Showing posts from January, 2018

Mud and Magic

On Monday I went for my patch walk on the dullest, muddiest, coldest day - seemingly uninspiring, dreary and wildlife-free.

I thought it seemed SO uninspiring that I'd try, as an exercise, to elevate it into something less mundane, simply by making the effort to turn it into something creative. So here is my poem...

Mud and Magic

Slanted sleat threads white as it dwindles earthwards
The weakling fuit of a drab sky

The mudded rivulet of a track rises gently raising my steps
Quag and ruck swap places with mire and bog

I climb the spine of a buried giant, the
Back​filled landfill, now grassy ridge on former midden
As a bullfinch schoolboy-whistles

A kestrel is animated by my approach, turning it from
Standing sentinel still to flightly air-snipping shears

Faint shapes of distant Pennine foothill are mist masked
A Guassian blur applied to the mast on Winter Hill

A bramble scraped attrition of mud-sticky path takes me to the
Moss bearded wall at the entrance to Rough Park Wood

A processional arch of …

The Fractal Patch

As a small child I remember seeing a small twig lying on the ground. I held it up to the sky and squinted a bit.

"I'm a giant", I thought, “I'm holding up a tree.” I'd seen my first example "self-similarity" After that, I didn't give it a lot of thought - until now.

Objects are  self-similar - if a part looks like a  miniature version the whole. It’s something that occurs a lot in nature – ferns, trees, clouds, rocks, crystals, coastlines, rivers, blood vessels.

Copies of the whole repeated at a smaller and smaller scale.

These are a kind of fractal and it's something I’ve been looking out for on the patch (not that I’ve seen a lot of coastlines!).

You could call fractals the geometry of nature.

“Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line,” as Benoit Mandlebrot, the inventor of fractal geometry said.

He realised that nature is ‘rough’, ‘messy’…

Absolutely Barking!

Bark Poster
A number of people have asked me to produce the bark gallery on the right as a high resolution poster - it can be
downloaded here
It's an A2  PDF (which is 4 times A4, but the will resize to A3 or A4). Featured Posts

Absolutely Barking!
Bark is like almost everything in nature – the more you look the more you see. If you walk through a wood you will, of course, be aware of the trees, but only have a vague sense of the variety of bark. Once you stop to look you’ll see that every tree species has its own kind of bark, and even amongst trees of the same species – no two are alike.

My latest patch project has been to photograph an example of the bark of each of the tree species on the patch – the result being the photos on this page. A quick glance through these is enough to show the range of bark types, colours and textures to be found - as well as their beauty . Some are rough, others smooth, some have vertical fissures others horizontal. Still others are patterned with ridg…