Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Landscape & photograpy’ Category

dscf7385

Frost on the Landrover window this morning.

Season’s Greetings! Last time I looked it was summer. 2016 has certainly been busy with plenty to post about but despite my good intentions it hasn’t happened. Where does the time go? No rest for even the slightly naughty around here?

dscf7373

Silver Birch in Midwinter Sun on Lynchmere Common

With the busy summer season of craft demonstrations, shows and teaching over its back to the woods cutting trees, scrub and clearing up. It’s just as hard to keep up as there are a lot less hours in the day. It’s dark by 4pm in midwinter but the light from the low sun angle is glorious and helps to make up for the frozen fingers and toes a little.

DSCF6323-1

Where ever you are I hope you have a good break (if you get one) and best wishes for the New Year. See you there! Meanwhilst put another log on the fire and enjoy the fruits of all that labour.

Read Full Post »

DSCF8452I had the pleasure of looking around a small woodland up on the South Downs today under the guise of giving some advice.  I haven’t got out much recently and it’s always nice to visit other woodlands. A bonus when it turned out to be a traditional Hazel coppice with Oak Standards and the most amazing Bluebell woods. So I can’t resist posting some photos.

DSCF8455

An intense riot of colour and smell on the woodland floor, the flowers damp with last nights rain and warming in the dappled sunlight coming through the thin canopy with the oaks just starting to come into leaf.

DSCF8456The wood has been neglected for years so the new owner has plenty of work to be getting on with. Oak standards have fallen over during the wet winter and the coppice is overstood and neglected. But the display of  bluebells shows that gentle neglect is not always the worst of management techniques, all it needs now is a little TLC and some hard graft.

 

 

Read Full Post »

DSCF7928-001My annual ‘blow away the cobwebs’ retreat takes me to the Gower Peninsula in South Wales for a couple of days. A chance to walk the cliffs and waters edge and see what the the winter has thrown onto the shore.

DSCF7916Not just about the coastline, though you are never far from it, Gower is criss-crossed by old ways running between little fields, ruined castles and standing stones on open moorland. As the sun rises higher through March it starts to creep into sunken paths it’s not seen since last Autumn. The wild garlic starts to grow, soon you’ll smell it.

DSCF7991I like to be there before it becomes crowded as it will be in the height of the summer. In March I have the beaches almost to myself – except for Oystercatchers, Gulls and the odd Shag in the water. ( In case you are not familiar with UK coastline I’d better point out that a Shag is a seabird very similar to a Cormorant. )

DSCF7963Then there are the cliffs. Scenery for which Gower is rightly famous. The stretch from Port Eynon to Rhossili is my favourite walk,  littered by headlands, narrow ledges, rocky inlets and caves – like  Goat’s Hole at Paviland – where the skeleton of the ‘Red Lady’ was discovered in the 19th century. Subsequently discovered to have been neither a lady nor red and 33,000 years old, you can easily leave the 21st Century behind as you walk towards the dragon like shape of the Worm’s Head at Rhossili.

 DSCF8045That’s helped by all the signs left from human habitation over centuries – drystone walls and limekilns lie mixed with the curved earth banks and ditches of prehistoric forts.

DSCF7947The mark of the 20th Century is not quite so well suited to the landscape. Unlike the drystone walls, limekilns, earth banks and ‘red ladies’  the mountains of plastic on the shore are not made from local materials and don’t blend into the landscape over the decades. Bio-degrading is a misnomer – they simply breakup into millions of small bits and pieces which are even harder to clean up and once small enough can enter the food chain. Somebody got here before me!  What used to be beachcombing has become beach-cleaning and every spring teams of volunteers work hard to remove as much as possible – good work! But it would be so much easier if we didn’t make and throw away so much unnecessary plastic in the first place.

DSCF8086Amonths of endless gales I managed to catch a couple of calmer spring days and as I write this blog I can hear the birds singing outside. Amazing how quickly you start to forget the wind, rain and floods once the sun comes out. The stonechat likes to sit right on top of the gorse scrub and ‘chat’ as I walk along – a very welcome reminder that Spring is on the way.

Read Full Post »

DSCF6524

Bitterly cold again outside. Which makes me think of warmer times and so I’ve spent some time updating the Courses & Events page on the website this morning whilst I huddle next to the woodburner and try to mentally prepare myself for going out and getting cold again.

On the rare occasion that the sun does pierce the snowladen grey clouds I have been treated to some very season displays of colour –  as here when I was preparing pea sticks from the cut stems on Lynchmere Common when the low angle of the sun lit the bronzed bracken against the Silver Birch stems and the grey skies behind.

Read Full Post »

 

Yes I know, my blog posts are starting to get like London Buses….. no posts for ages and then three come along together!

It’s an old joke and a poor excuse to post a picture of a great sunset. I’ve been in Wales for a few days with virtually no internet connection (so you can expect some more photos of Gower beaches soon) and on the way down I spent a day in Somerset with my Dad who is going on 92 and unfortunately suffers from Alzheimers. This sunset photo was taken from just in front of the window that used to be my bedroom thirty odd years ago. Just in case you don’t recognise the iconic shape it’s Glastonbury Tor.

Back to the woodwork soon enough with tales of the Weald Woodfair and the World Log to leg championships at the APF show amongst others still to come.

 

Read Full Post »

I’ve been away on my annual beachcombing retreat on the Gower Peninsula. Not much in the way of internet connection, which may be a good thing, but it’s one excuse for not being able to post recently. Another is that at this time of year many of the tasks are not terribly photogenic – there are only so many photos of firewood, logs and birch trees that I can post. As soon as I am back and sorted out I will start to catch up on some posts that I really should have written before now. Yes, that’s a threat and not a promise!

Read Full Post »

I’ve been a little distracted of late and you will have noticed I’ve not been posting as much. Sadly my mother died suddenly just before Christmas and I’ve not had much time for posting on the blog as a result. Normal service will be resumed eventually and I will shortly post something appropriate, as if you ever received one of her hand crafted cards, you will know she was quite a talented caligrapher. Meanwhilst the seasons don’t wait and if I don’t get the birch cut soon it will be too late, particularly with the warm weather we’ve had.

On sunday we had a good sized group of Volunteers working on the commons and managed to clear through a patch of birch which yielded plenty of peasticks and few good beanpoles. I even managed to persuade our more enthusiastic burners not to burn them all.

We joined up with some of the Allotmenteers from the nearby Shottermill Ponds allotments so plenty of beanpoles and pea-sticks were taken away but there were still some left for me as well.

I particularly like this way of working on the heathland as it is a living landscape and this is the way it was created and has been managed as commonland for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Completely sustainable, it provides exercise and a sense of connection and continuity with the environment – and it might just have avoided the import of the odd bundle of bamboo or even worse, plastic poles. Not saved a shipload, or even a container load yet – but every little counts as they say!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Woodlandantics Blog

Greenwood Working & Woodland Crafts

The Scythe Grinder's Arms

for all your Scythe Grinding and more - come on in and join the discussion

Wympole & Wratsworth

Everything you need to know about the countryside at Wimpole

Lynchmerecommons

At work and play on the Lynchmere Commons

Morgans wood's Blog

Traditional crafts and coppicing

Mike Abbott's Living Wood

Green Wood Chair-making

Steve Tomlin Crafts

Handmade wood craft for the home & Learn to Scythe

Old Kiln Forge

Artist Blacksmiths

NanoTray

showcasing designs by Maarten Meerman (Max)

Speckled Wood

Just another WordPress.com site