Friday, 5 August 2011

What do you see?

I wonder how much we miss by simply not looking? A few days ago I was sitting in a house which is situated on a busy road in the town. Dotted occasionally along the road are 'towny' trees. Many have been pollarded but now and again you see one with a long smooth, grey trunk and a few branches reaching up, stretching away from the tarmac and the traffic. One such tree grows outside my friend's house and as I looked at its sparse leaves a movement caught my eye. Sure enough on a meagre pile of twigs sat two ungainly baby pigeons, nodding away. They were so difficult to see that everyone thought I was joking when I tried to point them out.Naturally I didn't have my camera with me (again)- must do better! The nest had obviously been there for a while, right outside the window, but no-one had seen it. Once seen it was impossible to miss, especially as it turned out to belong to a pair of huge wood pigeons. This made me look a bit closer at the trees that I pass on a regular basis when out with the dogs. Sure enough I spotted something that I must have passed most days for several years. Across a field at the edge of the woods stands a tall scots pine tree. There is no path or anything other than field and woods nearby. Yet attached at about 8feet high on the trunk there is an old narrow wooden cross.
(click on image to enlarge)
It ignited my writer's imagination and general nosiness. I wonder who placed it there, and when? And what is the story behind it? Is a marker of happy memories or sad ones? Natural life events or sinister goings on? Whatever its history the cross, along with the 'city' wood pigeons, reminded me that we often look but don't see. Imagine what a wealth of things we are missing. I'm definitely going to make more effort to stop looking and start seeing.
Something I see very often is a Greater Spotted Woodpecker that visits my Dearly Beloved's bird table on a regular basis.I thought I'd just snap a few photos for the blog only to learn that Woody is a canny character and has no intention of being caught on film. I decided to beat himat his game and hid deep in the bushes awaiting my chance. After a while I got that feeling of being watched and slowly looked behind me to find him peering down at me from about three feet away. I'm certain he flicked the Vs at me as he flew away, laughing. However, I caught him out by hiding in the car and managed a couple of poor quality pics

Until he spotted me, gave me a dirty look and took off.
Clearly I am only at the beginning of a long journey in my quest to photograph wildlife!

This morning I started gloss painting the woodwork in the kitchen. A few hours later I happened to notice a distictly scabbled effect that I definitely wasn't aiming for. I wondered if there had been something unseen on the wood that had caused this odd patch, on a bit of skirtingboard that was quite awkward to reach. I reapplied the paint and it seemed to take ok. Then I noticed Rolf pulling strange faces in the garden.
I called him in and closer inspection showed this;
I have no idea when he snuck into the kitchen to inspect my work, particularly as I had gone to some lengths to bar the beasties out while I painted. But Rolf does like to help with whatever I'm doing. When I clean out the stove he has his head virtually in it. He loves helping me in the garden, weeding and digging being his specialities. To be honest he needs a bit more education regarding weed recognition, but it's the thought that counts.And it would definitely be better if he restricted his digging to areas that actually need it. He also knows that wellies are required for walks so often gets ready early and takes them out to the gate for me. Sometimes he gets distracted and leaves a wellie under a bush or down by the fence where the slugs live. In that case it can go unnoticed for a while and creates such a fun game of find the wellie later in the day when time is against us. And removing slugs is a fascinating past-time. Such a helpful boy.


  1. Wonder what that cross was for??? makes you think.

  2. Great post. I love the way writing makes one really look at things and not just assume what's there. The cross is intriguing. Must be a poem or story in that?

  3. Hi Cheyenne and Karen. Thanks for commenting. Yes the cross is very thought provoking. I've written a short story about it already!