Sunday, 11 March 2012

Follow Follow Follow?

As promised here is the beech tree blog :-)

I mentioned earlier that to the south of my village once stood a great beech wood.  In the 1970s some of it made way for a housing estate.  Then in the 1980s more trees were cut down for further housing estates.

I didn't move to the village until 2004 when most of the house-building to the south of the village had finished (although more housing could be in the pipeline but the villagers are adamant that no more building should take place to the south).... the north east area has been extensively developed removing all the marshland that beautiful birds once frequented...... all in the name of progress.  Well I suppose if we keep on increasing our population we continue to need more housing. 

Sorry.... I digress.

Back to the beech trees.  Well..... as you know, I am following a tree for a year... a Japanese Flowering Cherry ... in my garden.  See here for details.  But I thought I should follow one of the mighty beech trees in my village.  I knew exactly which one I wanted to follow..... I speak to 'him' almost every day.... and have done for almost 8 years.

When I first moved here there were two beech trees standing closely together (about 8 feet apart) but the other one, a copper-coloured beech, was taken down about 4 years ago due to disease.

Here you can see the present beech tree to the top left and the stump of the copper beech to the bottom right.

The reason I know I want to follow this particular beech tree is because I believe this will be the last year of its life!  And this will become clearer as I show you the pictures of this mighty tree.

I don't know how old this tree is and I suppose I should research it. 
But it has been the victim of vandalism.......

..... from humans.....

..... and nature.......

If we take a closer look at the scaring hole ...........

.... and closer still......

..... we can see what is doing the damage.  I know the photos aren't brilliant but if we look even closer.....

..... I think we can see woodworm activity going on.  It is all very sad.  But maybe the tree will survive this onslaught.  The tree produced hundreds and hundreds of beechnuts....... and some casings are still on the tree.......

This year's leaf buds have formed and are on all of the branches..........

..... so let's hope that this tree is a fighter.

Have a great weekend.  More blogging next week :-)

Blessings, Willow x

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Rippling loveliness

Just a tiny little blog today :-)

But I just can't contain myself..............

I am sooooo enjoying doing this ripple pattern :-))

have a good weekend of crochet, or walking, or eating, or sleeping.  whatever you are doing do it with love.

blessings, Willow x

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Saving trees ~ the planet ~ and 90p

I took a walk to the village on Tuesday.  The sun was shining and the skies were blue... but it was cold.  So I wrapped up warm and put on my rucksack to carry back my shopping.

There was once a great beech wood to the south of my village... before all the modern building began in the 1970s.  My house sits where once majestic trees graced the area.  I didn't know all this before I moved here.  But it makes me sad to know that nearly all of them were cut down to make way for housing estates......... and my house included.

When I moved to the village in 2004 there was still a few of these beautiful trees lining the side of the road from my house towards the village...... for half a mile.  Nearly all of them have been cut down now.... and in their place are large wooden stumps that once reached into the sky and gave us oxygen to breath in exchange for our 'polution' of carbon dioxide.  But the cycle of life still goes on as the trees have died so fungi comes to life.

Some fungi is pretty and some not so pretty.  Well this fugus falls into the latter...... and then some!

A bit closer............

........ and closer still.

There is ivy and twigs and all manner of stuff growing in it ... through it.... and around it.  Fascinating!

So.... as I said I walked to the village.  Here is the village.... looking towards the north.  Quiet isn't it?

I promised that I would keep you up to date with the restoration to our oldest pub.  Well here it is with all the scaffolding off.

It's not finished yet..... as you can see.  But the pavement has been altered and the road narrowed to accommodate the new bay window.  

 Let's hope it is worth all the disruption when it is completed.

Right across the road from the pub is a briliant green grocer and butcher.   I like to buy my vegetables from here as it is a little independant shop. 

As you can see they sell wood for the fire..... plants for the garden.... soil for pots..... milk for your tea.... cans of 'pop' for the young people...... and every sort of vegetable for me!!!

The little Westy isn't for sale................ unfortunately!

After buying all my veg, my bag was so heavy, I decided to catch the bus home.  Shhhh .... don't tell anyone ... but I got my over 60s bus pass earlier this year and still hadn't used it.   Before my illness I would have walked the mile home and enjoyed the 'work out' with the heavy bags.  But now I can't .... so I gave in and used my free bus travel pass.

So I saved my legs..... my energy..... and 90p....................... LOL

I would have been happier if I hadn't needed to have a 6" long paper ticket as well as a plastic pass.  I'd like to think that taking the bus would mean I was helping the planet....... but obviously bus companies don't know about saving trees.  Ah well...... can't save everything.

As you can see, the walk from the bus stop to my house is quite pretty.

And I saw daffodils peeking out from behind an ancient tree..........

