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Photos from Sheffield Botanical Gardens Yesterday

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, Life, NatureNo Comments

Yesterday Simon and I went to the brilliantly beautiful and glorious Sheffield Botanical Gardens. The gardens have species of plants, flowers and trees from around the world. The weather was warm and dry and we even had considerable spells of sunshine.

Here are some photos from Sheffield Botanical Gardens:

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Sheffield Botanical Gardens Sign

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Sheffield Botanical Gardens – A place of Beauty.

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Most plants had a black and white signs identifying the species, like this one.

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A mulberry tree.

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One of the many different species of plant.

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There were many collections (like the above) that were filled with colour.

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A wooden structure. Close by was also a mental ant. Both works of art added to the Gardens, but my favourite has to be this one.

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A bright and beautiful yellow flowered plant, in the background are more of the same.

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A tree with the most interesting red bark.

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An inspiring and detailed statue at the centre of a rose garden.

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More plants and flowers, with the indoor botanical gardens in the background.

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Several of these flower beds (with plants of various colours) lined the entrance to the indoor botanical gardens.

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An entrance to the indoor botanical gardens.

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Indoors – Cacti (1).

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Indoors – Cacti (2).

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Photo of the glass roof, taken indoors.

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Indoors – Many plants.

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Indoors – One plant had leafs that were so ginormous, that they made my hand look tiny (see photo above).

Essential Info:

  • A beautiful botanical gardens, which include .
  • Highly recommended.
  • Admission Price: FREE.
  • Opening Times: Vary, see Opening Times here.
  • Parking: Limited. The gardens have no carpark and the streets close by are either Permit Holders Only or Pay and Display.
  • Toilets available.
  • Cafe and Toy Shop also on site.
  • Map:
    Sheffield-Botanical-Gardens-Map-August-17

    Map of Sheffield Botanical Gardens.
    Image from & Copyright © Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

Blog soon,

Antony

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Book Review: The Craft – A Witch’s Book Of Shadows by Dorothy Morrison

By Books & Authors, Paganism, ReviewsNo Comments
the-craft-dorothy-morrison-book-cover The Craft – A Witch’s Book Of Shadows by Dorothy Morrison is a brilliant book about The Craft.

I’ve been pagan for a long time, but it’s always good to go back over the basics. This book covers: working with power sources, magical boosters, tools (including Wand, Cup, Athame, Pentacle & other tools), casting a circle and pagan festivals.

Morrison has a warm, engaging and humorous writing style. Reading The Craft is like having an intimate and meaningful conversation with Morrison herself. She writes in a way that informs, ultimately inspires and without a single word wasted.

The Craft is bursting with little gems of knowledge and wisdom such as:

All are direct quotes from The Craft – A Witch’s Book Of Shadows by Dorothy Morrison:

1. “When all elements are used in equal combination, they form static electricity.” (p. 20)
2. “successful magic relies heavily upon emotion rather than logic.” (p. 33)
3. “Magic usually works in twenty-one days, or not at all.” (p. 29)
4. “Part of basic witchery is learning to work with what you have and substitute if need be.” (p. 41)
5. “Not only must we engage our brains when performing magic, we must use them effectively. We have to be able to think, concentrate and focus. We must reply on the creative flow.” (p. 97-98)
6. “When we take our place in the center of the Circle and take our place as Akasha, we provide a perfectly balanced arena from which magic flows…” (p. 112)

I learned some new things and gained an even deeper understanding of somethings by reading The Craft. No matter who you are or what experiences in The Craft you have, undertake all activities and exercises in the book. I undertook all activities and exercises and they all benefited me. Each of the activities are designed to encourage personal growth and learning.

The only thing The Craft missed out is any reference or explanation of what a Book of Shadows is.

The Craft – A Witch’s Book Of Shadows by Dorothy Morrison is a must have for any Witch. It is an excellent reference book for moon phases, sun phases, days of the week, times of day, pagan festivals, plants, herbs, trees, magical tools, dream symbols, stones, deities and the Book of Law.

The Craft – A Witch’s Book Of Shadows by Dorothy Morrison has made it on to my top shelf where my all-time favourite books are kept. It is one that I will read again and reference regularly.

Review soon,

Antony



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The difference between a House and a Home

By Home4 Comments

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My Apartment is in a former Cotton Mill. Image Illustrated by Sye Watts.


