Almanac: Hidden Kingdoms – In search of the invisible

In summer, the little woodland becomes a dark and shaded place. Leaves grow with such veracity that the canopy above lets in less light than any other time of the year. I share today’s walk with my 12 year old son. It is so quiet here. Sudden rustles of foliage or scraping on bark reminds…

Almanac: Early morning mists in the old forest

Lockdown is lifted and we can journey into the ancient forest again. An early start. On our short drive, the trees gradually reveal themselves in layers of green. The view is softened; we are watching the day form itself into shape. The mist feels like a fine spring rain, yet suspended in mid air. The…

Almanac: Fallow deer, uncurling ferns and foxgloves

Barely a drop of rain has been felt for over eight weeks. My 12 year old son and I have decided to make the most of this last day of sunshine, before the much-longed for storm arrives tomorrow. If we take the footpath that winds through the fields, to the north of our village, it…

Almanac: How to scare a storm away

The air is heavy when we awaken, there must be a storm coming. I open the skylights and a sudden gale whistles down the stairwell. My autistic 11 year old, still in pyjamas, is absolutely delighted. He sets up directly underneath the velux with an old Thomas the Tank Engine book and watches as the…

Almanac: Storm chasing, lichen and muddy boots

I welcome the promise of rain. Our plants desperately need it and I can feel the storm coming. The air feels heavy, the sky seems closer. It is only midday and yet the familiar bright tones of the garden seem washed out in the dim half-light belonging to dusk. As the clouds roll over the…

Almanac: An early morning hike through English farmland

This morning I am up early, pulling on my walking boots and heading out into the fields before the day has fully started. The natural world seems so alive to me in springtime. The hedgerows stretch upwards towards the blue skies, straining to grow. I instinctively want to steer clear of the nettles that are…