. My father went downhill fast after my mother died (they’d been married 50 years) and eventually had to go into a care home for dementia patients. He had no idea who I was even though I visited him regularly and had invented a completely different life for himself. It was very hard to see the man I knew disappear like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your experience of your father’s dementia must have been awful. As you say, the person gradually disappears. I was lucky that something of my mother remained, even if it was very confused. Your camassias will probably bulk up a bit over time – my few bulbs have, but I should really plant some more!

      Like

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