nature lessons

When I was a child, my family used to attend church regularly. The minister was a kind man who cycled round the town as he said it put him in closer contact with his parishioners than driving a car would. I don’t know how the adults felt about him, but I was a shy little girl and he must have been one of the few men I trusted.

Perhaps what I remember most is that he had a story for every occasion and could turn any situation into a learning experience without it coming across as heavy-handed or didactic.
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great oaks

They say great oaks from little acorns grow. Certainly the acorns I saw on my walk yesterday have triggered a chain of thought, which I think is likely to result in a a blog post of some length.

First of all, the first time I tried to translate that gem of traditional English wisdom into Spanish, I was met with blank stares.

Apparently, what I thought of as an acorn – una bellota – was never going to grow up into an oak tree – un roble. It was going to grow into an encina, which is a holm oak and, it seems, to those who raise livestock on the Spanish dehesa, that’s a pig of a very different colour.
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ruffled feathers

It’s autumn, and the hedgerows are bright with berries. But there are other flashes of red, too, competing with the bryony, hips and haws.

This feathery tangle is Robin’s pincushion, which I found on the wild roses around the racecourse.
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squaring up to the future

I’ve been writing this blog for a long time now – since some time back in 2007. And from the beginning I was determined that the content should all be original.

I’ve probably posted twice a week on average, and although I have quoted other people’s writing, I don’t think it’s ever really been the main heft of any blog post. As for photos, I’ve certainly used screen shots, but I can only think of a couple of pictures that I’ve taken from the web for purely illustrative purposes, which I don’t think is bad considering a quick check of the blog’s media library suggests I’ve used over two and a half thousand images.
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never the same twice

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of travelling on the railway line between Gloucester and South Wales, which runs for quite a long stretch beside the Severn Estuary.

I usually try to sit with my back to the engine, and preferably a window seat so I can look out at the river. Although the view is very familiar, I can seldom resist snapping a picture or two.

Sometimes it’s of the view back towards Gloucester.
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