Saturday, December 24, 2016

Just stopping by on Christmas Eve

The light is fading now and the fire is lit. The presents are wrapped and ready beneath a twinkling tree. Soon it will be that time that the old tales tell of, when the birds and beasts talk in human language in the magical hours between Christmas eve night and Christmas day in the morning. That special time. Don't forget to listen... ;)
I had meant to do another longer blog post before Christmas arrived but sadly I didn't find the time as things have been so busy here and now I have caught that cold that has been doing the rounds. So for now I will just wish you dear readers a very Merry Christmas. May it be peaceful and filled with joy and goodwill. Thank you for reading

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December Trees and Woodland Decorations

December beauty, away from the tinsel and lights and Christmas tunes that play on a loop in the shops. The apple trees have their own tinsel all year round, silvery bleached greens of lichen, emerald green moss and boozy fermented crab apples that have stayed firm and clung on in the wind. 
I have grown attached to these trees and others in the garden. I have known them now for 18 years. They are friends and I speak to them and tell them they are looking beautiful as the seasons change. I have watched them grow. Some are old and some not so, (the Hazel we grew from a nut) My children have played beneath them, had picnics, camped and climbed the bigger ones and they have grown up with them.  Now they are young adults and the trees are still here watching quietly when they return home, growing their apples, nuts and berries. The wood pigeons have their favourite perch and the blackbird and robin use all. The thrush likes to use the top branches of the cherry tree to sing his evensong. I have told my woody friends about other trees I've met on my travels, about the small twisted oaks in Wistmans Wood with the lichen as long as faerie hair and I'm sure they seemed to have grown their lichen more abundantly since the tale was told?
When I was a child running and playing in woods and jumping streams, we used the language of the field. Our maps were plotted out using the trees, the big beech on the edge of the wood, that my Mum had carved her initials in when she was a child, the huge elm we made a swing on. We knew which nut tree gave the best harvest, whether they were small clusters, fivers, or large cobs, We knew where the walnut tree was and the cherry trees and where the best apples were to scrump and our meeting place was the lightening tree, an old dead tree, bleached like a bone, that had been struck by lightning years before. And a holly tree always held a certain magic to me, a feeling I could never really explain? Now  I am lucky to have three of them in this garden.
December is the only time of year when we bring a tree 'intact' inside our home, to decorate and hang beautiful things on in celebration. It's also the time when trees are revealed again. Their silhouettes return us to the winter landscape once more and their real beauty is uncovered. Winter light and shadows on sleeping trees and icy bare branches. One of my loves of Winter. Everything is framed so perfectly.
Although I love the frost and cold. I'm hoping this year for milder days. Robin Goodfellow my dear feathered friend, I think has mites? He is scratching and losing his feathers which of course is not a good thing to do at this time of year. It is either that or fighting, as I've seen him chasing another Robin off.  Constant replenishing of food will help to keep him warm. I can't help but worry though. He needs a scarf like you see the Robins on Christmas cards wearing... Sadly he doesn't look the picture perfect 'Robin on the card' this year but that's life, I still love him dearly however he looks.  
Inside the house, I have brought the woodland in. Toadstools, birds, fox , squirrel and deer decorate the room.  
Now if only Robin would come in and keep warm like this other one. 
I don't normally have flowers with the Christmas decorations, but it was my Birthday the other day, hence the ones on the table.  :)
The little fir tree sits twinkling in the corner. Just the mistletoe to get now. ..