Tag Archives: forest

The Ladies’ Mile, Swinley Forest

Monday 13th February 2023, 11.35am (day 4,190)

Ladies' Mile, 13/2/23

Day off work today and glorious weather, so I got out and bagged the latest County Top: this one lying in the vast expanse of Swinley Forest, south of Bracknell in Berkshire. The ‘Ladies’ Mile’ was this seemingly endless, dead straight path; this view epitomising the day, both for the trees and also the large number of dogs running free, their owners largely oblivious.

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Dull day

Monday 14th November 2022, 10.05am (day 4,099)

Dull day, 14/11/12

A dull day in every sense. The glorious sunshine that we experienced on Saturday has been replaced by grey mist and drizzle. This explains a lot about the British psyche. Don’t get used to it being nice, because within a couple of days it’ll all turn to crud again.

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The interior

Saturday 20th November 2021, 12.25pm (day 3,740)

Time to do some exploring. It’d be nice if the weather improved — even the locals are complaining that it should be sunnier and warmer by this time in the year — but at least the drizzle gives this shot a nicely melancholy atmosphere. This is taken almost in the very centre of the island, very close to where Edmond Halley, the famous astronomer, set up an observatory in 1677.

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Hebden hillside

Sunday 6th September 2020, 2.05pm (day 3,300)

Hebden hillside, 6/9/20

Hebden Bridge does have its verticals, and we don’t normally see the sight depicted here as our house lies a (scale) inch or so off to the left of this shot.  This was taken from the other side of the valley, on the Heptonstall road.

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On the edge of the woods

Monday 20th August 2018, 10.30am (day 2,552)

Out of the woods, 20//8/18

No commentary on this shot other than to say I like it for somehow symbolising the road that out of darkness leads up into the light. Or something like that.

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Forest of Bowland

Wednesday 27th December 2017, 1.50pm (day 2,316)

Forest of Bowland, 27/12/17

Took the scenic route over to the in-laws’ in Morecambe today. Between home and there lies the Forest of Bowland — most of which isn’t covered in trees at all, this photograph is actually atypical. Nice drive to do in pleasant weather though. The year coasts towards its end placidly enough.

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Edge of the forest

Thursday 21st December 2017, 12.50pm (day 2,310)

Felled plantation, 21/12/17

Commercial forestry is not inherently a bad thing: there are many beautiful and well-managed plantations in England. But there are prices to pay, and when you see a ravaged landscape like this one — well, it does make you realise that this is not nurtured land. More like arboreal strip-mining, take the products and leave a wasteland behind. In this mist it looks almost apocalyptic, like the zombies are just over the horizon. Maybe one day Treebeard will stomp out of the remaining woods, like he does in The Two Towers, and swear vengeance against the human despoilers.

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Baba Yaga’s storehouse

Monday 5th June 2017, 5.15pm (day 2,111)

Baba Yaga hut, 5/6/17

In the near six years that I have been doing this blog, my spreadsheet reveals I have been to Russia on twelve separate occasions, and I know I went there at least four times before August 2011. And in all those sixteen occasions I have never been outside Moscow or its immediate environs (airports mainly).

This time is an exception. I currently reside in Khanty-Mansiysk, at 61ºN, 69ºE approximately: thus firmly behind the Urals, and in Siberia. (If Siberia, even by its most conservative definition, was a separate country it would still be the biggest one in the world.) What did I expect this place to look like — in the summer at least? Well, this pretty much sums it up. This is not out in the genuine taiga — this being a Russian academic conference they can never resist the ‘cultural programme’ so we were taken out this afternoon to the local open air ethnographic museum to see a bunch of log cabins in the woods (and the associated mosquito population). It was interesting though, and I was rather taken with this storehouse, built on stilts to keep the contents away from bears and other scavengers, but I can quite picture it as the legendary hut of the witch Baba Yaga, which could sprout chicken legs and chase after naughty children.

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Last leg

Monday 3rd August 2015, 10.10am (day 1,439)

Last leg, 3/8/15

What goes up must, of course, come down, a job that from the summit of Kili takes another day-and-a-half of walking. The final few hours, down from Mweka camp to the park gate, was done, for us, in pouring rain, something I’m very glad we didn’t have on our ascent through the forest on day one. Anticlimactic? Of course, a bit, but it was always going to be. I got down in one piece with no ill effects and all in all must count it as one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

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My walking companions

Sunday 17th May 2015, 11.10am (day 1,361)

Near Symonds Yat, 17/5/15

The real point of this weekend was to meet and — hopefully — bond with the people who are going to be attempting Kilimanjaro with me. Here is a selection of them, at least. A good weekend, I think we’re more ready than we were on Friday anyway.

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