Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Our Four-Legged Friends


By Maxine Bailey Jul 1, 2022

Poem for Pet Remembrance Day 2022 (5th July), to honour our wonderful pets who have passed over the Rainbow Bridge.

We don’t really need a special day to remember them do we, they are in our hearts every day.  Written with my recently lost and much loved Miniature Schnauzer in mind, but also for all pet owners out there who have loved and lost.

Our Four-Legged Friends

If I close my eyes tight
I can see your sweet face
There’s a hole in my heart
That nothing can replace

It’s better to have loved
And lost, so they say
We sure had some good times
Back in the day

From the very first moment
I set eyes on you
You made me so happy
You hadn’t a clue

You were my snuggle bunny
My loyal furry friend
Our walks in the countryside
I never wanted to end

You helped me to smile
If my mood became low
We walked through the seasons
Come rain, shine or snow

I taught you some tricks
You were so keen to please
You were such a mischief
A joy and a tease

You would jump on the sofa
At the end of each day
Till bedtime we’d snuggle
And the world felt less grey

I just don’t understand
Why each dog year is seven
Please jump on a rainbow
And come down from heaven

My loyal companion
I just want you to know
I still love you more
Than you could possibly know

© Maxine Bailey

Monday, 4 July 2022

My Thrush

by Mortimer Collins
Artist Lesley Mclaren.
All through the sultry hours of June,
From morning blithe to golden noon,
And till the star of evening climbs
The gray-blue East, a world too soon,
There sings a Thrush amid the limes.
God's poet, hid in foliage green,
Sings endless songs, himself unseen;
Right seldom come his silent times.
Linger, ye summer hours serene!
Sing on, dear Thrush, amid the limes!
Nor from these confines wander out,
Where the old gun, bucolic lout,
Commits all day his murderous crimes:
Though cherries ripe are sweet, no doubt,
Sweeter thy song amid the limes.
May I not dream God sends thee there,
Thou mellow angel of the air,
Even to rebuke my earthlier rhymes
With music's soul, all praise and prayer?
Is that thy lesson in the limes?
Closer to God art thou than I:
His minstrel thou, whose brown wings fly
Through silent ether's summer climes.
Ah, never may thy music die!
Sing on, dear Thrush, amid the limes!

May be an image of bird and nature

Sunday, 3 July 2022

Lunch for mum

 Main course

Salmon Traybake


Greek salad   


Crustless mushroom Quiche

Rice and Halloumi salad



Pear Frangipane Tart with vanilla ice cream

Cheese and biscuits

To drink - Pimms


A glass of Pimm's cocktail

Herby rice with roasted veg, chickpeas & halloumi

Study suggests existence of up to 2.1m ancient and veteran trees in England

 Researchers find there could be many more ancient trees than previously recorded, amid calls for better protections

An ancient oak tree in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire.
An oak tree is considered to be ancient when it reaches 400 years of age. Photograph: d-mark/Alamy

There could be more than 2m ancient and veteran trees in England, many times more than previously recorded, researchers have found.

Campaigners are calling on the government to give ancient trees the same protections as wildlife and old buildings.

A study by the University of Nottingham has found there could be 1.7m to 2.1m ancient and veteran trees in England, of which only 115,000 are on record. Most of these are unlikely to be protected by any conservation methods, policy or legislation, so it is impossible to know how many are at risk.

Now, using work from the Woodland Trust, the researchers have estimated where these trees could be. To create a map, scientists used an ancient tree inventory created by the trust, and created a number of different mathematical models, called species distribution models, to predict where the trees may be.

Veteran trees in Wistman’s Wood national nature reserve in Devon, England.
Many of the trees estimated to exist in the study are likely to be unprotected. Photograph: Mike Read/Alamy

Some of these models used predictors including distance from cities, distance from roads, and population density, as well as environmental factors, to identify places where ancient woodland exists but has not been identified.

Volunteers were sent to random places on the map and asked to sample for ancient woodland, and the models that most matched this random sampling were selected. Inaccessible places contained 100% more trees than previously found, meaning areas across England are likely to have a large number of ancient trees which have not been recorded, as they have not been searched.

Dr Victoria Nolan, one of the lead researchers on the study, said: “The findings from the surveys provide an insight into the number of species and type of trees that are present in different areas of the country. They also were able to be used to calibrate the models and provide estimates of the total number of ancient and veteran trees across England.

An ancient yew, thought to be about 1,000 years old, in Beltingham churchyard, Northumberland.
An ancient yew, thought to be about 1,000 years old, in Beltingham churchyard, Northumberland. Photograph: Wellwoods/Getty/iStockphoto

“Based on the best-performing distribution models, these estimates predict 2m ancient and veteran trees, which is an amazing increase on what is currently recorded. It also suggests there is a lot more recording to do, but by having these more accurate prediction maps, targeted surveying will make it much easier to find them.”

To be classed as ancient, a tree must be exceptionally old for its species. For example, an oak tree is ancient when it reaches 400 years of age, and is considered a veteran tree at 150. Birch trees, on the other hand, grow very quickly and reach ancient status at 150. Yews are not deemed ancient until they are about 800.

Sign up to First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BST

Features of an ancient tree include a hollowing trunk, other organisms such as fungi or plants in its structure, or dead wood in the canopy. The dead wood they contain is a very important source of habitat for wildlife. Many have irreplaceable historic or cultural value.

Despite their functions as carbon sinks and wildlife havens, there is no protection for ancient or veteran woodland unless it has been found to harbour other rare wildlife, or if it is subject to a tree protection order or is sited in a legally protected wildlife area. An estimated 20% of ancient and veteran trees are in such areas, so most have no legal protection.

Wooded slopes in Padley Gorge in the Peak District national park, Derbyshire, England.
Despite trees’ functions as carbon sinks, there is no protection for ancient woodland unless it has been found to harbour rare wildlife. Photograph: Lee Beel/Alamy

The Woodland Trust is calling on the government to include such protections to cover all ancient trees in its new green paper on nature recovery in England.

Adam Cormack, head of campaigning at the Woodland Trust, said: “It’s remarkable that this research suggests we are yet to find most of the UK’s ancient trees, the cathedrals of the natural world. They’re out there somewhere – hidden in field corners, woods, hedges, even gardens and parks. Volunteers have done an amazing job to map thousands so far and this research is the inspiration to redouble our efforts.

“But it is also worrying because these trees don’t have the automatic legal protection that most of our wildlife and old buildings have. This is despite the fact some are more than 1,000 years old. These astonishing trees are our inheritance from history, and we should be treating them like national treasures. We are petitioning governments across the UK for better protection for our most ancient and important trees and to do more to support people who are looking after them.”

Saturday, 2 July 2022

Hermann Hesse


🎂 Happy birthday to Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist and poet who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. The main theme of his work is the individual’s efforts to break out of the established modes of civilization so as to find an essential spirit and identity. 👇
"Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest."
"If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us."
"Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else ... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it."
"Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours."
"I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me."
May be an image of 1 person and book