Thursday, 23 April 2015

the bluebell wood

There is a small, narrow patch of woodland about half a mile from home that we have always called the bluebell wood. There is a footpath running through it and we make a special effort to walk there in late April/ early May when the bluebells are in flower. The photograph above was taken five years ago when I posted several pictures and wrote about how peaceful and calm the wood always felt.

This winter we were out for a walk and found the little wood looking like this. The forked tree in the centre of the photographs remains but many many other trees had been cut down.

The whole place looked very open and bare, not a woodland any more. We wondered at the time whether the bluebells would have survived. It was obvious from some of the tyre tracks that there had been heavy vehicles in the wood and the soil was quite rutted and disturbed in places.

This week we went back. There are bluebells but it is very different from five years ago, much brighter with all the trees gone and sunlight reaching the ground. This is the same forked tree in the foreground.

It looks very different from May 2010. Below is the footpath now

and next, the same section of path five years ago.

It feels completely different without the trees, I preferred it as it was.

There haven't been any trees planted yet so it could be interesting to watch it regrow naturally. Some of the hazel stumps are already sprouting and I am sure there must be a few acorns that might grow in the sunlight. In time it may well be a woodland again though there won't be any mature oaks in my lifetime,

but at least there are still bluebells.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

a seaside fix

I often wish I lived nearer to the sea. It takes us about an hour and a half to reach our nearest coast which for the UK is quite a long way. However, last week I was speaking to someone form Johannesburg, to get to the beach they had to drive 400 miles so I suppose I'm quite lucky!

Last week I got a couple of hours at the coast.

It wasn't great seaside weather but we walked along the promenade and watched the sea and the seagulls.

I looked at the tough seaside plants, sea kale

and scurvy grass. Scurvy grass is the pink/white flower that you sometimes see alongside motorways, it can withstand the salt spread on the roads in winter so has found a suitable niche to grow. Here it is in its natural habitat, growing close to the shore.

This is one of the Solent Forts with the Isle of Wight behind. Two of the forts have now been turned into hotels, it would certainly be an unusual place to spend the night but doesn't really appeal to me.

I am happy to stay on dry land and watch the waves from the shore. Despite the greyness of the day, it was good to be beside the sea, a little seaside fix until I am next away on holiday - just five weeks to go.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

summer sewing

After last years attempt at sewing when I made mistakes with pattern sizing, my sewing machine has been quiet for a while. Then recently I finished these two items. The dress is Liesl and Co cinema dress.
This time I was very careful to read the pattern measurements when deciding what size to make rather than going by the dress size. I ended up making a size 2 (which I still find odd since I am a UK10) and it fits! I am pleased with it and now have a bit more confidence to start sewing again.

Having finished the dress, I found I had plenty of material left over so made the little blouse on the left from a Butterick pattern that I must have had for 30 years! I bought it when I first started work and made several tops in different versions from it. It is a very simple pattern and the only pattern I still have from the time when I used to make most of my clothes. The pattern is Butterick 3696, seeing it on the internet under "vintage patterns " is making me feel my age today!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

another day, another walk

Photographs taken a few days ago after a rain storm. The temperature has risen and the combination of warmth and water is bringing forward all the spring shoots and flowers. I am always glad to see the hawthorn leaves appearing each year (last photo), always around my birthday and always the first to turn the hedges from brown to green.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

this Sunday

Sparkling dew drops on the lawn and the smell of hyacinths in the garden,

a solitary walk with a coffee and chocolate break (well it is Easter)

blossom in the hedgerows,

 a shy Easter bunny

and masses of celandines.

Happy Easter.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

fresh green April

It's been busy. The last time I posted it still felt like winter and look at it now.

I've been away at my parents as my 82 year old father had a small operation. He is recuperating well but as always, I wish I lived nearer. They are likely to need more support in the future which is difficult when I'm not close by, a problem I know is shared by many families.

Back home, it has been almost two weeks since I've walked in the lanes. What a difference, horse chestnut buds opening, blossom in the hedges, wood anemones (the alternative name, windflower seeming particularly appropriate during the recent high winds) and lastly a single bluebell, the first of the year. It did me good today to be back home walking amongst the fresh green of spring.