A house is a building usually with four walls, a roof, windows and doors that people live in. Whereas a home can be any sort of dwelling and is infinitely more. A home is:

  • A destination that you always look forward to arriving at.
  • A sense of belonging.
  • A place where kin come together to socialise, share meals, drink and be merry.
  • A place filled with laughter.
  • A place where birthdays, Christmas and other events are celebrated.
  • A place of mental and emotional comfort.
  • A place of physical comfort.
  • A place of good memories.
  • A place of love, affection and sex.
  • A place that can be quiet or noisy.
  • A place that may have children, pets and plants that need caring for.
  • A place of growth.
  • A place of life and death.
  • A place filled with sentimental items: photos, ornaments and artwork.
  • A place of safety.
  • A place where you can be yourself without fear of judgement.
  • A place where you can feel exactly as you do without having to explain.
  • A place you feel yourself immediately relax on entering.
  • A place of mediation and reflection.
  • A place where you can dance unobserved.
  • Somewhere that there’s always a cup of tea on offer.
  • A place where good meals are made and devoured.
  • A place filled with sentimental items: photos, ornaments and artwork.
  • A place where personal hygiene takes place.
  • A place where pyjamas are worn.
  • A place where books are read and your imagination is ignited & stimulated.
  • A place where TV and films are watched.
  • A place where music is listened to and enjoyed.
  • A place of privacy.
  • A place where some practice their faith, religion or magic.
  • A place where more than one language may be spoken, sometimes in the same conversation.
  • A place that is part of a vibrant and diverse community.

I am so fortunate. Seven years ago I bought my own apartment (see The Move) and it quickly became my own home. But what makes me feel really fortunate, is that I have several other places that feel like home. Places where friends and self-proclaimed-adoptive-families live.

Take care,

Antony



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A Day Trip to Chester Zoo

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, NatureNo Comments

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Chester Zoo Invite To Friends

On Saturday some good friends and I visited Chester Zoo. It was a belated birthday celebration event. It was lovely to see the friends and the Watts family that came along. I was super excited to see the new Islands Exhibit.

The day before I got this email below, telling me about the return of the dinosaurs. Last time I visited Chester Zoo was 4 years ago, when the dinosaurs were last there.

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The day before I got this email about the return of the Dinosaurs, on the very day of our visit. I love dinosaurs! Yey!

I love the dinosaurs and had no idea that they were even coming back. That’s lucky I immediately thought and then remembered that I’d recently burned the Hot Damn candle created by Dorothy Morrison (for more info on this see Dorothy Morrison’s Wickedly Wonderful Magical Mystery Packages). This isn’t the only lucky thing that’s happened to me recently, but that as they say: is another story.

Here are some photos from the day trip to Chester Zoo:

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Islands Exhibit Sign

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Islands Exhibit – Was well designed but lacked good signage to direct visitors.

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Islands Exhibit – Mask with smoke.

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Me in a makeshift tent on the Islands Exhibit.

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Islands Exhibit- Hogs (1).

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Islands Exhibit- Hogs (2).

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A ginormous exotic plant.

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The Elephants.

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A Donkey.

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The best photo of the day – a butterfly in the Butterfly House.

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The Giraffes (1).

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The Giraffes (2).

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The Chimpanzees (1).

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The Chimpanzees (2).

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Turtles having a Mother’s Meeting.

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The Flamingos.

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Dinosaurs have returned! The dinosaurs and display were exactly same as we saw 4 years ago.

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Lioness.

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Lion.

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Penguins.

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Fountain.

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I finally got a photo of the Speckled Bear (1). I tried last time I visited the zoo (4 years ago), but the bear walked off and went behind a bush before I could get a photo.

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Speckled Bear (2).

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Black Rhino (1).

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Black Rhino (2).

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Black Rhino (3).

In 2011 the Western Black Rhino was declared extinct in the wild. According to Chester Zoo’s website there are only 500 Eastern Black Rhinos left in the wild.

I was fortunate to see and watch an Eastern Black Rhino majestically eating. As I watched and videoed I reflected the sad realisation that generations to come might never see Black Rhinos alive. Nor will they see the thousands of animals that are already extinct. I reflected on the cruelty of human poachers. Poachers have hunted Black Rhinos close to extinction, hunting them for their horns and for sport.

Here is an edited video of an Eastern Black Rhino’s eating:

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Write soon,

Antony

Edited 30/05/16 @ 15:25 – Changed information about Black Rhinos. There are two subspecies of Black Rhino, the Western Black Rhino and the Eastern Black Rhino.

The Western Black Rhino that has been declared extinct in the wild and there are only a few left in captivity, all of which are the same gender, so they will be unable to breed.

Chester Zoo has the Eastern Black Rhinos. There are only 500 Eastern Black Rhinos left in the wild and a good number in Zoos around the world.

The post above has been changed to reflect this fact checked information.



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