Hope · Nature · Seasons · Senses · Trees

Joy – that old Chestnut!

Wow, wow, wow! Joy! Outside my window trees are being planted. This has made my day!

My dog walk used to take me past a row of huge trees near my house. I loved watching the leaves appearing in spring; appreciated their shade in the summer, the gorgeous colours of autumn and their signal that winter had arrived. Listening to the birds singing would start me in the process of resetting myself so that when I arrived back home I was calmer, fresher and more relaxed than when I left. Then they were chopped down. The depth of emotions I felt surprised me. Feeling powerless and not knowing what else to do, I asked if I could have a section of one of the felled trees.

Looking right at home, ‘that old chestnut’.

‘Here you go, no problem. It’s an old chestnut.’ And a log was heaved into the boot of my car. I had to wait for my sister to arrive to help me lift it out it was so heavy. After lying beside the car for a while it has found a home in our garden (thanks to my husband and a wheelbarrow!) – as a step so I can fill the bird feeder above it and, hopefully, a place for insects to hide underneath. Part of a very mini stumpery.

Perhaps a little good has come out of it?

Alongside the trees, there’s a beech hedge being planted. I have a little beech tree that grew, from a seed blown by the wind, in our raised vegetable bed. I did try to dig it out to move it to a better spot but it’s roots are pretty solid.

Like life, like fiction, putting down roots came up (down?) again as I read the latest Novel Points of View Blog about moving house. We’ve lived here in Aberdeen for seven years now, no I don’t have itchy feet but I am amazed. This is the longest we’ve stayed anywhere at all since we left home as teenagers. To be honest, I have my fingers tightly crossed we’ll be here a lot longer.

On a positive note and, I do love a coincidence, as I thought about writing this blog a friend told me about the River Dee Trust and their campaign to plant a million trees in the Cairngorms. To raise money for this they are selling beautiful buffs – they would make super presents and would be very light to post too – just thought I’d mention it!

Well, to finish with one more tree, Christmas trees!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and a Happy 2021!

I am reading my Secret Santa gift from a fellow bookworm; ‘Hawkfall’ by George MacKay Brown and ‘Beetle Boy’ by M G Leonard.

Books · Trees

Arborglyphs

I love how one thing leads to another.

Watching a documentary by the actress Dame Judi Dench, I heard her describe drawings on trees as arborglyphs. (What a fabulous word!)

On my regular walk I had already noticed some markings but dismissed them as a sort of vandalism. Then with this all in mind I noticed this:

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Is this smile natural or manmade?

Looking up arborglyphs I stumbled upon this blog, Arboroglyph. Might be one for me to follow.

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Couldn’t resist taking this photo – for some reason it reminds me of the Saucepan Man in Enid Blyton’s ‘The Faraway Tree’!

 

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Finished reading this book last week and would highly recommend it.

 

 

 

 

Snowy Days

Books · Dogs · Inspiration · Trees

Inspiring Dog Days

Sometimes it’s dark, rainy, cold, dreich, miserable and you just don’t feel like going out for a walk.

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Molly and her new favourite toy.

Then again, if you’re a dog owner, you don’t have much choice! Maybe that’s a good thing. Yes, there is no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong clothes, I’ve heard it.

Still, say you do go out for a walk, there is beauty in the darkness.

Shape, form. Twisted trees, reaching on and up towards the light. Droplets balanced on pine needles. The surprise sighting of a heron crouched and tucked up tightly beside a nearly obscured pond.

 

Every time I go for a walk I find some different aspect of nature to think about. I want to learn more about the world around me. The birds I hear singing, what are they? The clouds, what type? Are they Altocumulus, Stratus, Cirrus, Cumulonimbus? Fabulous names to match stunning patterns.

I return home enthused, of course this is another excuse for me to indulge my love of learning and books!

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I hope you do get a chance to go for a walk today.

Then, when you come back home, switch the kettle on and settle down with a cuppa – here are a couple of book recommendations for all nature lovers, with links to my reviews on GoodReads.

 

The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd    Findings by Kathleen Jamie

Flowers · Photography · Trees

I’m just saying …

Introducing my Magnolia Stellata.

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Now, here’s the reality. thumb_IMG_8974_1024

Okay, so there’s only one flower so far this year! I planted this tree in September 2015. We lived in Holland for a while and I loved the Magnolia trees there so much I had to plant one when I started working on my new garden.

Taking a photo of this one flower and putting it up on this blog brought me to thinking about the saying, Never judge a book by its cover.’

In fact I love sayings, especially ones like What’s for you won’t pass you by’ and Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.’

There’s something about the sheer common sense of them. There’s a comfort in knowing they’ve been passed down the years, a thread, a link with our past that we can give to the future.

Do you remember the people who said them to you?

These sayings are timeless, just like flowers. Little gifts to share and pass on to our future generations.

Books · Inspiration · Trees

Naturally, Fiction.

If I go for a walk I look at the trees. Each one is so individual it seems to almost have its own personality. thumb_IMG_8593_1024

Reflecting on this I wanted to consider the role trees play in fiction for children.

For me it all began with The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I thought of trees as magical, kind, fun – after all wasn’t there a huge slide!

When I looked up trees in fiction I came across this article which suggested a couple of books I did know and some  more to add to my reading list, always a good thing!

It made me think, what did trees mean to me as a child?

Well, they were for:

playing on rope swings,
climbing or should I say scrambling,

using sticks and leaves for games and potions,
collecting conkers to play conkers,
tree bark rubbings,
gathering acorns, using the cups for fairy cups and
hiding behind for hide and seek. 

I’m sure others have many more things they could add to this list!

With all this in mind I hope I can include trees in my own writing. Like everything there are always two sides to a story so it may be that some of the trees behave like the Ents while others are more like Whomping Willows!

Have you taken a moment to look at the trees around you? What’s your favourite tree in fiction?

 

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A Christmas card scene – in March!

Inspiration · Nature · Trees

Perfect Pawprints

What to say about today? When snow has fallen?

Today is a day for play, to create, build a snowman, a snowdog, a reindeer. To laugh and say, ‘It’s the wrong type of snow to build a snowman!’

Perfect pawprints on winter’s parchment.thumb_IMG_8065_1024 The world softened, silenced under a fresh white duvet. Walking to the sounds of our own crunching and scrunching footsteps. Lichen replaced by a streak of white, light glistening low amongst the trees.thumb_IMG_8055_1024

 

 

 

 

To sledge and slide and glide and fly down hills of sugared ice. To search for icicles or to skate freely on frozen ponds.

 

If I don’t today, the snow may be gone tomorrow. Carpe diem!

What would you choose to do on a snowy day?

 

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