By archmiles, Jul 17 2014 9:41PM
I always remember my tutor in my final year at college instructing me never to include more than one sunset or sunrise in any portfolio I would show with a view to getting work. "Anyone and everyone can make these shots look great," he told me. And you know he was probably right, but I'm old enoough now to do what I like & tonight's sunset out at the back of the house was a goody. So, here it is. Just one...like the man said.
By archmiles, Jul 11 2014 10:39AM
On the Downs at present the flowers may be going over a little, but the butterflies and moths seem to have suddenly realised it is summer - mainly ringlets, meadow browns and marbled whites, but lazily feeding on many of the thistle heads are the common, but startlingly beautiful six-spot burnet moths. When the sunlight catches the wings at just the right angle they become iridescent.
Found a single plant of monk's-hood where I've never ever seen it before. In fact can't say I've ever seen it growing wild in Herefordshire (although I'm sure someone will tell me where it can be found), although it is supposed to be indigenous in Gloucestershire & Monmouthshire (so not far away). How did this plant arrive? It's growing in a lay-by where people stop to walk their dogs. Has it arrived on the fur of a dog, the sole of a shoe or a car tyre? I love these sort of mysteries. The plant is considered as naturalised across most of Britain and has sometimes been planted in gardens, so it may have originated there. I knew it was poisonous, but until I read the books hadn't realised it is probably the most poisonous of all British plants. Certainly not one to eat (why would you?), but even touching it can cause adverse reactions.
Lastly, a new addition to the historical archive. There must have been something special about this weeping ash tree for Henry Ninham, a renowned Norwich artist, to have drawn and etched this plate around 1830. I have discovered that Charles Turner was a a keen collector of art and very likely commissioned this drawing. Turner was Mayor of Norwich in 1834. His house, hidden behind the tree, would later become the Eye Infirmary and then the City Maternity Hospital. It appears to be a private house again now. Anyone out there with bright ideas about the significance of this tree (if there is any) then I'd love to hear.
By archmiles, Jun 27 2014 10:55PM
Yes, I'm pretty sure that we put our variegated tulip tree in the ground about 16 or 17 years ago and I'm guessing it was 3 or 4 years old then, and so, as the books will tell you, it threw its first flowers this year - right on cue. I can only see about twenty flowers, but it's a good start.
By archmiles, Jun 23 2014 9:35PM
Heard the very sad news today that Felix Dennis died yesterday, aged 67, I assume from a resumption of the throat cancer that nearly wiped him out a couple of years back. I'm sure he scrapped hard with the demon, but this time he lost.
I owe Felix a massive debt of gratitude for putting my name on the map in the tree world. Without his enthusiasm, encouragement and support almost twenty years back none of it might have happened, but then that was always Felix - seeing artists, writers, craftsmen with talent and nurturing them and it.
I haven't seen him in several years, but his larger than life persona, his raucous chuckle and those odd occasions when he plied me with his fine wine and we talked into the early hours will always be with me.
I hope that his companion Marie-France and all those around him, who looked after him and loved him, find strength to cope with such a tragic loss, and ultimately to celebrate the life of someone who was quite a guy.
His Forest will endure and be a fantastic legacy - so good that he actually saw his millionth tree planted.
Goodbye, and if there is another journey, travel far with joy in your heart.
By archmiles, Jun 18 2014 10:24PM
Busy at the keyboard this morning & Jannie came in from weeding the runner beans with this little guy who was hiding under the leaves. Great to have wildlife all over the garden.
At the end of our track this morning I spotted a roe deer doe strolling through a field of wheat - the first one I've ever seen so close to home after 24 years. I wonder where it's come from? It vindicates my neighbour John's disbelief at seeing a deer on the track very early one morning last week.
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