Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Thirty days wild. June 24th

The best thing that you can do for nature is too make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.

watching me_

I’m not sure who was watching who?


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Thirty days wild. June 11th

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_11

The best thing that you can do for nature is too make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.

 

The hawthorn blossom took its time arriving this year, but its here now.

Hawthorn_

and looking rather spectacular.

And the first ox-eye daisy is in flower in the field. I do like a daisy.

ox-eye


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Thirty Days Wild. June 1st

30 days wildTWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_01

The best thing that you can do for nature is to make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild…

 

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust I endeavour to bring you a post everyday, given my recent blogging performance this will be a bit of a challenge, but I’m up for it; 30DW (not to be confused with WD40) bring it on.

30DW Rowan_

 

As this is to  be a multisensory experience, I can tell you that what I’ve discovered today is that rowan blossom is perfumed. When I was gardening yesterday afternoon I noticed a sweet smell, I couldn’t work out what it was (even though I was beneath  a rowan!)  This morning Spud the dog and I went down to the copse of trees at the bottom of the field where there are three rowan trees full of foaming blossom, the scent was glorious.


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Blight and Blossom

Here we are May 14th and the blossom struggling to break out.

Some features of spring are as they should be, across the valley I can see small flockettes of lambs zipping around the fields, they may be in playful mode, they may just be trying to keep warm, its difficult to tell; from this distance it’s like watching an early video game.

So what blossom have I found? A snow flake of wild plum

A dash of blossom -1

A claw set cluster of crab apple, so near yet so far, as the weather is cold and wet, it may even snow tonight.

A dash of blossom 3-1

I’d a plan to post about blossom in April, I’d have posted beautiful blossom and then delivered seamless segue into beautiful music,  however nature has been slow off the mark, but the music can wait no longer.

Recently we were fortunate enough to have a real gem of an evening of live music, it was a tiny village hall sized affair where we saw Ashley Hutchins and his son Blair Dunlop perform. I’m sure sure Blair’s  musical future is much bigger than village halls (Ashley’s is already in the bag).  Blair’s album is called  Blight and Blossom.

Blair has a  linage of music and poetry,  it is in his  very DNA and, as my mum would say, ‘what’s in tree comes out in the branches’. Enjoy.

It was touching to see (no, make that feel, it was an emotion that was palpable in the hall) Ashley’s pride in his sons performance and craft (and if its not pushing the tree metaphor a tad too far, it was a moment, a memory, to be laid down in the heart wood of the tree.)


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Family Tree

We spent yesterday morning felling a tree. We’ve had chainsaw adventures before, but this was a different beast to slay. Mainly because of its proximity to the house, the oil tank, two drystone walls, the telephone line and us! Also to be factored in to the equation was the size of the tree, 44 feet.

Christmas tree 2-1

It was a carefully researched mission, there was only one way it could fall.

There was much measuring of angles, a rope attached with a couple of strapping teenagers hanging on the end.

Christmas tree 3-1

A ‘cheese’ taken out of the trunk, some strategic cuts and then, with some tugging, down she came.

Christmas tree 4-1

It is hard to remember that when we first moved into the house,  this tree was so small we used to drape the it with lights at Christmas, an exercise that needed no ladders.

Christmas tree 5-1

 

Christmas tree 7-1

It was quite a nerve wracking task. The boys were quite giddy when the mission was accomplished.

giddy-1 

By the end of the morning, we’d worked it down to just the ‘spine’.

Christmas tree 11-1


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Iced Plum Jam

The deep freeze continues. But there are buds of hope. Jammy the kitten-cat would like to show you, look he’s pointing.

Jammy and buds-1

Tiny blossoms are lying in wait.

wild plum -1

Here is the same tree on the 28th March 2011  it looks a little different, frosted granted, but not marooned in snow and ice. I think it’s wild plum, look I’ve even found a recipe for a recipe for wild plum blossom ice cream, written by Blanche Vaughn (I really couldn’t line up any more snowy, white  icy themes if I tried).

The snow isn’t going anywhere fast, here is the lane to our house.

snow filled lane 2-1

Here is Jammy tip-toeing through the snow.

Snow kit-1

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