Pictures of an English Winter

SAMSUNG CSCWe’re having a rather typical English Winter, wet and cold, not much snow at all, or even frost.  Rather grey, so when the sun shines through the trees covered in raindrops, it looks rather pretty.

All the rain makes the river run high and as it washes away the sand the early Spring plants show through, rather too early.

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These are butterburrs which will be in their ‘other planet’ bloom in a couple of months time.  The snow drops are much more seasonal.  I reckon these get washed down into the wood fron gardens upstream.

SAMSUNG CSCAll this moist atmosphere makes for much moss and ferns.

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This one looks almost humanoid.

SAMSUNG CSCHere’s some sycamore (acer pseudoplatanus) I’m making into a duck bowl, hopefully.

SAMSUNG CSCIt has an interesting orange hue in the more mature inner wood, not sure if it will stay longer term.

SAMSUNG CSCHere’s some work in hand.

SAMSUNG CSCOn Thursday (my Friday) after above photo was taken,  I discovered that a spoon neck gouge is rather better than a knife or a drawknife for the tricky shaping of the neck and tail transitions where the grain direction is rather like the transition between the handle and bowl when carving a spoon except a much bigger area and challenge.  Watch this space.

Quack, quack.  As the lady mallard ducks have started repetitively calling around here.

 

 

 

 

A four-legged workshop

Today I ran a workshop for five people making deer.  I was ably assisted by my wife (chief photographer, waitress, tool mistress and adviser for the day).  Two of the chaps on the course shared today as their birthday and the course was a present from their wives.  Although we were surrounded by (melting) snow I managed to keep everyone busy and all went home with a deer (except for me, I’m more of a venison man):

Here are the youngest and oldest 15 to 62 (fortunately my insurance cover goes as low as 9 years old).

These gels had fun:

I should point out that the rips in the jeans were pre-existing and that no humans were harmed in the making of these deer.  The red stains liberally sprinkled around the middle work bench are just Flying Goose hot sauce stains caused during an eating incident at lunchtime.

There were actually six members of the course but the robin just didn’t seem to get the hang of things at all.  He seemed to enjoy the biscuits and home-baked bread nonetheless.

It has been very scenic in the wood this past week, if a bit chilly.  I’m surprised at the very low numbers of visitors considering the sights to be seen:

I think sometimes I like the shape of trees without their leaves better than with.  The shape is so much more clear and stark and beautiful.

Even the messy old bodgery looked not bad:

The sun did his bit too to make things look good:

These pictures take a bit of getting as the sun only shines on my side of the River Wharfe briefly in these short Winter days.

I feel so sorry for the wildlife living outdoors all the time, I know vaguely how they must feel, and they don’t have four pairs of trousers and five tops like me.  Earlier this week at home the temperature dropped to minus 13 centigrade – just how do you sleep out through that?  Maybe the cold is just another state to wildlife, but I guess they must enjoy warmer weather.

And another thing, why do snow pictures usually look as though they were taken on (almost) black and white film?