Showing posts from January, 2019

A Hazel in January

rounding winter's grey corner I'm sprayed in the face with paint yellow points splatter my retinas and then drip  drops trailing vertical paths like a thousand star speckled wagtails bursting out of the sun so impossibly bright tassels rind of lime as tinsel a burning hazel bush that sears everything around it its catkins strung between earthed dull gravity and a skyfull of living things wanting to live ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It may well sound like I'm going way over the top about this catkin festooned hazel. But it stopped me in my tracks. This gets me every year - but miraculously more so every year. I doubt that I'd have been more moved by seeing the Mona Lisa. I'll even admit to welling up a bit. It just seemed to have every spring I've ever seen encapsulated in those early January catkins. Just spring coming round again, nature doing its thing, without fuss of fanfare (except from me!), and life wanting to li

Word Magic

"I know each lane, and every valley green. Dingle, or bushy dell, of this wildwood" - Milton Arranweb Spider's Web; Lancashire Dialect Bleb An air bubble in ice; perhaps a variant of 'blob' Carr Damp woodland with alder or willow;  Middle English I've been inspired recently by two wonderful books, Rober Mcfarlanes’s  “ Landmarks ” and Dominick Tyler’s “ Uncommon Ground : a word-lover's guide to the British landscape”.  Both books explore the potency our nature language – the words that describe the places, hills, waters, weather, paths, fields and wildlife of our countryside. I have compiled an A-Z of the patch, with terms that home in on a specific detail. These kinds of precise words help us to notice things, that might otherwise be overlooked, they root us in the landscape, give us a sense of place, they perform a kind of word-magic. Delf Something that has been dug, such as a ditc