Wednesday, 15 January 2014


These images came out of my iPhone 3, no filter, no changes. They were taken at the edge of the Withy Bed, here on the estate. The Withy Bed is so named because it was planted for withies - usually willow or hazel, naturally straight shoots that are cut back each year to harvest again the following. They're traditionally used for everything from fences to baskets. The Withy Bed is mostly that willow and hazel but also a good number of beautiful ash trees. I feel a strong connection to ash. As you can see there are silver birch and some pine too. The Withy Bed is the current home of The Sheep in the Woods. I will tell you about her one day. It's not used for anything much anymore by humans. It has birds and deer and foxes and badgers using it for all sorts of good magic.

I loved this light, this winter day that looked like a painting both in and out of the camera. This winter is being so kind to me, so loving. I am feeling strong and rooted. Standing here I was deeply in touch with my NW European self. We are strange people - even the ones who haven't lived here for generations and don't try arguing with me on that. Of course we all, wherever our roots, have our flavours and (non-verbal) accents and 'things'. I think the NW European flavour is dark and not always yummy. It's just an accent in the recipe and it's a strong, bitter espresso....plain, 85% chocolate...icky old-fashioned cough medicine. We carry a streak of that through us in our bone marrow. It's what makes us stand up straight.

I have no values attached to that. It's just an observation. Inspired by a day like today.




  1. Finally. Been returning to this post as I've pondered my comment and suddenly I realized the familiarity of the imagery, harkening back to my Art History studies at university...I always found William Turner and Hudson River Valley landscape painters' work so haunting, and evocative as they drew me in to a landscape so familiar to my soul.

  2. Wow! What a beautiful place. I can see why you'd love it. I can only imagine what it must be like standing there under those trees.