Trees in winter

Reflections again, this time of trees along the river Trent a few weeks ago. Walking in the rain, trying to avoid the fifty yard long puddles on the paths. Stepping through muddy grass with shoes sinking into the earth. It was wet! Subtle hints of green in the bushes that was knocked back when the temperatures dropped and the snow fell. A whole section of the newly restored river bank washed away and the new housing estate on the flood plain is threatened. Why build on the flood plain anyway? Money!

Tree

Trees are huge, yet delicate. Branches, stems, twigs. So much to see, so hard to draw. Mature trees are suffering damage all the time now. Gales blow down limbs, rain undermines their roots. Fungi and bacteria, so small, can lay a tree low. Sudden Oak Death, Ash die back, so many trees are disappearing from the country. Once it was Dutch Elm disease, now it could be any number of infections and lesions.

We are seeing the effect of the anthropocine, the effect of humans on the natural world. We need to change for the good of nature.

The Croft

Walked across the Croft today, a green lung in our city. Frequented by dog walkers who were out in force today. Its like a patch of common land, open to the public, but the local council wanted to open it up as a housing development. Basically to make money. A lot of people protested but it’s still being discussed as far as I know. It would be sad to lose it.

In some ways it’s like another development, HS2, ancient land and forests and trees being grubbed up for a train line which might knock 30 minutes travel time off the journey between London and Manchester. The tickets are likely to be massively expensive, £250 a time, so only someone on a large salary will be able to afford it. Yet again work to support the prosperous and damage and destroy nature.

Trees at sundown

I went for a damp walk this evening. I like walking near trees, down little lanes, watching the sky change as the sun set behind the clouds. Walking past evergreen Holly it’s branches laden with dark spikey leaves. Past old Ash trees with their festoon of Ash key seedlings. Using an umbrella as a walking stick as I walked down our steep hill. My toes are throbbing and I only did just over 6000 steps today but I’m on 6/100 days so just 6% done so far!

Trying to draw trees

Two seperate apps, Sketcher free and Autodesk. I don’t often draw with these, they have different tools and I’m not really up to speed with them. But you never learn if you don’t practice. Also if I don’t use my tablet it gets clogged up with updates….so here they are, a couple of practice pieces,

Locks

Lock at Etruria, steps up to the road and over a bridge at the top. When the snow is thick I actually think its easier to walk in than when it’s like this. Slushy and slippery. But snow doesn’t last that long these days. Last year was as hot as 2016, which was the hottest year on record in the UK.

It would be good to take a long walk along the canal in the summer. Under dappled shade from the trees. Watching canal barges and boats putter past with their gaudily painted castles, and roses painted red, gold and green.