Exploring the family scrapbook

Never really thought of myself as an explorer, but the more I flipped the pages of one of the family scrap books earlier this week the more I began to discover things for what seemed like the first time.

Clearly there had been a year – and not so long ago – when someone had been pressing leaves and flowers. We always have flowers in the garden and they are not new – not that I know the names of them – I just cut the grass and try to look intelligently as my wife describes the contents of the various flower beds.

Leaves though are something else. Of course they are always around. As they grow, collectively they form very acceptable shade when I am mowing the lawn. In the Autumn they cover the grass, clog up the mower and contribute in a most liberal way to our recycling investment at the local rubbish tip. So with one thing and another I rarely examine them in detail. Nor do I collect them, dry and preserve them for posterity.

I am sure that most of my readers know better than expect me to be able to name the leaves. I am happy to make general predictions about one or two , but in order to avoid the threatening letters from the National Society for the Identification of Dead Leaves, I shall restrict my comments to things like “they look pretty don’t they?”

The ability to survive life includes owning up t one’s limitations, and I suspect one of my limitations is the inability to name dead leaves.

Nevertheless they are interesting – they have such complex structures and varied colours. In a way I find it quite sad that their intricate mechanisms are designed so that they may flourish for only a few months of the year.

So thank you to whoever it was who collected them, dried and pressed them and placed them in the scrap book.

They became quite a welcome discovery to delight one of my days this week.