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...
Ping-pong purposeful

Ping-pong purposeful

The capacity of otters to play and to turn anything they find into a game, is breath-taking.  Here is one, having worked out the ludic possibilities inherent in the physics of ping-pong balls, setting off to entertain himself for an hour or two at a stretch.   You can...
A seal of affection

A seal of affection

An astonishing account of a newborn seal pup responding to a passing cuddle from a human.  I liked too that in the end his mother’s love, even in a telling off, proved the stronger attraction. Once … I picked up a brown seal pup no more than a day or so...
Live wisely, live well

Live wisely, live well

Isn’t this all we’re trying to do when we talk about ‘sustainability’, ‘circular economy’, or climate change?  When it’s put so simply, it sounds easy, but we have a long way to go before we can see our stifling ignorance fall...
Begin afresh

Begin afresh

A soughing sense of spring surging in the dense-leaved trees.   You can hear the branches, brushing against each other in the dancing breeze, whispering like a wish in your ear, enticing you to begin afresh, afresh, afresh. Yet still the unresting castles threshIn...
Teaching the tree

Teaching the tree

A step in the process of creation, where the Creator takes a moment to teach the tree its leaf.  They learned well, and this is the season we see them unfurl their lessons, each perfectly mastered. Everywhere he taughtThe tree its leaf.  Source: Ted Hughes,...

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