Saturday, 1 April 2017

Owl Wood Tales

Several years ago I began drawing and writing a journal all about Owl Wood.   I thought it would be fun to record some of the animals, flowers and birds which come to take up residence.
This is the map which I drew for my grandchildren, it needs updating, but it gives you a general idea of the place

This is the area shown to the top left-hand side of the map, by the log store.
The gazebo is attached to the hen house; we put it there
when we had to keep the hens in quarantine during the recent bird flu epidemic.

The birds have roamed free for a few weeks now but we
are reluctant to dismantle the gazebo, just in case.

The important part of the photograph is the row of pots and tubs around the stumps.
They contain young trees which will soon be planted in Owl Wood.

Rowans, Crab Apples, Wild Cherries and Silver Birch.
A  lovely selection, and they were all 
Someone had wildly over estimated what they required
very kindly donated them to Owl Wood.

The patches of violets are spreading nicely, 
the wild garlic is very happily spreading itself around.

Before long though, the cow parsley will hide almost everything from view
 a froth of white, which will reach a height of about five feet
in places.

We could lose the hens for days!

This is Owl Wood this morning.
The undergrowth is already almost at shoulder height for the hens.
They don't mind, it provides a handy wind-break for when they hunker down
for a gossip.

The owl box has new residents.
I saw them spring cleaning the place, this morning.

Where have all the Tawnies gone?

I haven't seen any signs of the hedgehogs yet
but I did see the bats flying around last night.
That is a sight which always makes me happy.

The wild plum trees are bursting into blossom
I hope that means we'll have a good crop of plums from them this year.
They are a seasonal treat,  greatly anticipated and much enjoyed.

Rather like the wild garlic.
I gathered enough for a small baking session.
I made wild garlic scones,
a wild garlic and mushroom quiche
and wild garlic bread.
I won't bore you with them here,
I'll post them on my Parsonage Cottage Kitchen blog.

I like to keep an eye on things.

Just as Owl Wood likes to keep an eye on us.


  1. Spring has sprung in Owl Wood. It looks beautiful there; a place I would love to visit. Just how big is Owl Wood?

    1. Hello Deb, As you know, Owl Wood is a magical place. Officially the woodland covers just under an acre but, once inside, it expands to become boundless!

    2. Magical, indeed. There is a woodlot here too, that becomes quite the draw for the grands and many adults I know. You a;ways expect a wolf to appear from behind a tree. I finally took a walk about yesterday as the snow is disappearing fast to scout it out for our up and coming egg-hunt.

    3. Our other two grandsons are coming up from London next week- the highlight of the visit, in their eyes, is the egg hunt in Owl Wood. I hope your snow melts away in good time. Watch out for those wolves and bears!

  2. What a Joy it is, to read this post!!!!!! It makes me happy, that you are there. Doing all these wonderful growing things. And be so appreciative of the land, which is around you. And being so careful in the care, of this land.

    YES!!! This post is a Joy!!!! Thank you for all you share here. I can visit the Owl Wood, in my mind.

    Oh violets!!! So lovely. When I see them, I know that spring is really here.

    Not yet, as we still have some snow cover. -sigh- And rain, rain, rain. I am getting tired of this in-between time. Yes-I-am! And there isn't a thing, I can do about it. -smile-

    So you can see how wonderful it is, for me, to visit your Owl Woods!

    Happy April hugs,
    Luna Crone

    1. Hello Luna, I am delighted that you have enjoyed it. That little woodland is really important to us and our grandchildren. We work hard to maintain it and to enhance it wherever appropriate. Some of the heavier work is just beginning to get a little too heavy for our old backs but we'll keep soldiering on as long as we can, then perhaps the grandchildren will lend a hand!
      This spring has been a wonderful one for primroses and violets, they are spreading like crazy, which is rather wonderful.
      I hope the snow and the rain melt away, the sun comes out and spring flowers can bloom around you. They delight the eyes and lift the spirit after a long winter. Mother Nature is a marvel!
      When I have drawn an updated map of the little woodland I'll post it on the blog.
      Happy April, Luna.

