Monthly Archives: February 2014

A Nature Walk

When I was a lad at school (this is before the Beatles were invented) we used to go on nature walks from school along the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool canal. We picked wild flowers (imagine that) and brought them back to school to identify and draw.

At work I sometimes treat myself to a post prandial stroll through Strid Wood to see what’s going on. On Thursday it was get your boots on Spring.

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Not very much in the way of colour (other than green) but then the ramsons are back!  Wild garlic, a delight to the palette and an intense green.  Here be green flowers.

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This is dogs mercury.  The mercury bit gives a clue to its toxicity.  But it is about the first flower to bloom in these woods, and it blows for many months – in fact some of last year’s stalks are still standing with a few dishevelled leaves (mainly through the absence of any snow).

This isn’t wild garlic, Lords and Ladies methinks, not palatable, but also very green.

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Look at this – wild strawberry leaves.

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And these guys are here almost all the time, sometimes 20 foot up in the trees.

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And then there’s moss.

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Lots of it, climbing anything raised from the woodland litter.

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Sometimes creating a landscape of its own, with sinister companions.

SAMSUNG CSCOk more sinister.

SAMSUNG CSCRather like trees.

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCAnd they like trees.

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No fear of man-made sawing horses either.

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(These can be used as splitting breaks too.)

I been doing woodwork too. Planing ash.

SAMSUNG CSCTo make a test stool leg.

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But really I’d like to do some painted work that would look like this.

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Leisurely pursuits of noble ladies of North Yorkshire

Edith Sitwell

English: Portrait of Edith Sitwell

English: Portrait of Edith Sitwell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, the oldest child and only daughter of Sir George Sitwell, 4th Baronet, of Renishaw Hall; he was an expert on genealogy and landscaping.  Her mother was the former Lady Ida Emily Augusta Denison, a daughter of the Earl of Londesborough and a granddaughter of Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort. She claimed a descent through female lines from the Plantagenets.” -Wikithingamobob.

My brother greeted me today on my return from the woods with a book of North Yorkshire 100 years ago (The North Riding of one hundred years ago by David Gerrard, Alan Sutton ISBN 0-7509-0292-2).  It definitely was another country back then.

Here’s how the mother of Edith (above, famous poet(ess)) got her kicks:

Sitwell

Well, well.  Nothing like a bit of fun and sport.  I hope they used proper rat catchers’ sticks. You know, the ones a bit like a hockey stick but stickier.

1900 The Sitwell Family by John Singer Sargent

1900 The Sitwell Family by John Singer Sargent (Photo credit: Sacheverelle)