April lushness

April lushness

I love spring days brimming over with hope and lushness, as our garden is now, and I love quotations which convey such tumbling abundance.   Here is one describing such a day in Hungary, and for continued plenitude, another one by the great wood carver David Esterly....
Here, fetch

Here, fetch

Not the first time we’ve celebrated the playfulness of otters in these pages.  This description of the artful animal turning the tables on would-be human tamers is a delight.  You start by throwing a ball and end up being the one who runs to fetch it. But when...
A question of landscapes

A question of landscapes

I haven’t managed to answer these questions for myself, but still keep returning to them, and wonder how other people are shaped by their landscapes, and how they perceive them.  How do people imagine the landscapes they find themselves in?  How does the land...
A livelier iris

A livelier iris

A dousingly delicious account of the effects of rain, verdancy-pouring, sky-tumbling life.  I write this as the winter cloud cover empties its freshness into an already soaked ground, replenishing aquifers.  In the glorious reaction of the sunshine after the downpour,...
Natural blessings

Natural blessings

A comprehensive – though incomplete – list of nature’s beauty and diversity.  So much to celebrate … The manifold diversity of beauty in sky and earth and sea; the abundance of light, and its miraculous loveliness, in sun and moon and stars;...
Smell the autumn

Smell the autumn

After an extended Indian summer, the last few days we’ve seen early morning mists and a delicious freshness to dawn and dusk.  I always feel sorry when summer fades and then have a surprise at the recurring mellow beauty of its successor.  This year, as the...
Of acorn cups

Of acorn cups

A lovely preparation for the bride of a god, including cowslip-ruby bejewelled acorn cups.  Some stole the light from glow-worms’ tails, and wove it into a necklace, and others pulled the ruby spots from cowslip leaves, to set with jewels the acorn cups that...
A life-loving syllabus

A life-loving syllabus

What a teacher, this god who exhales perfumes and offers to impart his knowledge of nature’s flourishing.  And what a syllabus: “I am the genius of clouds and sunshine,” answered Frey; and as he spoke, the essences of a hundred perfumes were exhaled...
The dignity we seek

The dignity we seek

It’s years since I noted this quote and it has recently made its way to the front of the nuannaarpoq pipeline. But only reading it again now do I see how much it resonates with the urgencies of rebalancing our relationship with the natural world around us, and...
A sight you never tire of

A sight you never tire of

This is from a collection of interviews with Russian people by the Nobel-prize winning journalist Svetlana Alexievich.  Here, one of them explains why there is one sight she has never tired of, and not only due to its beauty. The one thing I haven’t got sick of...
Richness on the world

Richness on the world

A lovely summer image of blueness infusing the landscape. The hills Lullingford way were blue as a summer sky, a deep promising blue, and there was a richness on the world. Wishing you richness on the world, wherever you are. Source: Mary Webb, Precious Bane...
To shout with grass

To shout with grass

Isn’t that exhilarating, the land shouting with grass?  And due to successive years of dousing rain, it feels lush and burstingly, verdantly abundant.   There would be five or six wet and wonderful years when there might be nineteen to twenty-five inches of...
The colour of poppies

The colour of poppies

A searching definition for the precise shade of California poppies, as recalled in Steinbeck’s East of Eden.  Not orange, you understand, but golden cream.And mixed with these were splashes of California poppies. These too are of a burning color – not...
Every journey starts somewhere

Every journey starts somewhere

James Rebanks had a childhood awakening when accompanying his grandfather on a tractor, making the connection between his family, their farm, and the gulls and the plough.  It’s a fitting start to a heartfelt journey from that ‘ancient farming world’...
Our land is a poem

Our land is a poem

A lovely description of a landscape as poetry in motion, slow sedimentary layers added by successive generations.  Maybe recent layers showing devastation of rich old forests and all round biodiversity will give way to more trees, plants and a wide range of species of...
Slow mo long term

Slow mo long term

I love the slowness of timber growth and durability.  Years ago my brother introduced me to the notion of tempering timber to make it more long-lasting and since then I’ve been captivated by accounts of growing and using wood in a cycle amply exceeding a (human)...
A day in the woods

A day in the woods

A moment when the two main characters of Bronte’s less well known novel get to know each other.  Shirley, newly arrived, proposes a day in the woods to Caroline, who knows the land and the calendar of its changes in minute detail, a mental map she is happy to...
Sunrise at Chios

Sunrise at Chios

What a dazzling description of watching a sunrise from a ship, contrasted perfectly with a preceding sunset.  The miracle of both, eternal and always new.  But there was no getting back into the berth again, in Chios harbour, and the sun just rising. And exquisite...

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