Saturday, January 23, 2016

A new beginning?

A return, after a long rest, to the Square Metre, perhaps inspired by this from Paul Harrison's book Elements of Pantheism:
  • When we go to unfamiliar places or landscapes, almost everyone does for a time look at things more closely. But we should be able to look at our garden or local park as naively and attentively as if it were a tropical rainforest or a host of penguins on an iceberg.
Also, perhaps, because I have bought a pair of waterproof, fur-lined boots with cherry red, spat-like tops which makes travelling to and fro easier and more comfortable.

Today was a fine and frosty midday visit with the sun striking through bare winter branches. Emthree looks a bit untidy after a year or so of relative neglect but, of course, it is still there and has been following its own dynamic

A particularly noticeable feature was the large number of fine flat bright green sorrel leaves spread on the ground (see photo above). I think this may be to do with the number of cats that have, as mentioned in May 2015, been active in the area and have seen off all the rabbits and other creatures that might relish a sorrel leaf. Whilst I am not happy about cats in gardens and the wider environment (except for their ratting abilities) the coming year will give me an opportunity to evaluate their effect on Emthree which, I suspect, might be substantial.

It was cold, so I did not do much. But I cut back some of the long whips of bramble which had snaked over the higher branches of the medlar, the ash and other trees and were close to finding a rooting place on the ground. The twigs on the medlar are developing a good crop of lichens as their morbidity increases. I identified a piece of Evernia prunastri on the ground and will have a go at the others when I get a chance. The Key to lichens on twigs from the Natural History Museum should be helpful in this context.

Some of the vegetation to the south west of the medlar was cut back during the summer and this has let more light come in underneath the tree. The gladdon and tutsan are doing well here and there is a number of foxgloves.  In the picture below there are not only gladdon berries but herb bennet, tutsan, ivy, broad buckler fern and common smoothcap moss: a promise of things to come.