Posts

Life is great & there's lots of it!

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This a lot of life - where did it come from?
I sometimes find it instructive to look at an area and think what it would like without the living things. In short it would look similar to the dead, rocky surface of the moon.

Life has bestowed upon this, would be, barren surface a green cloak of living organisms. The breathing, growing, reproducing, eating, feeding, singing, scurrying, flying, flowering, beautiful exuberance – that is nature...

…and it all originates in space. Green plants trap the sun’s energy by photosynthesis allowing living things to rearrange atoms on the earth into living structures. These atoms ultimately originated in “The Belly of a Star” - almost every element on Earth was formed at the heart of a star.

I put a video explaining this process in a previous post Wren Song an Echo of the big bang

How were these numbers arrived at?


Birds
I know the numbers of birds on the patch more accurately than any other group as I’ve counted them! So I can say with a reasonable…

Word Magic

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"I know each lane, and every valley green. Dingle, or bushy dell, of this wildwood" - Milton
Arranweb Spider's Web; Lancashire Dialect Bleb An air bubble in ice; perhaps a variant of 'blob' Carr Damp woodland with alder or willow; Middle English

I been inspired recently by two wonderful books, Rober Mcfarlanes’s  “Landmarks
and Dominick Tyler’s “Uncommon Ground: a word-lover's guide to the British landscape”.  Both books explore the potency our nature language – the words that describe the places, hills, waters, weather, paths, fields and wildlife of our countryside.
I have compiled an A-Z of the patch, with terms that home in on a specific detail. These kinds of precise words help us to notice things, that might otherwise be overlooked, they root us in the landscape, give us a sense of place, they perform a kind of word-magic.
Delf Something that has been dug, such as a ditch, pit, mine, or grave; Old English Eawl-Leet (Owl-Light) The first l…

Birds of Summer - music track

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‘Chiff chaff' those two notes change everything.

From about the second week in March, I strain my ears – willing those magical notes to come out  of the dawn.  My wildlife highlight of the year is hearing the first chiffchaff – every year. it’s a ritual with me.

What makes it so special?  The Chiffchaff is usually the first of the summer migrants I encounter. It’s heralds a mass immigration.  A glorious influx of avian biomass from the South. Small feathered  creatures that maybe only days earlier were sharing African savannahs with Attenborough-bothering mega-fauna.





As bird songs go, it’s not much to write home about –  monotonous in fact. I can’t help thinking that if I'm reincarnated  as a Chiffchaff, I might mix it up a bit – throw in the odd ‘Chuff'.  Maybe even do a remix.
Still, magical it remains.  The patch isn’t quite the same.  What was wintery and grey is given a sheen of spring. The world is suddenly brighter – replete with possibilities – it actually feels w…

Dog Rose Dance - it's Shrubstep!

AKA Rose Hip Hop

I got the melody by placing staves on the photo, so hips become notes.

ALL the sounds were produced by the rose (with my help) - samples of dropping hips, hitting & sloshing branches, striking a guitar etc - changed pitch of samples, put samples through effects etc.

Here's what they didn't say about Shrubstep

"It's the freshest new genre around ..based on small trees and/or shrubs"
The Sunday Times of Flnnnrff

"This music will tear a big hole in the fabric"
Bricking for Pleasure & Profit

"Who'd have thunk it, etc"
The Thinking Mans's Crumpet's Friend

"naa mate!!"
Hansard

Buds Ahoy!

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I was asked if could produce the bud gallery below as a high resolution poster - it can be
downloaded here  It's an A2  PDF (which is 4 times A4, but the will resize to A3 or A4).

Dutch version (Tranlastion Joost Geraets)
Danish version
Norwegian version (Translation Anders Often)



Lichens on Trees - common, easily identifiable species
high resolution poster - it can be
downloaded here




A Hawthorn bud, bursting over the course of two weeks


If buds are an arboreal version of a bird’s egg, then the miniature shoots are the chicks encased in eggshells.  All over patch these embryonic shoots are breaking out.

It’s one big beautiful budburst!

The explosion of fresh green foliage is a such a notable feature of springtime that it’s easy to forget that the buds were products of the previous year’s growing season.

Trees have come up with a clever strategy. As soon as the days start of lengthen, and temperatures rise, conditions for photosynthesising to return  - so  ‘hit the photosynthetic ground …