A Raft of Apples

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Last Day of Summer

Walton on the Naze beach, Essex
The weather forecast is that today's high temperature is summer's last hurrah and that storm clouds are gathering.
Of course one could hire a beach hut and enjoy the seaside whatever the weather and
this one comes with its own puffin.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Polstead Thatch

The Cobblers, Polstead, Suffolk  (Historic Grade II Listed Building)
I love a thatched roof and this one is a pure delight.  With the two levels and two doors I imagine it was once two cottages but today this 18th Century building is one.  Do you spot anything scampering across the top of the roof?
Well perhaps more a still life. From a distance I first thought this was a fox but of course only a squirrel would be at home on a roof top. 

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Dark Energy

I saw this mysterious dark sphere arrive in the Kröller Müller Sculpture Gardens in the summer of 2018 surrounded by the curators and the Gerard Lammers' driver who has just unloaded it with his hands on his hips waiting to leave. I captioned it Touching the Void on my Flickr page but the Kröller Müller webpage has listed its new acquisitions and its actual name is 'Battery for Five Fingers' and if I had been closer would have seen the five round holes which "invite you to insert your fingers in order to charge yourself up" and the hatted man is indeed charging himself up.  The granite ball has been given to the Kroller Muller by the artist Jan van Munster and I wonder if the man 'charging' could be van Munster himself.
The long hot summer of 2018 as can be seen has taken its toll on the grass
 The lorry has left and the logistics of handling this large 9 ton granite sphere, or as the artist says 'amassed energy', has been passed on.  When one thinks of the deep time from which granite has emerged then indeed this is a planet sized "big ball of amassed energy".  Maybe I will be able to return to this wonderful art gallery and garden some time in the future and charge myself.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Henry Moore Animal Head

Animal Head  by Henry Moore (1957)
A mythical animal gazes at the gardens of the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands.  Is it mammal, reptile or from another dimension?  It could be described as a gargoyle, those that frighten and guard a church from evil or harmful spirits, this one looks more benign surrounded by the natural world and only a product of the artists imagination, one yet to come or arriving fully formed like an evolution of a species.

Henry Moore cast this animal head from 1957-1967 another has made its hone in  Tate Britain but I don't know if it is on display.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy 2019

The new year rolling in with an  illustration from 'The Nightingale Dished Up On China Plates' by Richard André published in 1899.  Writer and prolific illustrator of hundreds of books both adult and childrens, his life was full of change.  The March of Time blog encapsulates it perfectly with the added bonus of some of Richard André's beautiful illustrations in - A Colourful Life   

Friday, 30 November 2018

National Tree Week

From 24th November to 2 December the Tree Council promote 'National Tree Week' which is the start of the winter tree planting season (November to March) and volunteers and schools will be out and about putting that thought into action.  Winter also reveals the beautifully intricate structure of trees.
While in spring what is better than to gazing up into the sky through their branches  while taking in the glory of these yellow laburnum flowers.
Many make their home in trees.

The oak famously is home to a myriad of species and here is seen with a nicely snappy rhyme  'Plant a Tree in 73' postmark.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Ghosts of the Past

Time for walkies at Canal Foot for the Duddon History Group, the entrance to what was once the shortest canal in the country which today is a magnet for anglers, runners and strollers. The ship on the sign gives a clue to the reason for the canal as these came in at high tide from Morecambe Bay but there were also shipbuilders here as well. The notorious shifting sands and channels of Morecambe Bay added a bit of jeopardy to the changing  locations of piers.  The  canal had a short operational life and the coming of the Furness Railway sounded its death knell.  Canal Foot is now an ideal place to see the long railway viaduct (part of which can be seen in the background of the photo above) and the trains crossing, watch the bird life and enjoy the view,
We however were in search of past industries of which little remains but limestone quarries and lime kilns. The limestone is used in the iron making process and there were quite a few plants here at one time with also an iron ore mine but this view is what was the track-bed of the industrial rail link coming into the area and a rather fine limestone wall.
When I downloaded my photos I wondered why I had taken a picture of a field. Sheep in fields I am rather fond of but they are way in the distance then it was pointed out that banking loop to the right is also the old rail track.  In the distance can be see Hoad Hill
and the monument.  One can never get lost in Ulverston with this landmark and for generations of people a marker from a long journey that "we are nearly home".  After looking down the watery depths of the old iron ore mine we looped back to the canal
Low autumn light can make taking photographs tricky but it also lights up the colours of the few remaining leaves reluctant to let go.
After lunch at Canal Foot we journeyed half a mile down the road to the quiet hamlet of Sandhall with a handily placed postbox. In the 19th Century it was a hive of industry which included quarry, brick, and wire works and just round the corner
Carter Pool where the last ship to be built in Ulverston was constructed. From the size of it today it seems rather incredible.  Nothing on the surface remains of these industries and today this is a watery flat land and we watched hundreds of geese flying in formation in the sky, dividing and and then combining making shapes as they wheeled across the sky. Did I say nothing remains of the old industry here? Well there are two slag banks where now bee orchids grow and
a rather beautiful chimney that was once part of the wire works which operated from around 1882 to about 1919 and was left as a navigation aid for vessels berthing at Ainslie Pier, Hammerside.
The white brick banding is actually more yellow but digital doesn't pick it out too well. It looks to be in rather good condition.
I got rather excited about this chimney so clicked happily away as we passed it. Our guide for the day was Rod McKeever whose book The Industrial Archaeology of South Ulverston no doubt will guide us for another visit to the area.

Further and more informed information of Ulverston Canal and South Ulverston can be found on the Cumbrian Industrial History site