reflection Uncategorized


Gathering my thoughts in the woods today, also seeing and hearing interesting things


spindle trees

I planted trees just after I moved here 14 years ago. I planted the trees in the area all around our back garden gate, on the land that belongs to our local authority – it used to be coal board land. I had grown them all from seeds and cuttings with a friend where I used to live, and I brought some here and I dug holes and I stuck them in the holes. It used to be a metal-workers yard, it is quite hard to make a hole, they were more like shallow scratchings, but I did my best.

I didn’t ask pemission. I didn’t use any special methods or technologies. I didn’t make a fuss or care for the trees in almost any way. But I do pay attention and watch them grow.

The poplar that I planted is the furthest away. It is taller than the houses and has huge silver leaves that turn to gold at this time of year.

The crabs have an abundance of apples each year, and their blossoms are a local landmark by now. They were from the same batch, and planted next to one another, but their shapes are almost opposite. One is tall and graceful, one short and solid. They were labelled damson anyway, so that puts me in my place.

The horse chestnut and the beech and the birch are all tall and beautiful young trees now.

The willow and the dogwood might be my favourites. They grow their branches across the track, which scratches the caravans of the man who parks all his caravans up the top end of the track – in the area he has marked off. He cuts the branches back. I think the fences and signs made him feel like he owns the land, but it will be there long after he is gone.

And the spindle trees. The spindles have had a set back, after being cut to the ground gratuitously by a man from the council in a tractor digger. It meant that they had to grow back – and that means that they are not as tall and stately as they might be. But I have enjoyed their colours so very much, and I have little else to show you for today, although I feel like something is coming into fruitfulness – something that I will try to share very soon. So anyway, here is to the spindle trees.

art drawing

large tree drawings

Today’s post is just a signpost to my large tree drawings, which I did around this time last year:

Have a look at my tree drawings projects page if you’d like to see more.

art light

looking up

On the coal spoil heap by the playing fields. Looking up.

art video

oak tree

A short video that is influenced by talking with some amazing people in the ‘Akimbo’ creatives workshop, including artist Jamuna Barry – and some writing and images that she made, about the ways in which trees and fungi help one another, or otherwise. Silently, and underground.

Here is a link to Jamuna’s blog post about the ‘wood-wide-web’: