Hearts stitch journal, 23 May 2018. A grey start, with a warm wind – the sign of weather coming, as our long spell of dry, sunny days comes to an end. Down at our ponds, the yellow flag is blooming nicely. Its thick stems and leaves are a good support for dragonfly larvae, which need somewhere safe to rest as they hatch into their adult form. By the summer’s end, every stem will be covered in discarded exuviae. Iris grows wild in every ditch around here and my original plants were a gift from a friend in whose pond they were growing wild. Today’s threads are grey retors mat needlepoint thread, and six-strand embroidery cottons in greens, yellows and brown. The stitches are coral stitch for the heart, stem stitch with detached chain for the flower stem and buds, thorn stitch outlined with Holbein stitch for the leaf, picot stitch outlined with back stitch for the petals and a touch of fern stitch for the beard.