Category Archives: landscapes

Think of a heron, always alone

There’s a collective noun for herons, a sedge or siege. But grey herons en masse? No, they don’t like company. Or so I thought. Continue reading

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The causeway and the wedding: ritual and hope on midsummer’s eve

First published in Earthlines magazine. Buy a subscription to support their wonderful work!  Steventon, Oxfordshire, June 2015. We would have been straight through and out the other side, were it not for the wedding we were going to in the … Continue reading

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Bare trees, soft light and a glimpse of the coming year

A version of this piece about winter was first published in English Garden magazine, when I worked as a horticulturist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew  You can almost feel the earth tilting towards the sun as we approach the end of winter. … Continue reading

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2015: thrice the kingfisher

I saw kingfishers along the river Crane three times this year. Each time I thought I’d burst. It’s amazing they’re thriving, given that the river has suffered four big ‘pollution incidents’ in the last four years.* The first glimpse of ice … Continue reading

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Clatter of corvids on a blustery day

I walk my neighbours’ dog Harry when I can. He’s about four I think, not the sharpest tool in the box, but quite polite and incurious as dogs go, and good undemanding company. We always head for the river. It’s … Continue reading

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Into the woods: early autumn in the fifth element

I’ve often thought of broadleaved woodland as the fifth element, somewhere between air and water. Continue reading

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Take a walk, Mrs Merkel: dispatch from high above the G7 summit

At the tree line on Mount Schachen on the last day of May it was noisy. The mountain was being prepared for total shutdown. If the G7 is all about soft diplomacy, then there’s a chance our leaders might be influenced by more visceral experience. Please, Mrs Merkel, take them for a walk. Continue reading

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