Bluebell time

Soon to be over. That must of blue flowers will be gone. I’ve suddenly fallen in love with the romance of flowers! I don’t think I noticed them much last year and now it’s a revelation to see them in bloom. We have some bluebells but they are pink and white too. I think ours are the Spanish variety with blue Bell flowers all around the stem which is more upright and the leaves are wider and strappier. They are worth commenting on because of their gorgeous colour.

Beetle sculpture

Carved into the base of a tree trunk. This giant beetle sculpture was on the lakeside walk around Trentham Lake last weekend. It’s good to see sculpture in the landscape. I remember visiting Grizedale Forest sculpture Park in the Lake District around thirty years ago. It had world renound sculptors who created art works all through the forest. There is also something called the Merz barn? in the Lake District, but I can’t remember the name of the artist maybe Jeff Koons? (German?). I hope someone knows what I’m talking about. Must visit again before it’s too late. X

Walking

I like a wooded track to walk along, away from roads and fumes, especially if its a link between two places I want to get to and from. But strangely I don’t like to walk in woodland. I worry I will get lost. I’ve walked around some places and lost track of where we were. I even tried looking for the moss on the side of the trees to see if I could decide which way was north! Luckily the sun came out so I could tell which way was west, then I saw a way marker! I can’t imagine going to somewhere in a wood in the countryside and finding my way out! You can tell I’m nervous of it because of the number of exclamation marks I’ve used!

But a gentle walk along a wooded path in the town? That’s fine… Funny how different things affect different people.

Urban view

View down a hill across the city as we were walking back home tonight. The street lights of the main dual carrageway road that runs through the city were shining brightly. Up here the view is across the valley of the river Trent. On a clear day you can see the way the land undulates towards the horizon about three or four miles away? There are hills to the left behind the buildings that rise up to a TV mast on a hill and then further on the green fields and pockets of woodland heading up to the Staffordshire moorlands. Straight in front and over the city hills would lead you eventually East into Nottinghamshire, and South the land is also covered in farms and woods, heading towards the Birmingham conurbation fotry or fifty miles away. We are an isolated city, surrounded by mostly countryside. A pleasant situation when so many other cities around England seem to be be surrounded by satellite towns. Fresh air is not too far away.

Into the crimson wood.

IMG_20190825_131823_164

On a perfect autumn day the wood looked enticing. The leaves had turned crimson from the frosts and a soft mist was flowing down the hill from it.

Susan was walking along the path between her bungalow and the village a couple of miles away. She wanted a paper and some milk, but she had time so she decided to take a detour. The sun was bright and low, and as she was walking due East it was shining into her eyes. A quick few steps upwards and she entered the skirts of the forest. As with many managed woods the outside was deciduous but then there were pines and larch and other evergreens inside it, the trunks growing close knit, the shade deepening the further she looked inwards.

Susan had walked half a mile through the crimson leaves, enjoying the autumn colour, when she was stopped by a fence, it was wooden with barbed wire across the top. No entry signs were fastened to it with metal clips. More worryingly there were other signs saying danger of electrocution. Where had it come from? She’d walked this way last week and there had just been the path across the field. She could not go on, but turned right and wove her way a bit further into the wood, hoping there would be an end to it. Perhaps it would turn a corner and allow her to make her way?

As she moved along the fence she heard squawking, like a flock of geese? In a wood? The ground on the other side of the fence looked trampled and worn down. The bird sounds got louder. Suddenly she came out into a clearing. The Geese were there. Giant Geese, huge, eight or nine foot tall! She felt scared and didn’t know what to do. Just walk backwards she thought, be quiet and back away from the Geese. She had managed to duck the problem!

Wild fires

Untitled55_002

Over the last few weeks there have been various articles on the TV about fires burning out of control all over the world. Apparently there are fires in the Russia in Brazil and a friend tells me in Australia too.

The Brazilian ones are being caused in the main by farmers trying to free up land for farming cattle. In other places forests are removed to grow Soya and orangutans are losing their homes.

What the hell is going on? Global warming means we need to reduce the temperature. Trees and forests help absorb CO2 which is a major factor in global warming. The fires can be seen from space.

So why allow it to go on? Deliberate slash and burn must stop. We need to restore what we can and replant more trees.

I guess people with real money could help, but it might come down to someone who is like Johnny Appleseed who sowed apple pips and grew a forest? (I’m not sure he actually existed but I like the idea).

By the way does anyone want a walnut sapling? I have a couple that need good homes.

Light through clouds

DSC_2252

In the forest it was gloomy, rain had been falling all day, and a grey swirling cap of clouds seemed to sit just above the treetops.

As she walked into the clearing she looked up. No sign of sunshine. It was almost as dark there as under the trees. At least there was a pool which looked clear. She had got a camping stove and would soon be able to make a hot drink. This then would be her camping spot for the night. Only another 20 miles to her destination.

Then as she prepared her evening meal, the clouds started to part and light streamed into the glade.

The light seemed to trigger movement. All around her the ground seemed to lift up into humps which turned into writhing figures in human form. They had been held down by green tendrils of leaves. The green men. An ancient myth. She screamed as she realised they were surrounding her, mirroring the surrounding trees. Tendrils reaching out and pinning her to the ground. She had realised too late that they were carnivorous plants.

Raining

Water is a wonderful compound, and having rain from the sky is great. The only problem is that with the effects of climate change, rain isn’t always easy to live with.

Into each life a little rain must fall is a quote from a song I think . But in this world it falls either too much, or too little in some cases. There are floods in some countries, while others see no rain for years and deserts expand. Micro bursts of rain dump a mass of rain rapidly in a limited area while the surrounding area remain dry causing havock. We have thunderstorms here that are much larger and more violent than in the past and the same is happening all over the world. And rain also causes erosion which destroys cliffs and washes away soil. When man cuts down forests the ability of trees and plants to store water and allow it to be slowly released is diminished. Rain falls in places like the Amazon which help to regulate the weather systems of the world. Now that the goverment of the country is allowing more deforestation the concern is that the weather and rain patterns will be seriously or even catastrophically affected.

Man (and woman) need to take responsibility and keep this world safe for future generations. Rain gives and takes life.

Poppies

_20190519_123501

I realise why poppies don’t flower in our garden. It’s too shady. I’ve been out and looking at people’s gardens and the ones in full sun are resplendent with poppies, ours are short weedy things. I’m going to have to have some of the overgrowth cut back a bit. I do not want to make it tidy or remove stuff for the birds but I’m growing a wood or forest in the garden. Bearing in mind it’s the area where two terraced houses were and their yards we have three cherry trees two apple trees, a walnut, two or three Ash trees, two baby oak trees, a sycamore, an acer, a mountain Ash tree, a pear tree, a eucalyptus, a willow tree, a laurel Bush a couple of Holly bushes and elderberry that are taking on tree like proportions. The walnut is raided by a squirrel which plants them so we have baby walnuts growing. Plus there is a lot if ground cover ivy and geraniums. It’s a jungle out there. I feel very lucky to have the land but I think I will contact our local wildlife Trust to see if they can help.