• The apple harvest in full swing

    It's that time of year again & the apple harvest is in full swing. Some trees are laden while others a bit thin, but still reckon we should have about 4 tons of cider apples to bag and deliver. Thankfully the weather has been kind to us lately & it's been really very pleasant to be in the orchard. We've been doing some pruning along the way, getting rid of mistletoe and cutting back quite hard on some of the long straggling growth.

    Many thanks to daughter Ro and her boyfriend John who came up last week and helped shake, gather & bag. I reckon we've already got about 1.5 tons into the cider works.

    Loved the islands and atolls of the cider apples randomly fallen on to the blue tarpaulin ocean - and then there was exhausted Jan & daft Flossie standing on top of her.



  • "Treescape" has arrived at last

    My new book "Treescape", commissioned in late 2014 by Premier Paper Group of Birmingham, has finally arrived and I must say it has been beautifully produced. It was printed and bound in the UK - something of an unusual event these days with large illustrated books. Both the paper (170g Essential Velvet) and the quality of the reproduction give the book an extermely luxuriant feel. My thanks go to everyone involved in creating something truly special.

    Signed copies of the book will be available from me very soon so please keep an eye on the books pages for details of how to order. Christmas is coming.....



  • Home from the Hills

    Our annual gathering of old chums to walk the hills was an absolute blast this last weekend with weather you dream of and great light to boot. This year found us at Arrochar at the head of Loch Long in the Argyll Forest Park.

    First day took in The Cobbler (or Ben Arthur), at 2891' just a whisper below a "Munro", but still a good looking hill. There's an interesting rock pillar on the very top with a tricky manoeuvre known as 'threading the needle' to get you atop. The rock was so damp and greasy we all (rather sensibly I reckon) chickened out. On down the northern slopes of the mountain, across the squelchy peat bog (they must have had a fair old bit of rain just lately) and up to Beinn Ime, at 3318' most definitely a "Munro". Fabulous 360 degree views of the whole of the West Highlands. Photographs are fine, but it's being there that counts, soaking it all in - the light and shade, the colours, the ever changing cloudscapes, the overpowering silence and sense of one's place in this vast world. We are but nano-seconds in a multi million year landscape.

    Second day's weather not quite as glorious as the previous day, but still very good for walking & actually made life a little easier temperature-wise on the long slog up Beinn Narnain, at 3040' another "Munro" by a squeak. Sadly the top of the mountain completely wreathed in cloud and a fair old breeze whipping across too. Dropping down to the northeast we were soon back in the sun though & strode on to A'Chrois (2785'). Coming down off this hill I discovered a pair of rowans growing improbably out of a massive boulder.

    Big thanks to Mike for finding a great house (again) and driving us all. Also thanks for stopping on the Loch Lomond road, south of Tarbet, on the way home so I could get a few shots of The Robert the Bruce Yew.



  • Tree vandalism in Hereford city

    Yes folks, sad to relate, there has been some rampant tree vandalism going down in Hereford city and, even sadder to relate, the people responsible for it are an organisation called Hereford BID (that's Business Improvement District), who are supposedly there to improve all aspects of the city centre.

    A dozen ginkgoes planted in Eign Gate about 12-15 years back were, at the time, a refreshing embellishment to an otherwise dour shopping street lacking any other traces of greenery. Sadly, as young trees, some were vandalised by idiots and to try and reduce the likelihood of this happening again the Council encased the trees in metal guards. Not the most attractive addition, but if they gave the trees a chance to really get going then so be it. In recent times the trees had all been putting on good growth and made the street an altogether more pleasant environment.

    Then, recently, without so much as a by-your-leave to the Council, the Hereford Bid decided to hack them all back to six feet high - making them ginkgo 'bushes' trapped in cages. The reason, I discovered last week, was because they were obscuring the sweep of the CCTV cameras. So the big brother paranoia of antisocial behaviour overrides the need for greening our city. Could the cameras not be moved? Were absolutely all the trees in the way? Even the tree people at the Council were furious, but the deed is done now. Shame on Hereford BID.


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  • Upcoming Yew talk at 'Life Death Whatever'

    Thought some of you, particularly around the metropolis, might like to know of an illustrated talk on the yew tree that I'm giving on 20th October as part of an exhibition called 'Life Death Whatever' at Sutton House in Hackney, East London. I also have some of my yew images in the exhibition which includes a remarkably eclectic assemblage of artwork.



Archie Miles photography

Archie's Blog

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