The Orange Tip

Tag: nature

Hatched 2

Switching on the television this morning in the shed I was surprised to see that the eggs had all hatched over night. Really pleased. Baby blue tits are not pretty. I’m glad that they all made it though. I’m now enjoying my tea breaks to the sounds of chirping and regular parental feeding intermissions.


Black Locusts, Black Sky

Robinias make up the predominance of the trees in the woodland. Not a favourite of mine, nor a native, but a great source for wildlife. The blossom in late spring is a spectacle, like enormous beams of bright white, and its deeply fissured bark houses many insects, attracting nuthatches and woodpeckers. I often hear them calling in the canopy.


Hard frost this morning, walking to the shed passing frozen remnants in the pond reminding me that it still hasn’t been attended to. Great quiet that comes with the cold on a clear morning like this.

The Woodside Butterbur

Came across a long stream of butterbur running down the hill to the garden on a thin strip of woodland glade. It is Petesites, but not certain of the species. It’s early flowering too, particularly for this time of year, but a great sight along the roadside, straddling the equatorial divide. It almost acts as a lure, or a promise of things to be discovered and stumbled upon deeper in the woods. Butterbur is more than an enchantment too, herbally speaking. The plant has a long history as an all-round revitaliser, used to treat migraines, muscle pain and fever. Its scent is enticing at first, quickly becoming sickly, like that of a sweet shop.

Buckthorn on the Welsh Coast

Walking with family through the wind on the arbitrary post-Christmas (yet always enjoyed) march over the beach. An unexpected joy to see nothing but rolling sea-buckthorn, in full profusion of berry, and at it’s peak in soft winter colour. The shrub offers a huge amount in terms of coastal habitat formation and support; with its protective thorny network of low intertwining branches and extensive fruit larder.

Sea buckthorn has been widely planted around beeches due to the way in which its roots spread, enabling it to hold together the shifting dunes, much like alders and willows do with our river banks.

New Perches

With the shed finally cleared, cleaned and woodstove-installed, I have reached the settled feeling I’ve been after from the start. It took some time to establish the best channel and collect the appropriate piping, and after a day’s grind under an encouraging clear sky, I now have a fire with which to heat, cook and ‘contemplate’. Wasted little time in putting it to use too.

To celebrate, I thought it fitting to spread the air of belonging to my tireless comrades in residence and construct a perch under the log store for the chickens. Man needs a fire, chicken needs a perch.