December 06, 2010
Walking the dog this morning, in temperatures of -6 degrees centigrade, (-17 this morning just an hour or so north of us!), had the twin benefits of mud-free paws and boots and the most gorgeous display of proper hoar frost, spikey on the ground and granulating the surface of grasses and leaves. The watery river area behind our house, an ancient landscape of reeds and common-land, was iced to bleak perfection.
This short photographic wander starts (above) and ends in our garden, but the others are all down at the reed-beds, which in the dead of winter do have a very mysterious, primeaval look about them, like a scene from Narnia or Lord of the Rings, but utterly English and rooted in local history at the same time.
Less than half a mile from its source, the spring-fed chalk stream meanders around, soaking the land all around, and making it useless for development, which has kept it, in turn, a place suggestive of a disappearing rural way of life, half remembered histories, and undisturbed wanderings of kingfishers, herons and a host of other birds, butterflies, moths, newts, toads, voles, insects and other creatures. Long Horn cattle graze the "Cow Common" as they would have done in the Middle Ages, when this was the common-land where villagers and townspeople were allowed to graze their cattle. The reeds, sedges and rushes were all harvested for centuries until the 1920s when demand for these products dwindled away. It is now a nature reserve, and very closely resembles the ancient landscape it was in centuries gone by. This is all the more suprising since it is only a few fields away from the edge of our local market town. When nature is given an inch, she takes a mile, thankfully.
**Since this is a post of whites and greys and of hogweed and wildness, it seems a fitting moment to show you my new Wild Acre logo, finally back from the printers. I am dizzy with delight over them, and hope you like them too. I think they are exactly the Wild Acre style.
I have the same for the jewellery, just saying "hand-made jewellery by belinda norrington" on the front. The webpage should be up and running by the new year I hope! **