Challenging Habitat Blog

The light is beautiful.

I seize the moment and extend my morning outing with my dog to a walk along the river.

I am rewarded by the touch of morning sun on my face and two owls calling in the ancient woodland on the Devon bank.

A snipe flits off, startled.

Happiness comes from feeling gratitude for the moments of connecting with nature.

I smile.

Almost like a watercolour painting.

Only better: it’s real.

A little farther than strictly local, I stretched my range a little beyond 7 miles to enjoy a good walk along the Cornish coast.

Blackthorn like a bridal wreath

Beautiful, uplifting, entertaining and even more so because I enjoyed this scene with a friend and our dogs.

The blackthorn is starting to blossom in sheltered spots.

Soon, the delicate detail of individual flowers will be masked by the snowstorm-like appearance of white bloom along hedges and motorways.

Tiny droplets of mist settled on this daisy.

Pretty in the mizzle.

The violets are out today,

perhaps to greet all who nurture (it is mother’s day in the UK),

perhaps to delight those who stop and notice,

and certainly to just be.

What a sky!

The clouds look as unreal as some of the old master’s paintings.

Only it’s right here and now, in nature, no need for a gallery to be open (not that there are any…)

Blue sky, sunshine and a fresh wind in my face: happy moments and feeling alive.

Cold weather rewards:

I love those little towers of ice extruded from the soil during a mild frost.

I say ‘extruded’ because they are all topped with a little crown of soil (or an acorn), indicating that they have been pushed up.

Perhaps when the ground freezes and the water expands into ice, it can only go up, slowly building overnight?

Near running water, these little sculptures grows to an inch or two before curling over under their own weight (or perhaps in the wind?).

The delicate structure suggest that strands of ice rise from individual soil pores and grow together…

…but if there is anybody reading this who actually knows how they come into being, please get in touch.

Cornish daffodils of the finest sort: pretty, hardy, early and intoxicatingly scented!

The subtle scent and bright yellow of the witch hazel in my garden is always a cheerful boost in mid-January, the (apparently) longest and darkest of months.

This year, it is doubly welcome!!!

Caradon Hill is just about 7 miles from my parish, and what’s good enough for Boris is good enough for me (well, I’ll restrict that to distance permitted to venture from home during lockdown, nothing else).

So off I went and enjoyed rambling over to the Cheesewring, avoiding paths and and taking a long route back via the Hurlers, a neolithic monument of three circles of standing stones.

Good air, spectacular views and space!

Plenty of industrial heritage, too: abandoned granite quarries with the sleepers of their tramlines more or less intact and engine houses that serviced the metal mining industry of the late 19th and early 20th centuries partially ruined.

The only industry that remains today is hill farming, and who knows how long that will survive now, without EU grants and subsidies?

There are some good things about winter.

One is that you don’t have to get up at 4:30 to see a great sunrise.

And during lockdown, all is quiet at 7:30.


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