Posts

My A-Z of the Patch - part 1

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Aborlith Abor (tree) + lith (as in megalith - stone) A tree like a standing stone such as this ash tree on the patch. In April when I stand by the lake the morning sun climbs up the side the trunk, then for a moment seems to be embraced in its lower boughs. Perhaps this is how standing stones were first sited by our ancestors - they noticed a certain tree / solar alignment which developed meaning for them and so made this more permanent with a stone in the same position. A couple of years ago I compiled an A-Z of the Patch using existing regional or specialised words and focussing on the patch ( Word Magic ). This is a follow up in which I've come up with an A-Z of my own coinages and this is part one - A to M. I think for anyone who pays close attention to single area - a patch watcher - it's fairly normal to invent their own names for certain corners of their plot that stand out. I have 'Stonechat Fence' and 'Wheatear Ridge'. The

This Skylark will change your life

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This Skylark will change your life - no really! On my patch walk, I saw a skylark perched on a wall. I stopped to watch it for a while and took a photograph. It occurred to me that this bird has changed my life. All the subsequent moments after seeing the lark would have been slightly different had it not been there. And all those lark-rearranged causes and conditions will continue to cascade into the future. But what about the Skylark. It was only there, at that place and that time, because of a host of factors. That insect, would have influenced it – the one that laid its eggs, hatching into lark food….and that insect foodplant… And so it goes on. A ‘world wide web’ – an infinity of interconnections. Ripples on ripples. A friend on Facebook kindly posted a link to an article he thought would interest me. This reminded me of a documentary I’d seen before, which I then re-watched. My life will never be quite the same simply because of the handful of keystrokes and cli

Li - Patterns in Nature

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"the  asymmetrical, nonrepetitive, and unregimented order  which we find in the patterns of moving water, the forms of trees and clouds, of frost crystals on the window, or the scattering of pebbles on beach sand.”  Alan Watts The Chinese word - 'Li' refers to the patterns in nature that are continually forming and re-forming around us. fixed patterns dynamic patterns patterns within patterns patterns in time patterns in space patterns that we create in our own minds through our unique perceptions of these patterns The li can be seen as the ever-changing, ever-present set of patterns which flow through everything in nature.  And they flow through our perceptions of the world. There are several ways of categorising the kinds of patterns found in nature These are the 24 from the book 'Li: Dynamic Form in Nature' by David Wade (link below) with examples from things I've photographed Aggregation – collocation of elements (fungus spore print) Anfractuous – winding

Perfect

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This morning I looked out of window debating whether to go for my walk on the patch or stay in bed a bit longer. ‘Nah’ I thought, I don’t fancy it. Last week’s crisp, bright winter wonderland had given way to that unholy quintet of gloom - wind, mud, rain, grey and cold. But what perversely swayed me to step outside was the fact that it wasn’t just horrible it was spectacularly horrible, comically horrible, perfectly horrible. The word ‘perfectly’ to describe a bad thing is usually used for emphasis - ‘horrible indeed’. But what if it literally is *perfect* in its horribleness. perfect wind perfect mud perfect rain perfect grey perfect cold No less a morning than a bright snowy one, a birdsong-filled spring one, a lazy hot summer one. The morning, the day, the weather – they just get on with things being themselves – oblivious to our labels, our likes and dislikes. This reminded me of the story I’d heard about the writer Henry David Thoreau - author of Walden. He died of tuberculosis

Where Birds Were

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  There are a lot of really excellent bird photos on the internet. I've got to say though - it's been done to death. People are getting bored with them now and are clamouring for photos of where birds WERE, not where they ARE. So here's a photograph of where a Yellowhammer (Emberiza non-citrinella) was before it flew off. I'm rather proud of the total lack of bird, no feathers whatsoever in detail - glorious or otherwise. I feel I've captured the very essence of its absence. Its 'gone-ness' if you like. A lack is so profound it seems to infuse everything around it with total not-thereness. (if you're unable to make out where it isn't - it's not on the post in the middle) Bird photographers ask yourselves, do you really want to be part of the problem - or are you going to be part of the solution? #wherebirdswere

The lights are on

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The world, the universe, is full to the brim with wonders. The most amazing of all, to my mind, is one that everyone has access to every morning as soon as they wake up - consciousness. It's a puzzle that continues to baffle science. How does matter come together in such a way that suddenly the 'lights are on'. How does the collection of atoms in our brains become aware - so that it's 'like something' to be us. And just what *is* a sensation? Take the sensations of hearing a bird singing. The physics and biology of the process are well known. The bird uses energy - originally from the sun - to move the muscles in its vocal organ - this in turn moves air molecules. Some of these enter our ear, vibrating the eardrum and causing nerve impulses to be sent to the brain where they are interpreted - sensed as bird song *Sensed as bird song* - this final part is where the "miracle" happens. Just what is the birdsongness of bird song, the gree

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower"

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From the inside birch, hazel, beech, cherry, hornbeam, sycamore Beech leaves. The outer and inner rings the are upper sides of leaves - a beautiful warm brown. The middle ring is the coffee coloured undersides Elder Birch leaves   A trudge becomes a treasure hunt One of my favourite things is to be doing something - it happens most of when walking on the patch - feeling uninspired, maybe bored - then completely turning it around. ...a thoroughly dull and grey, uninspiring October morning with little of interest. Then I noticed something new - the wonderful way leaves were turning autumnal. The fantastic patterns and combinations of colours were unique to each. Suddenly this beauty was all around. I started looking for the best ones. A weary trudge had become a treasure hunt, I had a autumnal spring in my step. This isn't hidden beauty in the way maybe some inaccessible wonder deep in a cave is hidden - it was there all along. It's only hidden unti

Music Video - Sunrise from the Ridge

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A music video combining a track of mine with some photos of dawn on the patch (the photos gradually 'assemble' themselves) .

summer's face sees ghosts of autumn

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summer's face sees ghosts of autumn, drained of green, haunted into colours

It's happening all over again!!

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Hare'sfoot Inkcap mushroom (Coprinopsis lagopus) It's happening all over again!! ...the fungi season that is. There's a lot to enjoy about autumn. Especially the fungi. Extruding up through autumn's cracks - the strange fruit of an underworld - a weird blossoming of textures, shapes smells. And this is one my favourites - Hare'sfoot Inkcap mushroom growing on a favoured habitat - woodchip mulch by a car park this afternoon. The delicate beauty of these fungi is stunning with their cap margins inrolling to form black-ribbed translucent bowls. backlit I find these beautiful fungi incredibly photogenic. The caps picked out with fine lines - as if drawn in black ink - are paper thin and translucent and only last a matter of hours. I experimented with backlighting some.

Four Haikus

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the morning is cut from tissue, dipped first in mist then laid down in strips fishing boat moon hauls in the catch, silver bellies last remnants of day the dawn wasn't sure it was beautiful; the world held up a mirror the spider makes a harp of the morning and plays a song of sunlight