Saturday, 9 February 2019

A Spoonful of Sugar

No sooner do I complete the enormous task of clearing the woodland floor than Storm Erik comes along to rock and roll among the trees, tearing down branches.   Ah, well.   That is life. 



Owl Wood is a place of magical delight to humans and animals alike, but it does come with responsibilities and expenses.     In this modern day and age, even for such a small scrap of woodland, we have to have special woodland insurance and that doesn't come cheap.    Add to that the many hours we spend maintaining the place and, at this time of year, I do sometimes wonder why?




Then I come across photographs like this...



A safe space for our grandchildren and their friends to play in and explore, for treasure hunts, map reading practice, or for rambles with the dog.







Fun isn't limited to the summer.
Two cousins take a spin around the woodland.









A lazy swing and a bit of contemplation





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A game of hide and seek with someone who hasn't quite grasped the concept...oh, the hours we spent doing that!






Early evening adventures, a little bit of darkness makes it all seem so much more exciting - for that is when you have to watch out for bears and wolves.




Owl Wood has been home to several little flocks of retired battery hens - their joy at the freedom to roam was very special.       They soon regained their feathers and their health, wonderful characters, each and every one of them.
 



The most recent flock were fancy breeds.   Beautiful girls, but definitely not as robust as those battery girls.     So many hens over the years, yet each one developed into a character.


There are many bird boxes, as well as nests, perched up in the trees.   








The most special box is the one where these three little creatures were hatched, three Tawny Owl chicks, all three successfully fledged, hence 'Owl Wood' - so much nicer than the official name.






Adding all these delights up, and all the ones I haven't mentioned - wild garlic, for instance - offsetting them against the cost of insurance (£150 pa) plus all the hard work - is it worth it?




You bet!




Thank you for all your lovely comments, they helped me through my silence. 

Whatever it was seems to have been blown away by the wind, for I came back from walking Toby feeling bright and energetic, windswept and cleansed of whatever ailed me.

Have a wonderful weekend.
x

40 comments:

  1. I have always hankered after my own woodland. Didn't realise you needed special insurance though. Yours looks magical.

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    1. I'm sure many people don't bother, Sue, but part of our woodland runs alongside a lane. We make every effort to ensure that the trees are healthy and present no danger, but every now and then one comes down...luckily, not on the road so far.

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  2. My goodness, I would say it is worth every penny. Such wonderful memories and so many more yet to make. A very special place indeed.

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    1. When we took it over, it had been neglected for many a year and someone had been using it as a place to trap wild birds for selling on. These days it is a sanctuary for them all, much nicer!

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  3. I love the pictures of the chickens and owls in Owl Wood. What an wonder filled place to live. I just discovered your blog today and am now a follower. I haven't posted on my blog for quite some time, but am planning to again sometime, as soon as the cat that got my tongue brings it back again.

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    1. Hello Susie, How lovely to meet you! Those cats have a lot to answer for. The wind is still rocketing around the wood at the moment, but as it was that same wind which lifted my spirits this morning I can't complain about the fallen branches!

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  4. -smile- Hoped it would pass quickly... The departure of your blogging muse.

    Oh yes, all the insurance and hard work, is fully worth it! To maintain Owl Wood! As you can see, looking at these photos.

    Wonder what its original name was....? Whatever, I'm sure it can not compare with Owl Wood!!!!!!!!!

    And as to the 'new' fallen branches, if you had not picked up the first batch, there would now be double the amount! -smile-

    ๐Ÿ’™ ๐Ÿ’š ๐Ÿ’› ๐Ÿ’œ
    Trying to see which 'heart' symbols, actually show up, in comments.

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    1. The official name is the surname of the couple who planted the original trees it is nice, but boring - plus, I don't want anyone to be able to find it on the map. :)

      The wind is dropping now, I have just walked Toby around the woods - a good hour of work should see it clear again. A few more weeks and the bluebells will be taking the place of the snowdrops, wild garlic leaves will be through, and the birds will all be building nests like crazy.

      Nice to see you scattering a little love around the place - four hearts.

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  5. Definitely worth every ounce of effort and £ of money

    I often wonder how the trees are faring back at the smallholding, we never got to see them turn into a wood, hope the new owners didn't remove them all. The trees planted here are growing very slowly - too much dry weather.

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    1. What I didn't mention was the cost of having the professionals in, the previous year, to cut down the trees along the lane, but then we offset that by using it for the fires - it didn't quite balance, but it took the sting out of the bill! I am looking forward to seeing how your wild garlic does this year.

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  6. Welcome back from your short sabbatical. Glad you found your voice and what a wonderful post to herald your return. Owl Wood is a magical place.
    The woods we owned when we lived in our house were a special place too. But with their forest conservation designation we stuck to the regulations that forbid the cutting of trees. We did maintain a trail.

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    1. The dog walk this morning was wild and windy, but the sun was shining, it recharged my batteries and lifted my spirits quite wonderfully, Marcia. The only trees we have taken down are those which are diseased, or dangerous and we always plant three saplings as replacements. I hate having to do it, but the awful thought of having one fall on someone is a great motivator!

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  7. Good to see you blogging again. I envy you the woodland, even at a price. Imagine how I, a bird lover, would have felt seeing those lovely owl chicks.

