About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Early spring up the meadow

It's a month since I last posted a blog about the meadow and the wood and the common and the golf course and the lane, and six weeks since I posted a seasonal round-up. We're still visiting our local place several times a week. It's been a saving grace through this pandemic, and now I've extra reason to be grateful, as I plan to write a pamphlet's worth of poems for my MA, exploring attachment to place. So I'm glad of this blog, which acts as a convenient scrapbook of the last year and a month. 

Over the last six weeks, winter has departed and spring has established a foothold, with blossom and flowers blooming fearlessly (albeit a little later than last year). 

Dog violets


Neither flowers or blossom but always interesting mares' tails

Pussy willow

Lady's smock


cowslips by the  pond


apple blossom

dead nettle with a carder bumble bee

first lovely hawthorn

hawthorn and bluebells, my favourite combination

The rookery is back in action, with lots of nest building activity going on in late March and eary April. There seem to be at least some birds in residence most of the day, and it's pretty noisy, so I guess hatching is underway.

The first chiffchaff made itself heard on 21st March, officially the first day of spring so very fitting and hugely welcome after the winter we've had.

The woodpeckers have also been much in evidence, though they've stopped finding everything quite so hilarious since they too have had eggs to sit on. Here's one video-bombing me and Cwtch. 

If that was a bit too fast for you, here's a freeze frame.

Before the golfers came back, I climbed down the steep but no longer icy slope into the moat around the northern end of the course and visited the old ash tree there. 

I still think it looks better from the top, though.

Meanwhile, the hollowing oak in the meadow is leafing very nicely ... 

... and the sun is heading north along the rim of Welsh hills towards its midsummer zenith. There have been some impressive sunsets ... 

... not least this one, which is worthy of Rothko, and happened a mere quarter of an hour after the previous photo.

We've seen foxes and rabbits out and about, and Cwtch came across the remains of a hedgehog yesterday, which suggests there might be badgers around too. 

The most exciting bit of wildlife spottery was a couple of weeks ago, when the Northerner advanced into a less frequented part of the Small Dark Wood of the Mind, as we think of it. 

Cwtch followed him, and suddenly, in the open space where I was waiting, I saw what I thought at first was a large greyhound leaping along the boundary, but which was actually a roe deer. (No photos, though, as I was too surprised and it was too quick.) 

We went back a day later but all we found was a ring of bark stripped from a young whitethorn and a scraped hollow in the ground. Nevertheless, it feels as if an ancient landscape has reasserted itself, and from now on that part of the wood will be known as the Grove of the Silver Chair, or, as Celtic legend might have it, Llwyn Y Gadair Arian. 

Mostly, though, Cwtch likes chasing jackdaws foraging in the field.

Lastly, we've also been down to Charlton Common, which is going to be built on, and which is beautiful in its scrubby, tussocky wildness. 

And that's about it. If you've got this far, thank you for your indulgence.


  1. Lovely...I do enjoy your rambles and the pics you share

    1. Thanks ... this last year has been an exercise in trying to find interest in the very local, hasn't it?

      At least you have the sea where you are. What a blessing.