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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Inspiration · Nature · Trees

Nature’s Fairylights

Outside is a day I would like to stay that way – outside!

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Still I stomp along on my walk until slowly I realise where I am and what I am doing. I lift my head from the study of my welly boots. Visibility is poor, I can’t see further than the line of trees ahead. The world beyond is hidden, has become mystical and mysterious.

I tiptoe along the edge of mini lochs which appeared overnight. Coming to a standstill I see, what? What is it exactly that I am taking my time to see? What aspect of nature will I have the chance to appreciate today?

Raindrops.thumb_IMG_8017_1024

Crystal fairy lights clinging to bare branches.

I tuck away my camera. Not every day is a bright, sunny one but each one certainly has its own moment, its own beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

The following day …

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Nature · Seasons · Trees

Welcoming Winter

I open my curtains every morning to gauge the weather. I suppose I could look at my phone and the Weather App would tell me but old habits die hard.

If it hadn’t been for the time I lived abroad I probably wouldn’t be so conscious of this part of my daily routine. I opened the curtains one morning after about six weeks in my new home to another day of blue sky.

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It had been the same every day since I arrived. It was then I realized that the daily habit of a lifetime was of no more use. It was going to be pretty much sunny with cloudless skies, every day.

Now don’t get me wrong, coming from Scotland I felt there was much to be delighted about by this!

 

 

 

This morning I opened the curtains and a frost covered the ground. It hadn’t been there the morning before.

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I knew it would be cold outside and yet, what a beautiful scene lay before me.

Nature’s artist providing a final flourish, the one to give it that wow! factor. The touch to highlight the beauty, clarify the lines, exaggerate every detail. It is a shout out to us all – Look! Look at how stunning Nature is; the delicacy, the intricacy.

My own choice and knowledge of words will never be enough to describe the scene and yet, how does it make me feel?

Like a child. Opening the curtains in the morning brings a dawning in me, winter is here. The time of woolly hats and mittens, boots and heavy coats has arrived. I step out the door to an icy freshness.

Sun, of a light different to the warm glows of Autumn, displays the frosty sparkle. It is a muted, hazy light contrasting with the freshness of the air. The first lulling you into hibernation as the latter wakes you up, demanding your attention.

I think of the bulbs underground. Tucked up for winter. Thinking of them brings me onto spring, but then again, what is the rush? Why not welcome the winter, enjoy the precious light of the days and the evenings, tucked up, almost hibernating myself? Safe in the knowledge the bulbs are waiting.