If you grew up in England when I did, a very long time ago, there’s a good chance that you had nature study classes. If you lived in a town, perhaps that meant a crocodile walk to the nearest park. Mine was, and even though I moved away I live close to that same park now. I loved the huge trees then and I was heartbroken when many of the ancient beings were lost in the 1987 hurricane.
I think the main reason for those classes was some respite for teachers while little horrors like me got to let off some steam. I knew the names of all the trees back then, but somewhere at the end of childhood I forgot most of them.
Luckily there’s a green at the bottom of my road. I once counted more than twenty varieties of trees there but only know what half of them are. Today I stopped in my tracks when I saw these unfolding leaf buds. It most likely is a native tree, but the complementary colours opposite on the colour wheel and their striking form made them something different to me.
Tina set the Lens Artist challenge theme this week, with ‘Something different‘. Her cactus photos are amazing but I love the pink flowers.
How long does it take for an apple tree to reach maturity? I hope that in a few years I can try the fruit of every one of the young trees that have been planted in the valley park. Yes, an orchard’s worth of trees, I counted 22, each different varieties. They are all old English varieties, most local to the south west and some from just a few miles away.
There’s Farmer’s Glory, a Devon eating or cooking apple, that stores for three months. Exeter Cross, a mix of Worcester Pearmain and Beauty of Bath, an early fruit. Star of Devon comes from Broadclyst, just around four miles from the valley and the fruit lasts until March.
I’ll be watching these young trees grow, isn’t it wonderful that orchards are being created again?
and spiky, pintails searching in the marsh at Topsham.
Just 8 days left to share your points, spikes, prickles and barbs to join Becky’s Square March challenge, even her shadows have spikes today.
He’s surrounded by spiky branches and even his feathers have a stylish pointy pattern.
Day 21 of Becky’s March square challenge and she has ripped jeans!
Ana-Christine has picked a very popular theme for the lens artist challenge this week’ it’s close up. She’s also made it very inclusive by highlighting how you don’t need an expensive camera.I’ve only taken my camera out once this year, but my phone is always with me.
With the challenge in mind I walked the dogs at the valley park yesterday.
I’m fascinated by the form and colour of lichen, the tiny drops of dew were a bonus. My phone has a selective focus option, and while I could have got a better result with my camera, Flora and George would have had more time to get into mischief!
Patti, do you remember the song Fijian Girl? Your photos reminded me, but I know that shows my age!
Here are my ‘Nature’ photos for Patti’s Lens Artist Challenge this week.
If you stretch your imagination, you might see the M that I see, M for Meg who will like this cliff in north Devon.
This tiny snail is perfectly formed, a young Fibonacci in the making.
One of England’s prettiest wild flowers, and one with medicinal properties, containing digitalin.
I captured a magical vertical cloud.
Also for Meg, the odd place on the south Devon coast where the white chalk stone of Beer ends and the red sandstone of Seaton begins.
Join Patti here.
Now I know that many of you experience months of frost and snow every winter, but recently it’s only occurred three or four times a year here. So I rarely get a chance to take icy photos. This morning my car told me it was -1 degrees, and the ground over in the fields was frozen. It was a brilliant blue sky day though and the frost in the hedgerows was slowly melting.
Apparently it will rain for the next seven days now, so I’m glad I caught the pretty cold stuff while I could. Rain means a temperature rise of eight to ten degrees, thanks goodness because the heat wasn’t working in my office on Friday, not much fun sitting still in 14 degrees!
Hedge laying is an ancient skill, it’s been around since the 16th century when landowners had to contain their livestock, because of the acts of enclosure. Different styles of laying can be seen around the country, and laying takes place in winter when there are no birds nesting and before the sap rises.
When I walked in the valley park this morning, the hedge between what I call the middle and bottom fields, had been recently laid. It’s opened up the view from the middle field at the rear of this photo way across the hills on the west of the estuary.
I’m glad the skills are still kept alive, but I can’t help wondering what the foxes make of it.
It’s Tina’s turn to choose the them for the Lens Artist Photo Challenge this week. She has beauties, I love her blue window. I’ve decided to have a mix of nature and art, you can even see me making a curve.
This is my first lens artist post for a while, are you joining in this week?
My first poem of the year was inspired by this painting by my mum Pat, thank you!.
A sense of woodland
Trudging through mud and leaf litter,
with his faithful companion Ned
a man surveys the landscape,
testing his path with a stick
from the same birch wood.
At the gate the dog pauses,
paw suspended, alert, ears wide,
and the pungent stench of vixen,
barely perceptible to human senses,
overwhelms its olfactory nerve.
A gleam of solstice light falls
on a startle of rabbit, a clear acre distant.
The man fumbles for his pipe and baccy,
scrapes squelchy leaves from his soles.
Ned flops with a disappointed grunt,
a screech of jays laugh from naked branches.
Then once more the silence is palpable.
What’s inspiring you right now?