Monday, 18 January 2021

Winter Hare


‘Winter Hare’ by Bruno Liljefors...a Swedish wildlife painter (1860-1939)




      Hares are like buses. You see one ....

      and then a whole load more attract your attention!

      I had the pleasure of seeing a hare ( after many years) on Christmas Eve, 

     during a trip to the cemetery, to put flowers on my mum and dad’s grave.

      (See here )

      Since then, I have seen hares featured ....everywhere!

      But the best, I think, is the beautiful and charming painting, above.

      Delightful!

      

     


Sunday, 17 January 2021

The life of a wall...


       It always amazes me that there is far more to an old wall then you realise.

       Take, for instance, the wall in the churchyard near to where I live...

        ‘a stone’s throw’ as they say!




 It’s fascinating.



     Passing it daily, I always notice something different...

     Whether it is moss, lichen, Ivy leaved Toadflax, a wild Strawberry plant, 

     Sedum, Ivy...or even Yew!







        In the summer months, the Toadflax will flower, bringing a lovely

        purple tinge to the wall, adding contrast to the mustard coloured lichen.

        Nature just has this way of knowing exactly what will work!



     I wonder...what grows in or on a wall near you?



 

Friday, 15 January 2021

The joys and delights of today’s walk...


 

       What a lovely walk!

       It’s the same walk each day...but it isn’t! Does that make sense?




      I mean, you don’t see these beauties every day of the year , do you?




      Nor this...a gorgeous Mahonia instantly caught my eye...so glad that it was 
      on the edge of a country garden, for everyone to share!
      Very thoughtful...




              and beautiful.



      So much is happening out there! 
      You turn your back for one moment and.... hey presto!




     Just behind our house, in the church drive, is this beautiful Yew tree...
    .....in its rightful place. And what a fine spot to sit and watch the world go by.






      
     
     The photo below was taken at about 3.30pm...and although the it 
     suggests a stillness, peace and quiet, in actual fact, there was plenty 
     of birdsong for us to enjoy.





      And the evenings are becoming lighter; one can sense that spring 
      is not too far away...but for now, I am perfectly happy to enjoy winter’s
      simple pleasures....







Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Charles Tunnicliffe

 


                          What an absolutely wonderful book this is! 

                          Of course the companion books are equally wonderful 

                          and when you open one, you find yourself immersed in

                          whichever season you’ve chosen. 

                          Escapism at its very best!




                           However, we are in the season of winter right now

                            and so let us embrace this cold and chilly season; 

                            a season that can be unfriendly, unwelcoming, 

                            austere, cruel, bitterly, bitterly cold....

                            And yet, the strange thing is, that I always feel 

                            so much better in the winter. And if you wrap up warm 

                            on a cold, crisp day, the season then seems to be far 

                            more affable: you find yourself warming to winter!



                          So, who do we have to thank for portraying winter in such

                           a wonderful way? Well...the name is Charles Tunnicliffe.



                
                          Charles Tunnicliffe was an outstanding artist. He didn’t 

                           just illustrate Ladybird nature books, however, these are 
                  
                           the books that had quite an effect on me. These are 

                           the books that taught me all about the seasons. 

                           These are the books that helped me to interact with 

                           nature from an early age. These are the books that 

                           brought me so much joy, pleasure and inspiration. 

                           I also used many of these books in my primary
    
                           classroom, especially on the nature table, which was

                           always a big feature in my classroom!



                         Therefore, it is these books,  the ‘What to look for in...’ series,

                         that always take top spot in my list of favourites. 

                         Charles Tunnicliffe’s illustrations celebrate our wonderful

                         English landscape...and boy is it wonderful!

                         I treasure these books ; I think that one of the best things

                         about them is that each is a gateway to the next season.

                         Thus the pleasure just goes on and on and on....

                          it’s never ending!



                

                        If you so desire, you can read more about Charles Tunnicliffe     

                         Here      and    here


                        Or  you could take my advice and buy yourself a set of these

                        lovely books  ... dip into them every now and again; 

                        you’ll be surprised what you learn!

                        Wrap yourself in nostalgia and savour the delights

                        of what is on offer! You won’t be disappointed!




Sunday, 10 January 2021

Being content...

          I would liken the word ‘lockdown’ to Marmite; 

          you either love or loathe it!

          I’ve always adored Marmite from the very moment 

          that my mum cut a crust from a loaf of bread and ‘crust and Marmite’

          became very much a feature in our diet! Toast, too...dripping with butter

          and Marmite ...yum!

         

          Just like Marmite, lockdown has suited me ...yet I know so many 

          people who have hated, loathed and detested the last year simply 

          because of the constraints placed upon them. It’s not been easy for many. 

          I’m so lucky. And I know it.


          I’ve always been content at home. Being brought up in a place

          where we had the woods, fields, nature on our doorstep, helped. I

          soon understood that the simple things in life are free...and generally

          are the best; well I think so! As a child, I made my own amusement

          and would often escape into the woods or on to the heathland with an

          ISpy book tucked into my pocket...happy days!  Even on a wet day

          ( and we get plenty of those in Devon), life wasn’t boring. I had books...

          and plenty of them;  I collected stamps; it’s how I learned about the world

          as well as how to be patient with stamp hinges and tweezers! 

          I had my old Singer Sewing Machine, I even knitted clothes for 

          my sister’s Sindy and Patch dolls! 


          I’ve always enjoyed a simple home life...gardening, cooking, sewing, reading.

          I suppose because much of my working life was in teaching, to get home

          on a Friday night and relax, was a joy! 

       

          And so I have coped better with lockdown than most and I’ve embraced

          the pleasures that have come alongside.


          Now that isn’t to say that I don’t sympathise with people who are stuck in

           an inner city flat, maybe alone. It isn’t to say that I don’t think about the

          thousands who have passed away from this awful virus. It isn’t to say that

          I don’t grieve. I do. It’s been the most wretched time for so many...

          lost friends, lost relatives, lost jobs. It’s simply awful.There isn’t a day goes by

          when I don’t think about all of that.


           And oh...how I miss seeing family! That’s the worst part. BUT..as my 

           other half  reminds me, when I’m feeling teary, 

           “Be glad that they are all safe and well, Sal.”

           And I am...of course I am..my family being most precious!


            And now, I must away! Time for a cuppa...and some toast..

            (not forgetting the Marmite!) 😁