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    1. The 'owl men' came to weigh, measure and ring them and were kind enough to let us hold them and to pass on a lot of information about these lovely birds. The first time they called round and checked the box, they found the three eggs, that was thrilling, but it got better and better!

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  8. Love your pictures. So glad you're back in blog land again. Battling the elements has been a bit of an experience on its own. No sooner do you clear one lot of twigs and branches, there's another one waiting in the wings. Not had any big branches down this year but I had one tree to split last year. My tree surgeon neighbours came and sorted it all out for me which was great.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that you have useful and helpful neighbours! Once those winds blow, and the branches start banging against one another, you just know there will be some clearing up to do. I imagine you see some really wild weather in your part of the country!

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  9. Elaine,

    Welcome back!

    What lovely photos! Your Owl Wood really is a fantasy land for your grandchildren. I'm afraid woodland insurance is a mystery to me. What does that insurance do for those who purchase it?

    Winter still makes its presence known, here in Indiana. I read 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 degrees Celsius) this morning, and that wasn't very early. A skiff of snow helps make the landscape pleasant to the eye.

    Thank you, again, for another interesting and entertaining post!

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    1. Hello Brett - and thank you. Take one little patch of ground, add some trees, scatter a little fairy dust - magic! Look carefully and you will see dragons, unicorns, bears, wolves and bandits, as well as the squirrels, rabbits, deer and birds which drop in for a visit. Fresh air and exercise for the mind as well as the body!

      A light sprinkle of snow sounds beautiful, enjoy those lovely views.
      Brrr! It does sound rather cold - though, perhaps not as cold as last week?

      Stay warm, and I hope you have a great weekend.

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  10. Glad you found your words again though I'm supprised you need insurance unless it is for imdemnity, what ever it is worth it

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    1. Hello Bill, It is one of those things which you hope you will never need, necessary though because the village lane runs all along one side and some of those trees are enormously tall and heavy.

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  11. Owl Wood, lovely name for a magical space. Bet your grandchildren don’t spend as much time as most in front the these dreaded screens?

    Is that Grandpa I spy with the trendy braces?

    LX

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    1. The temptation of the screen is ever present, especially when the weather is vile, luckily parental controls ensures that their thumbs don't get over-exercised.

      That is Grandpa in the braces, he loves Owl Wood even more than the rest of us.

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  12. Some of us have loved Owl Wood a very long time, and never shifted a stick! Thank you.

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    1. You may not have picked up sticks, but you have often kept me company in my strolls around Owl Wood, Joanne.

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  13. I'm so happy that you have recovered your words! I was a bit worried because when a blogger says they can't find words, it's usually the end of the blog. Your blog is a lovely read.

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    1. Hello BMW, and thank you! It was frustrating, but not terminal, the words and the fun have returned. Posts are rarely planned, so goodness knows what will come next. Lovely to meet you.

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  14. It all looks wonderful and I am sure well worth the expense and effort.

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    1. The early signs of spring are showing through, it all becomes so much more exciting then, Susan.

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  15. What a wonderfully uplifting and joyous post!
    I don't often comment but always read. Thank you.

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    1. Hello Christina, Thank you! That breezy and chilly walk really lifted my spirits, I am still feeling the effect.

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  16. I think our piece of woodland is probably much smaller than yours but it gives us so much joy and yes they are hard to maintain but so worth it. I love that you have a beautiful name for yours - I only ever refer to ours as the upper and lower wood - I shall have to be more creative...and chickens in the wood would be a delight but sadly I think our fox would just eat them.

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    1. I know we were lucky - our nearest neighbours lost some of their hens to the fox; I sometimes used to see him in our barley field, but he didn't take any of ours. We had long discussions about the risks, but decided that they deserved their freedom and we would just have to be vigilant. Luck was on our side and they had a brilliant life scratching around, following us on our walks, etc. The woodland is pretty small but it is amazing how much fun can be squeezed out of it!

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  17. Oh, wow! Owl Wood doing what Owl Wood does best... A haven for joy and happiness, whether it be man or beast. I absolutely love this post!

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it, Chip. Owl Wood was alive with smaller birds, this afternoon - a really noisy little flock of long-tailed tits called in for a visit, they made a real racket as they flitted around so busily at the feeders - it made a beautiful interlude.

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  18. I'm glad your found your words--I always enjoy reading them.

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    1. Hello hart - and thank you, very much appreciated!

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  19. So glad I checked back and saw this beautiful post. Owl Wood is such a special place and surely worth all the hard work that goes into keeping it beautiful. I can relate to keeping the sticks picked up. It's the same here. :)

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    1. Hello Henny Penny, The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the temperature is just above freezing but the day is beautiful, so I am just about to get out there and start picking again. On a day like today stick picking is a wonderful occupation (for a while!).

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  20. I love your blog. It's a bit of civility in an uncivil world. I make a cup of English breakfast tea, sit on my deck with my bulldog bella and enjoy your posts. I am so glad
    You found your muse and have continued blogging.

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    1. Hello Savannah, Welcome to you, and to Bella. Thank you for your lovely comments, they are greatly appreciated!

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Lovely to hear from you!