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Mama, gardener, teacher, photographer, faffer with paint and colour

Monday, 12 May 2014

Hedgerows and freedom.

I left the house with a with a bit of food, some water and my dog. Oh, and a plastic dinasour in my pocket.  And some secateurs in my bag that I forgot were in there but you get the general picture..... Fairly unencumbered for me. No spare clothing, wellies, or coats for a young missy, no tools or mammoth food supplies.

The day was wild and windy. My favourite kind of day.

Passing a fellow parent in his car on the way to take his son swimming, to sit in the fugg and echo of the pool. He was happy for me to be out on a walk, camera in hand and was just a bit jealous. I felt free and lucky walking on, blown around the lane. Woo hoo, bring it on wild wind!

This Copper Beach turns from green to its final deep copper.The leaves are damp, unfurling and fragile, like new butterflies. Soon they will dry and strengthen and be rich and rare amongst the green.

The hedgerows are bountiful, with Green Alkanet, 
( a confusing flower to teach little ones as the flower is actually blue).

Greater Stitchwort, delicate and simple.

The Red Campion flower reminds me of my grandad. The last time I saw him I was about ten maybe, he was in hospital dying of cancer and not always making sense. Just before I left he said, "You always knew what they were called...... 'Red Campion', you said". 
 I was happy that he made sense at least when speaking to me for the last time and chuffed that he was thinking of what we shared. He taught me lots of bird names too and use to cut out a weekly bird column from the paper and send it to me from Yorkshire. I collected them and put them in a scrapbook. I think he would be happy for me now in this rural paradise. Flowers in May at every step and birdsong to make my heart glad.

Wandering on through rain showers and bursts of hot drying sun.

This is Stiniel common. We lived a few fields away from here many moons ago, built the frame for our yurt and slept under the stars in a place called Little Field.Whilst building the yurt we lived with a slightly crazy old man who hadn't hoovered his house since the 60's and who bathed late at night but we never ever heard him get out of the bath. 

I had a great encounter with a fox on this common those many years ago. I could hear the awful cry of the hunt nearby and looked up from my walk to the hill opposite the common. A beautiful fox was also walking and we both stopped and stared. Eventually I sat down on a rock to watch him and he sat down on his hill.We both looked at each other for what seemed like an age, the hunting horns calling all the while. I spoke to him in my head and hoped he got home safely, cursing the sound and the intention of the other humans. He wasn't in any hurry and didn't seem to share my stress.He was truly fantastic.

I also fell over a hare just near here. As you do. Freaked me right out, for a second I thought it was a child or a dog then a deer and finally realised I had disturbed a sound asleep hare. It was much bigger than I had imagined and a much treasured sight by me. 
Anyway they are stories from another time.....but I am glad to be back in this place.

Down the hill now, nearly there.The road is full of pothpoles, (there is no recession), and running with a spring that really does spring eternal. It's a hill that makes you clomp loudly or your bike breaks squeak if you are Daisy. Nestled beyond our land is Stiniel, first listed in 1224 as Stenenhalle which means Stone hall. Our field has always been a farming field until the last 5 years or more when it was left to grow wilder with the fox and deer.

A gate at last for our field, as the last one was ...well...

not quite doing its job. Mmm a stone wall job to put on the list.

So this is where we are beginning now, clearing years of brambley scrub, and sowing new grass where the brambles were, letting light into the old coppice and seeing bluebells appear again. 

 There are 4 sticks near Rosie dog which are invisible to you, that mark a building to be, that will house the future goats + grazing ponies, that already have many names. Fingers crossed and all that. 

Psyched is the word of the moment.

I hope May is full of beauty for you xxx


  1. Thank you for a lovely virtual walk through your beautiful Devon countryside. it is so good to ramble through the wild places with only a happy Border Collie for company. Our last remaining BC is now over fifteen and just manages a slow potter out on the Forest.

    Your wild flower photos are stunning. It is hard to beat the deep purple-blue of a May bluebell.

    1. Thanks DW! We have an aged collie too, she manages a once arund the flat fields where we live a fw times a day and is not long for this world, they are very loyal these collies arent they? The bluebells are amazing this year, not sure if I say that every year and just forget how good they are.When the sunshines they smell so sweet too:) Thanks for messaging x

  2. So lovely to hear from you! I used to love galloping my old horse up Stiniel Down. Very fast and very dangerous I guess, but I do miss it. Lovely story about your Grandad. See you on Thursday I hope. xx

    1. Thanks Em:) You will have to come and visit sometime...its a very special area.I'm sorry you can't do the crazy galloping anymore, but can hopefully offer you a gamble with the goats if and when as Daisy keeps reminding us!See you Thurs for sure x

    2. What a wonderful. adventure through your beautiful woods. Such detail and passion. As ever. Thank you. Hels x