open the curtains

and take a look out the window if you want to know what the weather's like


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Deciduous Coniferous

2012.11.09 Coniferous vs. broadleaf

Idless Wood, Truro

As we stepped out of the car Annie and I were greeted by at least five dogs of varying shapes, sizes, ages and muddiness who were making their way from the gateway into Idless Wood across the car park. Two women followed behind, calling them to their car which was parked next to ours. While they attempted to bundle their entire pack into the boot of a single (Fiesta-ish sized) car, we released Luna from her puppy pen on the back seat. At thirteen weeks old she was tiny in comparison to the aged and well-fed beasts that came enthusiastically to sniff her face (the women were not succeeding in getting them car-bound), but being a whippet she looked extra waif-like next to them. Don’t worry said one of the women as Luna quivered on her skinny legs and tried to get back in the car, when you’re grown up you’ll be able to outrun all of them in a flash.

Idless Wood or St Clement’s Wood, is a Forestry Commission managed patch of broadleaved woodland and larch plantation. On entering by the main path we were met with Forestry Commission signs advising us of their usual tree cutting practices; along another posing the question Why are all the trees dying? Continue reading

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An ArboreAlbum (for National Tree Week)

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This gallery contains 15 photos


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A Little Lesson from the Ash Crisis

Yesterday at work I informed a customer that by not taking a plastic bag they were doubly aiding the natural environment as in addition to reducing plastic waste they were contributing to the enhancement of the great British outdoors through the company’s policy of donating a penny for every bag Not used to the Woodland Trust. Does that mean one more ash tree gets saved then? Quipped the customer in question. Let’s hope so, I replied, though it occurred to me as I said it that even though I am familiar with the species as being one of the more common trees of British woodland I wasn’t entirely sure what one looked like. I love trees, but will shamelessly own up to being woefully under-informed when it comes to matters of dendrology.

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River Fal 8: Inland Estuary

– Tolverne Reach – Lamorran Woods – Sett Bridge and Ruan Lanihorne (where?)

The further up the Fal Estuary I go the fewer the rivers I find it starts to be comprised of. At Tolverne I could follow the westerly branch up to Malpas, where the Heron Inn overlooks the junction of the Truro and Tresillian Rivers, and the pub’s avian namesakes roost in the trees on the opposite bank or stand still in the shallows waiting to spear their next meal. I could even go by boat, as cruises run all the way up to Truro during high tide. Instead I choose the easterly branch to find the tidal limit of the true Fal. Along this stretch it’s known as the Fal-Ruan, as it combines the two rivers of these names. I plan to walk, sticking as close to the riverside as I can, following a path marked on my map that skirts the woodland edge of the land between the Truro River and the Fal. But people make plans and the Lord laughs, or so the saying goes. Lord Falmouth that must be in this case, owner of the Tregothnan estate that covers much of that area and whose estate managers have foiled my attempts to assert my right to roam with their gates and very inaccessible private land. It’s fitting that the main photograph used on estate propaganda is that of a garden door ajar, a beam of sunlight glancing through the gap from within. I discovered that guided tours of the gardens are available but only to those with a spare fifty quid in their back pocket: clearly this garden door is half closed and not half open.

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