The din I heard as I emerged from my bathroom turned out to be coming from a chainsaw wielded by one of the workmen the city council had sent to strip the ivy and other creepers from the green bank behind my apartment block. The devastation they’d wreaked appalled me, and I felt some concern for my own garden – lavender, roses, and camellias.
Scheduled to go into the city, I caught a bus whilst they were on their morning smoko, but before doing so I took a minute to squeeze off a few close-ups of the monarch butterfly disturbed and dislodged by the hack and rack of the two orange-clad, hi-viz-wearing workmen.
My garden had never been in danger, in fact … although the next day my nose dripped, my eyes itched … and, oh my, such sneezing fits! – the ivy, I’m guessing.
The title of this post and the phrase, “hack and rack”, come from Binsey Poplars by Gerard Manley Hopkins.