Sunday, July 29, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Which Craft?

Greetings. I have been unable to blog as much as I'd like of late....not an apology, just the first line of the 'word from me'; in fact I have had little time for much recently.

I have spent some quality time with family which is always a top priority and treasured event but have found myself a little confused to where the rest of the time goes, and what I would like to fit into it!

Above is a picture of my crafty pursuits. (Blimey that's a bright picture. If it looks likely to leave permanent retinal burn when posted I'll change it for a black and white version!)

Anyway, I play the guitar and have recently taken up the piano again, (top soundtrack and film for those who haven't seen The Piano by the way).

I have crocheted.......crocheyed......well you get the gist, for many years having been taught by my paternal grandmother but have recently started to push myself into more advanced crochet under the experienced and extremely skillful supervision of my Mum, and have also been taught to knit by my extremely skillful sister; aka Bowledover and Mac's Niece respectively. (Mac's Niece hopefully you cannot see the three dropped stitches there....I have unpicked and redone this bit several times, it's my learning garment!) I am also pursuing a hobby in photography and write poetry.

So, as I am now addressing a multi skilled audience my question is how do I do it or which craft!

So far it seems to go in stages for me but I really would like to give enough to something to feel that I had got really good at it.

I am posting this for a few reasons: a note for myself, a plea for a hidden answer that will make my days last longer, a get rich quick scheme that will allow my partner and I not to work and stay home and study trees and do crafty things!! Just how do you get it all done!

A final note. I did not include blogging in my list of crafty pursuits....actually I did not mention my other outdoor hobbies either although they are not really crafty....but I am grateful for the time I found this evening to blog, when I had something to say. I cannot yet put my finger on what it is I get out of blogging and why I love to do it...

As always any suggestions, comments, words of wisdom are ever gratefully received!

(By the way, the picture was too bright, this is the tamer version!)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday, July 13, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Monday, July 09, 2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Freedom!

For anyone who has not heard Alan Johnston was freed last night after 4 months of captivity! This is wonderful news to wake up to and I would like to extend my heart felt thanks to everyone who supported the campaign for his release. Welcome home Alan!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Assistance Required

Greetings. I have become dissatisfied with the appearance of my blog recently. I cannot find another template that I like and I lack the necessary skills to further develop my blog apart from adding columns of add-ons that I don't want.

My sister bought me a brilliant blogging book a while ago. I devoured it in the first .....well few days I think and feel I am ready for the next step.

The book I have is The Rough Guide to Blogging. Can anyone recommend another book to help me progress?

I am not adverse to learning html and have made a few steps there myself but there must be a book for this?!?!?There's a book for everything isn't there? All help gratefully received!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba

Weekly Six 25th June - 1st July 2007

This weeks 'weekly six' is dedicated to 'public open spaces'! Yesterday I went out with my camera to one of my favourite local parks. I used to work in local government as the tree officer and this was one of the parks that I looked after, my parade square if you like! Its been raining in England (really throughout all of it!) 'a hard cold rain. A kind of rain that washes away the grimy cover of would be villains and out into the darkness' .... sorry about that deviation anyway it has been raining for weeks now which has great effect on vegetation so everything looked verdant, albeit all to a grey backdrop!

I wish to pay tribute to parks and open spaces for the benefit they provide for all. This particular park is situated in the centre of a large, busy town however once inside the avenue of trees situated around the entire park boundary, the traffic sounds are replaced with bird song and you could be anywhere, for an hour or two.
This avenue leads into the western edge of the park and goes down to the largest lake. The avenue is a mixture of oak, beech, chestnut and sycamore.

This is the boating lake. I used to bring our dogs here a lot. It's a very dog friendly park and a good spot for a canine social! This is not my dog however when I heard the splash and turned I couldn't resist a picture.
The boating lake has an overflow down a stone stepped channel into the first of two lakes. The lakes have tree planted islands throughout them and are therefore densely populated at present by nesting birds and fledgelings of all variety.

There used to be a stand of white willow trees planted here next to the edge of the lake, seen here bottom left. They had to be removed for safety reasons and I decided to extend the planting area and put a good mix in. I was delighted to see that almost all of the plants have survived and are doing really well, as are most of the newly planted trees within the park. The tree guards were an experiment to prevent vandalism and are working well. It is really hard to get young trees established either due to vandalism or drought stress.

This is a view of the largest lake looking back up the park, the newly planed trees can just be seen bottom right. Where ever you are in the park the views are all of rolling grassland and beautiful mature trees. It is vital that tree planting is undertaken within these landscapes. Many of the park areas local government manage were formally Victorian estates, as this was, therefore 150 years ago they were maintained to the highest level with a staff extensive enough to attend to the lawns, the flower beds and rose garden, the lakes and avenues. However, due to dreadfully low resources in all aspects of local government such areas are often now maintained to a much lesser standard and tree planting particularly can become a low priority.
There are many features that make this park and no doubt anyone who goes in it will have a different favourite aspect or area however the mature tree cover is of a similar age and without it this would be a totally different environment. Establishing a mixture of species and age variety now provides that replacement landscape for when it's needed.

This is a mulberry, rumoured to originate from a cutting of Shakespeares' mulberry tree in Stratford. I cannot confirm this however a nice story I thought. It had been propped for years due to stem failure but looks beautiful every year and bares very tasty fruit.
This is the formal lawn in the upper park where the major's of the town have historically had a tree planted for them at the end of their term. The lawn is full now so the trees go elsewhere in the upper park.
This is one of my favourite inhabitants of the park. The grey squirrels here are very playful. There is actually another squirrel about 1m up looking down however he snuck behind a branch as I took this. Many people visit the park to feed the squirrels or birds. I have always enjoyed feeding birds myself. There is a lake near me where you can stand and feed the birds and you are completely surrounded by a congregation of all sorts with swans at the front taking food from your hands and if you sit down and let them smaller birds on your knee. It is an awesome experience to be that close and involved with another creature, especially a wild creature. Ok so we are not talking really wild but I think you can get the same pleasure from interacting with any living creature. Animals have always been a big part of my life and whether it's sheep in a field next door or eagles halfway up a mountain I treasure every minute that I get to witness them in their environment.
Anyway, that was my park visit, obviously there were lots more photos but it is the weekly six and I think I picked the best of the day.

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