Trees along the Montclard road

 

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“…begin with the near and familiar. It is in learning to love and cherish our own little tree, or field or brook that we become fitted for wider and deeper affections”
R. S. Thomas preface to The Batsford Book of Country Verse.

We live on a tiny road, that winds up through the forest from the village below to our hamlet and then on to the next village about 5k up the road. Between our house and the next village the forest varies between conifers, firs and deciduous mixed woodland, mainly beech, oak and ash. We have walked this route for over five years now, in all weathers and all seasons, building up a large library of photographs. During our walks we have seen wild boar, foxes, pine martens, stoats, feral cats, ravens and numerous buzzards and failed to photograph any of them! It’s an ever changing scene through the seasons, with autumn possibly the star as the forest really glows at that time of year.

 

monochrome monday: domarget halt

“Le Cévenol” rail route links Clermont Ferrand with Nimes and has 106 tunnels and many viaducts. Originally built to transport wine and opened in 1870, it still runs regular services through the stunning Haute-Loire and Cevennes countryside. You can read much more about this line on this post over on “The Enlightened Traveller.”

There are many abandoned stops on the line and this is a small halt between Brioude and Langeac, complete with old fireplace. The halt is a little way from the village as the line enters a deep cut at the village so the halt had to be placed a few hundred metres up the line.

January Calendar 2016

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The garden is looking very wintery as I took all the photos during the only snow we have had this month, mostly its been unseasonally warm and sunny!

The only veg we now have left are leeks and tuscan kale.

The beech hedge looks good against the snow, as do the fruit bushes. We have also done a major prune of all the bushes bordering our drive in an effort to tame them into a hedge.

The next job is to order seed potatoes and seeds for the coming year.

 

Let’s go down to the woods today

Excellent article describing the transformation of an old conifer plantation.

National Trust Brecon Beacons and Monmouthshire

It has been just over 4 years since we started our work at Pont-ar-Daf, the woodland at one of the busiest access points to Pen-y-Fan.  When we first arrived on site, it was a neglected and unmanaged commercial crop.  A study of the site carried out by our nature conservation team considered it to be of little value to nature, the highlights being a strip of old birch and oak wood running through it at the north end, a drainage ditch at the south end and a failed Scots Pine crop in the middle, each being quite significant for the species found in them.

The wood has changed somewhat since then, rapidly at first with the discovery of a disease in the larch trees (Phytophthora ramorum) and more gradually as we have improved access around the woods to allow for future management.  We are looking to maintain a mix of…

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