Tag Archives: oak

The Post I Meant to Write…

Just before I opened my email from the Royal Agricultural Society, this is the post I meant to write. The last post was merely a Jacobin rant, this one is about nature. It’s better for me than politics.

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A model of me in the garden

There’s not much to say as it’s late and the pictures can do the talking.

The pop-bottle poppies are still looking good after two years – Julia was going to take them down last year but everyone asked for them to stay up.

This is the “hedge” between the Mencap plot and the school plot. It’s willow clippings with ivy planted to grow through it.

And finally – some birds. There would have been more but a sparrowhawk swooped by and scared them all away.

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Great tits on feeder – Nottingham

Memories

 

When I picked up my old camera last week there were nearly 1,400 photos on it. Each one is a memory, even if the memory is “…and that’s one I took in case the first photo wasn’t any good…”.

The first photos I’ve taken off are from Sherwood Forest – I presume three of the sculptures are still there despite the remodelling of the visitor centre, though I suppose the Robin and Little John statue will have gone as part of the demolition of the old one

 

The last photo of this set is an outlaw in the car park – I’m afraid that there probably won’t be any outlaws in the new car park. Well, there are no trees, for one thing. This is progress.

Robin Hood lurking in the Forest

Robin Hood lurking in the Forest

I’m quite enjoying a stroll through the old photographs, though some are a bit painful when you think about the passing of time.

 

The Leaves of Clumber Park

The woods have really pinged into life since the frost and we are finally seeing some good autumn colour. My camera, of course, is doing its best to take the colour back out. I really don’t know what goes through the minds of camera designers, but they really seem to hate colour.

I first noticed this when taking a sunset with my old camera. A deep red, cloud-flecked sky behind Sandal Castle became a pale pink sky with pale grey wisps.

In the old days of film you used to buy Kodak for restrained colour or Fuji if you wanted something brighter. These days, with my camera at least, you can get the same effect from selecting “Scene” mode. I selected the “Cuisine” option, which brightens all the colours. It’s meant for taking pictures of food but it seems to work for autumn leaves too. Some, like the oak leaves didn’t need help. With others I forgot to use the setting. It did help with the landscapes but even with this help the colours in the photographs are more restrained than they were in real life.

Julia had a Safeguarding Course at Worksop today so it seemed like a good time to visit Clumber Park. It’s the home of an 87 acre lake and the longest Lime Tree Avenue in Europe. It was planted in 1840 and is 2 miles long with 1,296 common limes.

At the end of the lake is a shallow section with a number of tree stumps and drowned trees. These date from the 1980s when subsidence from coal workings dropped the level of the ground. The new low-lying areas filled up and the trees dies. A few still stand to provide perches for cormorants and gulls.

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Drowned tree at Clumber Park

I read a haiku today, by coincidence. I can’t remember it, but it was about how maple leaves are at their best just before they fall. I wish the same could be said for me.

In Japanese they have the word koyo – autumn foliage.

My Favourite Friday

 

On Friday we planned to visit Sherwood Forest, photograph the oak trees and look for Robin Hood.

Sorry, I’m a bit late wth this – it’s so late on Saturday that it’s almost Sunday.

So much for my good intentions about being more organised and reliable. (And that’s before I reveal that I left my spare batteries at home and had to use the back-up camera).

The plan was that we would get up early and make the best of the light, but their was no light, just a foggy murkiness. So we went back to sleep for another hour. By that time the light was a bit better so we set off for Sherwood Forest. It’s not quite as big as it once was. At one time it covered 115,000 acres: now the country park manages just 450 acres. Royal Forests once covered a third of southern England, including 100% of the counties of Essex and Huntingdonshire.

Fortunately a Royal Forest wasn’t full of trees, which would have made it very awkward for living and farming, they were just areas where Forest Laws took precedence over normal laws. This made life difficult, but still allowed for fields, grazing, marshes and other land without trees.

Anyway, in today’s country park there are around 1,000 ancient oaks, all looking to be on their last legs. Despite this they keep coming back year after year.  The most famous is the Major Oak, around 800 – 1,000 years old and held up by a cradle of wood and iron. It was supposedly a hideout used by Robin Hood, but if it’s only 800 years old it would have only been an acorn at the time.

This is just a selection of photos – as usual  have managed to take too many!