Like Trees in November
By the time I set off to the post office I've missed the sunset and there's just a glow low in the western sky, throwing the bare branches of sycamores and willows by the river into silhouette.
My piece on the felled tree last week was so gloomy that I wondered if I should have included it, especially since I've already referred to the battle over the meadow on at least six occasions, but an e-mail comes today from Anja Skoglund which convinces me that I was right to put it in:
Anja writes from Copenhagen. It's good for me to realise that I'm not
alone in mourning the loss of a tree.
I once helped run a children's wildlife group and one of the things we organised was a sponsored competition for the children to make a collection of different kinds of autumn leaves. We asked them to get sponsored at so much per leaf and they raised enough for us to purchase several acres of rain forest in Costa Rica for a conservation scheme. Some of the children produced attractive collages of their collections.
This was 15 or 16 years ago and occasionally I wonder whatever happened to those particular acres of forest. This evening I had some encouraging news. At the Wakefield Naturalists' Society Phill Abbott showed slides of a trip to Costa Rica she made last February. She told us that the people have an enlightened attitude to conservation and that they're encouraging eco-tourism. The country is slightly larger than Wales but there's an astonishing variety of flora and fauna thanks to it having a both Pacific and a Caribbean coast, mountains, plateaux and volcanoes.
Coincidently I had an e-mail today from Joy Rothke, an American freelance writer living in Costa Rica. Like me, Joy is also keen on drawing and journalling. From what I've seen this evening of Costa Rica's orchids, heliconias, hummingbirds, monkeys, caymans, coati mundis and cloud forest she will never be short of something to draw.
'You could fill sketchbooks galore here!' she tells me, 'Lots of British tourists, including many birders, come here.'
Richard III did a medieval makeover on our local castle, Sandal, unfortunately, 150 years later, Cromwell's men bombarded his polygonal Well Tower to it's foundations. Archaeologist's discovered the remains of a Royalist stew pot, and the remains of the stew (some animal bones) nearby. The Royalists apparently lost their meal when part of the keep came crashing down during the bombardment.
There's a handy little book on Sandal Castle . . .
Costa Rica tourism
Leafages by Hazel Kahan
Richard Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org