  3. How lovely to have such an abundance of Nature right on your doorstep, and I love those violets! Yes, Spring really is here now ... the daffs in Torbay are almost over, soon it will be bluebell time ...
    I've never tried wild garlic, perhaps that is something I might add to our diet. Do you add it to soups, or eat it raw in salads?
    Margaret P

    1. Hello Margaret, Wild garlic has a much milder flavour than the regular garlic. We like it chopped and sprinkled on soups, it can also be put into pesto, I use it in my baking and also in omelettes, there are lots of ways of using it. All parts of the plant are edible, the bulb, leaves and flowers. I only use the leaves, I don't pull up the whole plant because I want it to spread as much as possible.

    2. Thank you for that info, Elaine.
      Margaret P

  4. Wild garlic is a rare thing in Suffolk - sadly.
    Love you map

    1. Hello Sue, We are growing some from seed, I'm not sure how it will go, but I'll let you know. Perhaps your new woodland would be a great place to get some growing?

  5. Thanks for the tour. Looks to be a lovely enchanting place.

    We enjoyed a walk to Whole Foods for breakfast then to the library and returned by way of the other side of the lake. We enjoyed seeing the new spring flowers showing in the woods. Won't be long until there will be a profusion of green all over.

    1. Hello Marcia, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing your herons and the lovely yellow spring flower. Sight of those first flowers really gladden the heart, don't they?

  6. How wonderful that you received all of those trees for free!! I love looking at how green everything is in Owl Wood. Still so many grey days here. The forsythia that was in bloom this time last year is nowhere near ready to bloom this year. It's just been so cold here still. It seems that we're almost a month behind what the calendar says. I try not to complain much because it will be so hot and humid here in just a few months. I save most of my complaining for that weather!! : ) Have a beautiful rest of your weekend. By the way, that map is absolutely wonderful!!! xo

    ~ Wendy

    1. Hello Wendy, We were thrilled to receive such bounty! I remember hot and humid from our four years in the Middle East - I don't mind the hot bit, but I really don't like humid, so i can understand your complaints. Here's hoping your grey skies turn to blue and that you have a lovely weekend.
      I made that map when our oldest grandson was going through a pirate phase and we had to search the woods for buried treasure of gold and doubloons. We never found any, but we had fun looking!

  7. I am a map person, so this post is right down my alley. I have even done some mapping of our mountain, but rather crudely, I'm afraid. Luna said above what I wanted to say, but I couldn't have done it half so well. "...And be so appreciative of the land... And being so careful in the care of this land." Owl Wood is good for you, and you are good for Owl Wood!

    1. Hello Chip, Like you, I really enjoy looking at maps. If I have to wait in the car for any length of time, and have forgotten to take a novel, I can spend a very happy half hour 'reading' my road atlas - not for the roads but for the quaint place names and the lie of the land. Owl Wood is tiny in size but the amount of pleasure it has given our family is immense. When we took it over, someone had been trapping wild birds (for selling on) and the place had been used as a dumping ground, it was overgrown and badly neglected. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  8. I always try to transport myself to your enchanting, magical Owl Wood each time you post about this wonderful place. I, now, have an almost two year old grandson to bring along on my visits.

    I think you would enjoy the blog Posie Gets Cozy from Portland, Oregon. Her photos will leave you weak in the knee.

    1. Hello SAS,
      Your grandson will be taking you on some adventures then, have fun!

      Goodness, but that woman knows how to use a camera! Fabulous photographs.

      Owl Wood has been the scene of many adventures with our grandchildren, lucky things! Within the boundaries of it, they have enjoyed the kind of freedom which I knew as a child and their imaginations have done the rest.

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    1. Owl Wood.... a wonderful name for a children's tale. The hundred acre wood must have millions of readers. And there you have those Harry Potter trees as well keeping a watchful eye over your enchanted land.
      And you're the guardian of this domain. How wonderful.

    2. Hello Linda, Owl Wood, a tiny patch of woodland which was once home to a pair of Tawny Owls and their three little owlets. It was a magical time, especially as 'The Owl Men' let us watch them weighing, ringing and recording the young ones. Jackdaws are fine but we'd much rather have some Tawny Owls. Perhaps next year!

  10. Replies
    1. Hello Janice, It is! Even after all these years, the magic has not diminished.

  11. O yes I can see a book or two here.

    1. Hello Bill, Only a handwritten journal for my grandchildren - which is no surprise, given my fondness for old ms books!

  12. Owl wood looks like a very special place.

    1. Hello Ida, Thank you! In reality it is a very ordinary place, but we love it and so do the grandchildren so it has grown to be special.


Lovely to hear from you!