Tag Archives: climate change

The Winter Trees

Winter trees - 22The day before this walk we’d all watched in horror as much of the north of England was flooded after days of the heavy rain we’re becoming used to as our climate changes. Thinking about this and after my standard but understandable rant about our useless govermnent, it’s failures on climate change and its fawning over backwards to moneyed interests, I remembered something George Monbiot has written about many times over the past few years, the importance of reforresting our uplands, the importance of trees and their contribution to slowing down the speed with which our denuded sheep farming hills flash off the rainwater which is then sent gushing down into the streets of Appleby, of Whalley, of York, of Hebden Bridge, of Mytholmroyd and then turn the Kirkstall Road in Leeds into a new river.

Anyway, and fortunately for us all up here, today dawned bright, dry and blue so Sarah and I went out for a walk around our relatively dry neighbourhood in Liverpool.

Along Penny Lane.

Along Penny Lane.

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In the kitchen

In the kitchen01It’s been a busy week for me. Much talking in cafés. Partly work, partly friendship and what’s the difference anyway? Much riding round on buses of course. Then yesterday in London talking buses, people and mentoring once again at social enterprise HCT. Then I’m working tomorrow, Saturday too. Doing a conference about housing and health at The Bluecoat.

So being a Friday, as is my habit, I’d really like to go out for a walk. Particularly as I need to test out some new memory in my camera.

But all morning it's been raining.

But all morning it’s been raining.

And not just the light, showery rain its a pleasure to walk through.

And not just the light, showery rain its a pleasure to walk through.

But relentless.

But relentless.

Still, I need to make sure this camera’s ok. So I’d better take some pictures here. I decide to take about ‘a roll’. Continue reading

Clogs in Calderdale

Update, 22nd August

Sarah’s clogs have now arrived!

Sarah's new clogs. Read on for the full story.

Sarah’s new clogs. Read on for the full story.

Calderdale01You may not know it, and why should you, but Sarah is devoted to clogs. Throughout the 20-odd years I’ve known her she has been a proud clog-wearer. But her current pair, despite several re-heelings, are looking the worse for wear. So, to Sarah’s delight, it’s new clogs time.

Now Sarah, as you may also know, is very particular. So not for her the shopping roulette of clogs-buying on the internet. Oh no, we’re going to the source of clogs, the holy grail, a clogs factory in West Yorkshire.

Off the motorway at Junction 24.

Off the motorway at Junction 24.

And into Calderdale.

And into Calderdale.

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High Tides and Green Grass: A Friday Walk

Unusually for a Friday Walk Sarah was able to come on this one, a brief gap in her funeral work occurring on a Friday for once.  So, having access to the car that Sarah’s usually out in, we headed for the Wirral coastline to see how it’s been coping with the recent storms and extreme high tides, which even our slippery Tory leader now accepts are something to do with global climate change.

We'll get to the high tides in a bit, but first we head inland.

We’ll get to the high tides in a bit, but first we head inland.

This is Station Road in Thurstaston, so called as it used to lead to a railway station, long gone. It’s also evidence of land enclosure, the greedy 17th to 19th century rich drawing straight lines on maps and saying ‘This bit can be mine and that bit’s yours.’ They did it all over Africa too, you can see by the borders on maps.

At this time of year the mile long hedges are almost empty.

At this time of year the mile long hedges are almost empty.

A few hawthorn berries left.

A few hawthorn berries left.

And white briony berries.

And black bryony berries. Poisonous to us and not too popular with birds either by the looks of things.

Yes I know, the flowers that are white, the berries are red and it’s called ‘black’. I didn’t make this nomenclature thing up. Continue reading

The Wasp House

I’ve never really known what wasps are for. An irritating version of bees? Annoying buzzing things, with much danger of stinging you, but no honey?

This was stupid, limited, human-centric thinking, it turns out. Everything that lives is holy, as William Blake said, life balances life. A week ago I disturbed a wasp’s nest. And now Sarah and I know a lot more about them, and are caring, as carefully as we can for a whole house-full of them.

We now know wasps are in some danger. Like so many bees and other hymenoptera, there are less of them this year than there were last. It’s another facet of climate change. Spring 2012 was a suddenly warm late February and March as you might remember, tempting many queen wasps out of hibernation, only to be killed off by the bitter hail, rain and even snows of the altered April, May,  June and even July that followed.

So, this year there are less of them and therefore all of the wasp queens we have are special. Especially the one breeding on Plot 44.

And last week, while building the new dead hedge, I disturbed her nest.

And last week, while building the new dead hedge, I disturbed her nest.

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Half-life?

For the third of this week’s posts about our holiday on Anglesey we’re going on a walk, on a Nature Trail, unlike any walk either of us has been on before.

The sunshine of the last two idyllic days of cliff walking, lighthouse climbing and wildflower exploring has gone, so it’s a cloudy Monday morning as we set off to walk on this remote Anglesey headland.

Wylfa Head.

Wylfa Head.

That’s at the far end of the headland. The starting point for our Nature Trail looks much more manicured.

Neat lawns, neat notices.

Neat lawns, neat notices.

We set off into the woodland.

We set off into the woodland.

Almost immediately coming across the first clue about the place where we are. Continue reading