Frosty trees

Dawn, and a streetlight shines through the branches of our willow tree. Frost and snow festoon the twigs, but it will soon drip away and disappear. The Holly tree underneath the willow is a refuge for small birds that roost in it and try and keep warm under its glossy leaves, later in the year they will be building their nests. Today we saw a Robin on the bird table.

The light is greyish white, with a touch of yellow. The sun has hidden behind the clouds. The forecast is for a sunny day, but its still possible that there will be more snow showers. Nothing much to write about, but I do love a bit of snow.


A short story…

A cold wind blew across the lake, finding gaps in my coat and blowing my hair around. The branches and fronds of the willow trees streamed like ribbons on a kite, lifting and waving. The ducks ruffled up their feathers against the cold. We had walked out of sunshine into shade and the temperature had dropped noticeably.

The man and his dog walked towards us. It was muzzled with a band of leather round it’s mouth, but it still pulled the man along. It was a big dog. A hound of some sort. It was difficult to see in the gloom. As we came level with them the dog jumped up. It’s paws landing on my shoulders. I was knocked over by its weight. I sat down hard in a puddle. The weight of the dog pushing against me.

The man looked alarmed. Shocked. He tugged the dog away. All he said was ‘sorry’ and walked off! I sat there freezing and wet….. What a day!

Under the willows, a book review.

I’m just re-reading the Lord of the Rings and have enjoyed the first few chapters. I’d forgotten the bit where (spoiler alert) Frodo and his friends travel through the Old Forest on the borders of the Shire. They are pulled off course by the lie of the land and end up on the banks of the Wythewindle stream. They feel increasingly sleepy and three of them rest next to an old willow tree. This is Old Man Willow, master tree of the forest. It traps two of them inside its trunk and Frodo under a tree root forcing him face down into the river. It is only because Sam Gamgee his faithful friend and servant runs off calling for help that Tom Bombadil, an ancient guardian of the forest, finds them as he arrives rhyming and singing, and rescues them. He is a powerful figure in this part of the book, (Book 1), before the Hobbits get into the more dark and complex parts of the story. Later in the same section he saves them again from further frightening events.

In the films of the book this section of the story was left out. Its a shame in a way, it may have been removed to shorten the story, but it makes the book feel like it is for a slightly younger audience, that feeling of innocent adventure that reminds you of the Narnia stories or Swallows and Amazons. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books.


This morning I saw a woodpecker in our garden. I’d never seen one in real life and I’m not sure what type it was but it was climbing up our willow tree, pecking at the bark. Looking for insects? I hope it comes back tomorrow. If it does I will try and get a photo then try and identify it. We do have lots of trees in the garden even though we are in the centre of a city. I guess we are trying to do our bit for the environment.

Weeping willows

Shaggy giants with delicate fronds of leaves hanging down and blowing in the cold wind. I’ve sat underneath a willow tree, back against its trunk, hidden behind the curtain of leaves. I was only young and it was like sitting in a fairytale. I remember the sunlight sparkling and dancing through the lace like leaves.

Dry ground, roots, scuffed by ducks and geese. Memories of the 1960’s. So long ago, but we’ll remembered.

Today’s prompt is Sky

#bandofsketchers prompt

Got up just before 7 to draw a magnificent dawn? It was still gloomy when I started and because of the low cloud it got lighter, but no sign of the sun!

This is the view east of the house. Willow Bush still in leaf but turning yellow, beyond that the rooves of the shops on the main road and the skeleton of a new building that stopped growing in March. The telephone pole, the Walnut tree we planted twenty five years ago and a Holly Bush below the willow. Used a calligraphy black ink pen and Spectrum Noir metallic coloured pencils. Took about twenty minutes in semi darkness.

Previous years mystery making.

A few years ago we did a mystery play which had to include the four horsemen of the apocalypse. This horse was made by my friend Kate and I painted it and another one in a Picasso style to give it an angular and aggressive look.

As time goes on and we get older we are doing less complicated making, basically because we are spending less time doing it. For myself I would like to do more. Anyway I’m off in a bit. Lots to do…


Weeping willow


When I was a child I would sit next to your trunk

Hiding from view being your green screen.

Your roots must run deep down in the ground,

Water running through the earth,

Turning your leaves green before other trees.

Skeleton twigs surround you

Dark evergreen screens you

But only you swirl and wave in the breeze.

Dancing a ballet of soft leaves,

Your dress curves and waves in folds.

Once fully grown with green

Your leaves will make my hiding den again.