........... and grape hyacynths hiding in the grass .......

Spring is definately here :-)

With all my talk of the once great beech wood I thought I would blog about one of those majestic trees later this week.

But for now I close with blessings to you all, Willow x

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The car flew over the moon?

Just a short blog today.  Been busy with bits and pieces which I'll blog about later.

A friend and I went to the theatre last night to see Top Girls.  Before we set off I took a picture of the beautiful moon.  It turned out to be one of my better photos of the moon.

Isn't our lady moon beautiful :-)

There was very little traffic on the road and we seemed to 'fly' along the roads and arrived at the theatre in plenty of time to have a coffee.   I was amused to see a car flying in the foyer.......

............ someone was in a hurry!

Will blog about today's happenings later.

blessings, Willow x

Sunday, 4 March 2012

I'm A Tree Follower

I love trees and have a favourite willow tree that resides on a nature reserve about half an hour from me.  I have been following it for about 5 years now.  I love the idea of Loose and Leafy's to follow a tree for a year in my blog...
Seems like a really good idea.  So I'll try to update you each month on my chosen tree. 

I decided that my tree won't be my willow tree as the new owners of the nature reserve have restricted access to the area where the willow is.  I think my 2012 tree will be a five foot high Japanese Flowering Cherry that I rescued from a garden centre last year.  It was in such a sorry state and was in the 'Bargain Bin' coz it looked almost dead.  Well it has survived the winter and is now bursting into leaf.  So this is my choice.

Here is my tree in July 2011 after a couple of months of taking care of it (terrible picture I know... but I can't find another one).

Now it is coming into leaf.

It has quite a bit of lichen on it.... so I hope it is going to be ok. 

A little closer to show the lichen ......

.... and closer still.

The picture below shows a different type of lichen on my tree......

.... and closer......

.... and very close up.

It looks like someone sculptured some plasticine or clay and stuck it on.

It is lovely to see the leaves developing. 

Perhaps by next month the tree will be in full leaf and have some blossom developing.

The above photos were taken yesterday in sunshine.  Today we have rain!

But I went out to see how much the cherry tree had changed..... and here is what I saw......

..... rain drops and cobwebs (do those leaves look more open to you?)............

...... and more rain drops like jewels ......

The rain totally changes the look of the tree doesn't it.  Makes things look brighter, fresher......... and tomorrow all will be clean again........... and, hopefully, the sun will come out again.

Hope you enjoyed hearing about my tree.  I may follow another tree as well, but I've yet to decide :-)

Perhaps you will let me know if you are following a tree and then I can come and have a look at your blog.

Have a wonderful week.  Blessings, Willow x

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Spring and St David's Day

It's been an interesting week this week.  Although the weather isn't unseasonally cold there has been very little activity in the nesting box with the camera.  This has been very disappointing.  But I am assured that things can only get better lol.

We've had a bit of sunshine this week and lovely blue sky on occasion........

The garden is looking good and all the plants seem to think it is time to come out of winter and welcome the Spring.

Japanese Flowering Cherry Tree

the Japanese Flowering Cherry is starting to burst out of it's winter hibernation..........

Evergreen Jasmine

..... the evergreen Jasmine that I planted last year is thickening up..........

.... and ladybirds are everywhere :-)

On Thursday it was St David's Day so I bought a couple of pots of those tiny daffodils...... they are so beautiful with their trumpets heralding the Spring.

Also on Thursday Dr David Hamilton was visiting Shipley Library to give a talk on his new book Choice Point so I decided to go along.  I caught the train at Garforth station where all the ironwork is painted red and cream......

..... it really brightens things up.

As I'd arrived too early to meet up with M... I decided to take a walk by the canal.......

..... the reflections were so lovely.

...... even the chimneys look great with these swans rippling the water.....

..... just magnificent..... and majestic!!!!

I met up with M..... and we headed off for something to eat before the talk. 

David Hamilton's talk was brilliant as always.  He is one of the top speakers I've ever had the pleasure to hear.  He is so inspiring and energising.  Here he is in a candid moment with his lovely partner Elizabeth as they sort out the video camera.  

If you are interested in David you will find snippets of his talks on YouTube...... for example ....... and lots of his books published by Hay House on Amazon, in book shops and in your local library.  My favourite book of his is 'It's The Thought That Counts'.  You can also find him on Facebook :-)

I stayed overnight with M as the talk didn't finish until 9.30pm .... so after chatting with David and Elizabeth and some others at the meeting (and getting my copy of David's book signed) we headed off at about 10pm to M's house.

Friday morning M went off to work and I came home to this..........

........... yes......... what was a beautiful dawn mist on the Pennines was thick fog at home!!!

Hope you are all having a lovely sunny weekend.

Blessings, Willow x