It's happening all over again!!

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.

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.

summer's face sees ghosts of autumn

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

Music Video - Sunrise from the Ridge

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


Four Haikus

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

Flow – Perfect Moments

I used to love running. I *really* loved running. Before illness limited what I could do physically, I ran every day and competed in road and fell races. One of the best feelings I’ve ever had in life is the feeling of ‘flow’ while running. When it was going really well, and I was very fit, I’d be running at a good pace for long periods of time, but with an ecstatic feeling of effortlessness, of harmoniousness. I miss that feeling. And when I think back to a ‘perfect moment’ that moment was while running. What happened was seemingly inconsequential and trivial – but I was totally 'in the zone'. I was living in Portugal and out running. I ran towards a football pitch with a game in progress and a very high fence to stop balls going onto the road. I was running well and ‘flowing’ already. Someone kicked a ball up high and it was clearly going to go over the fence. I could see from some way off that my direction of travel and the bottom of the ball’s trajectory would coincide. A…

Book of Shadows

a tree wrote the book
of shadows, other trees read it;
people couldn't

Life is great!

This a lot of life - where did it come from?
I sometimes find it instructive to look at an area and think what it would like without the living things. In short it would look similar to the dead, rocky surface of the moon.

Life has bestowed upon this, would be, barren surface a green cloak of living organisms. The breathing, growing, reproducing, eating, feeding, singing, scurrying, flying, flowering, beautiful exuberance – that is nature...

…and it all originates in space. Green plants trap the sun’s energy by photosynthesis allowing living things to rearrange atoms on the earth into living structures. These atoms ultimately originated in “The Belly of a Star” - almost every element on Earth was formed at the heart of a star.

I put a video explaining this process in a previous post Wren Song an Echo of the big bang

How were these numbers arrived at?

I know the numbers of birds on the patch more accurately than any other group as I’ve counted them! So I can say with a reasonable…

This Skylark will change your life

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 clicks he carried o…

Locked Down

Only after completing my bird-music track “I’m going to sit in my garden and watch the birds” did I remind myself that I had myself spent 10 years sitting in the garden watching the birds. A blog post that I wrote a couple of years ago about the experience seems to have more relevance now.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ You scan the horizon, your view an expanse of hill, field and sky, then you focus in on a detail, maybe a bird or a tree. Does your perceptual world contract to a shrunken fragment? No, it stays the same size or maybe even expands. As your attention homes in, so there is a mental blossoming – what was coarse-grained becomes finescale. Uniform Mondrian blocks show their true nature as a filigree of delicate tracery.

Like a baby in a pram, whose universe consists of its mother and perhaps some toys, it seems limited, but this is the canvas upon which the everything plays out – all the sights smells and sounds to feed th…

"I'm going to sit in my garden and watch the birds"

In an interview on breakfast TV an elderly couple were asked about being confined to the house during the coronavirus epidemic and how they'd cope.

“But are you worried about potentially being cooped up for months on end?”

Elsie replied “I’m going to sit in my garden and watch the birds”

I used the sample of Elsie with my garden birds track.

It struck me that sitting in the garden watching the birds is something I'm a bit of an expert at - having done it for ten years!

During my decade of illness being wheelchairbound watching the birds in the garden is practically all I did. It was a revelation! Despite having a brain and body that wouldn't function I was seldom bored, seldom miserable. During that time the birds and the garden kept me going.

With confinement - does your perceptual world contract to a shrunken fragment? No, it stays the same size or maybe even expands. As your attention homes in, so there is a mental blossoming – what was coarse-grained becomes…

Two grebes a-grebing

A lot of the Great Crested Grebe’s courtship display is about strengthening the pair bond. And there are a number of distinct behaviours.

The head-shaking display is probably the most familiar:
the head plumage is fanned into a ruff the birds then face each other and shake their heads from side to side
This display is mainly seen  in the early stages of courtship - usually performed when the pair is reunited after a period of separation. This suggests that it is used as a greeting and for reinforcement.

The most elaborate of the great-crested grebe’s displays is the ‘weed ceremony’ (left middle in the montage)
takes place just before the pair begin to build their nest platform. as part of this ceremony the two birds make a slow and deliberate dive to collect weed - before returning to the water’s surface and swimming towards each other, their heads held low to the surfaceas they meet, the birds rise from the horizontal to adopt a rigid vertical posture, which they hold by paddling their w…

The Patch in Strips


My A-Z of the Patch - part 1

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'.

They may, however, have even more speciali…