Monday, November 09, 2009

Woods at Broadhembury

A day spent putting succulents to bed for the winter and then the following afternoon I finally find my way into Jeremy's woods, which turns out to be a lovely little wildwood. Long wellington boots are essential in here due to the large amount of water which underlies pretty much everything. Even with these on the wood still needs negotiating with care, so as not to end up getting very wet.

This is a small, friendly seeming wood, tucked away up many lanes near Broadhembury. I get the sensation that people do not enter into these woods very often. I leave huge galumphing footprints in the deep moss behind me which I hope will spring back after I leave. It is almost like walking on a floating green river of plants and moss. Nothing is certain here; what appears to be solid ground quite often isn't. Trees cannot be relied upon to bear weight if you lean against them. Apparently solid branches are actually soft and can just collapse with the slightest touch. Trees fall over and then they regrow themselves from the disintegrating horizontal trunks.


queenofthenile said...

Arthur Rackham might have got his inspiration from the woods at Broadhembury. Some of those hoary old trees have faces and can speak, I'll bet. Thanks for taking me there.

john said...

Cheers queenofthenile

Yes, Arthur Rackham, lovely stuff. beautiful figure work, his marvellous trees and he could also draw the wind too. Another illustrator who learnt a lot from Rackham, Brian Froud, lives 30 miles from here and you can see plenty of Devon in his pictures. Alan Lee used to live in Chagford near there, don't know if he still does. A friend used to know Alan and pop round to his and apparently he is a fine slide guitar player too.

I forgot to say about the sloes. They are bitter to the taste or 'tart' but are high in vitamin C which is why they are usually disgused in other foods rather than eaten fresh.

nobody said...

These were lovely of course, but bugger them! Arthur Rackham! My whole youth as an illustrator junkie and somehow I never heard of him. I heard of Brian Froud of course (who could miss him?). Anyway, I now have a fat folder of Rackham on my hard drive. And I'm thinking haiku. Otherwise good point Maj - John's woods as Rackham fodder.

john said...

I should think that you are enjoying the Rackhams nobody, it's lovely work and it's just as well Maj brought the subject up (thanks Queen) - it's never too late to enjoy a bit of Arthur Rackham. The victorians knew a thing or two about book illustration, for sure.

Maybe you could give us a list of all the people you haven't heard of and then we could tell you all about them.

I've been having a bit of haiku trouble lately. I think one muse has departed and another may have arrived. I've been painting again and maybe my poor old brain can't multitask like it used to.

nobody said...

I know what you mean John. I've started up with yoga and somehow the blog has gone out the window. Anyway, bugger the haiku mate. Between 17 syllables and a painting, only one of them is handy in unarmed combat. No wait - only one of them is useful if you find yourself naked in public. No - only one of them could have Robert Hughes joining a Trappist monastery. Sorry I lost the plot there but you get the idea I'm sure.

As for all those artists I haven't heard of: leave it with me. When I know what their names are I'll get back to you and you can add them to a list. That won't tell us 'who' but it'll definitely save us wasting our time with 'who not', if you can dig it.

nobody said...

Oh Oh! Jim Fitzpatrick! Remember him? Yeah well, me too. So forget him.

queenofthenile said...

A can of worms I opened for you, nobody. But I was just free associating about images your trees, john, brought to mind. Arthur Rackham's illustrations were in some of the books I read when I was just a princess.

But I did want to ask john: one of my favourite writers, William Trevor, I believe, lives in Devon. Have you ever come across him in your travels? Do you hear much about him in the local press/on the grapevine?

the Silverfish said...

Well bugger me I have been tardy. Seems that spending most of the summer doing nothing has corupted me. Perhaps I shall start to blog again and regail you with my adventures in the wilds of Canada. That is if I can find the time. Nice pics AGAIN John.

john said...

Cheers Silverfish.

And thanks. It is always a pleasure to hear from you. I hope that you have had a good summer as by the look of the snow in Canada in the winter I should think that you would want to get out and make the most of the summer. I hope that you find the time to get some blogging done again.

Cheers Queenofthe

Well you've got me there I'm afraid! I've never heard of William Trevor and will now have to look him up.

I expect that somebody else here knows all about him and its just me who hasn't heard of him, it was like that with the song 'Yellow Bird' I only heard it first a couple of years ago and I was like " hey, how come you know all the words to this?" but it turns out I am the only person here who doesn't know it as everybody learnt it in school.

Cheers nobody. I'll put Jim Fitzpatrick on another list then.

I've got quite a few bits of paper on the go here now and there's still the 'list of all things pending' to work on. Luckily I have different coloured pens for different subjects; green for art, purple for correspondence and prose of course, it's as well to have a system.

I expect your lungs should be clearing out nicely by now, you'll be running up hills soon.

Penny said...

All that virginia creeper, at least that is what I see in the one pic...

We have been out walking ourselves, drove over here one day to have a walk about, there were lots of cherry trees, so hubby made me cherry walking stick to hike with, I left it in the parking lot for someone else to use..

Now, I am going to have a mulberry walking stick, or very soon, my mulberry branch is drying... Mulberry is a mystical wood, so I am looking forward to carrying it and channeling some great wizard, well at least in my mind!

Next time, I'll take the camera, as it is really nice there

john said...

Hi Penny, thanks for the link, that looks like a good place for walking and worht taking some photos too. By the description it would be a good place for birdwatching as well.

I have been a bit slow in getting my photos up and am lagging behind the seasons a bit now. We have had some big autumn storms here lately and I was out getting some photos of the sea last Sunday when it was huge, I'll try to get some up soon.

Walking sticks are always good to have around and like you we pick them up and then leave them somewhere though sometimes when we find really nice ones we bring them home.

Nice work keeping up with all the flu stuff at yoours Penny, thanks for that. I was reading an interview with a Dr. Victor Bachinsky at Global yesterday which I though was quite helpful.

well, back out into the mad wind! Wheee!