Yew’ll enjoy these draining days off in the meadow.

I’ve had a very busy week at home with my grown up children.  Some of the highlights were SSSI wild flower meadows (above). Finishing a yew draining borad, visiting Saltaire – again (still good), getting lots of bike advice, cooking and eating, drinking beer from Saltaire, Ilkley, Rose Cottage and Belgium.  And, of course, le tour de France!

The Wild flower meadow is at the site of the fever hospital between Grassington and Hebden in North Yorkshire.  It is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest because it is a now rare example of the diverse flora that used to grow in hay meadows, now sadly almost all blown away by the change by farmers to making silage from mono-cultured perennial rye grass.  There are about 50 species in this meadow, here are some of the ones we spotted from the flagged path through the two fields.

Meadow sweet (the tall white ones), dog daisy, Great Burnet, ribbed plantain.

Buttercup, scabius, red clover, sorrel,  goatsbeard, yellow rattle (seed heads).  The latter is a very interesting plant, as a hemiparasite it attaches itself to the roots of other plants in the meadow to extract nutrients and water.  It prefers to paratise grasses which thus encourages growth of the flowering herbs and suppresses the growth of competing grass.

I’ve also had to get the draining board finished for my son and his wife to take back home to Brooklyn.  We decided to keep it as natural as possible with the draining runnels following the grain like rivers:

It is a beutiful bit of yew, even if it was a challenge to plane.

On the way back from the airport, we called in at Ravenden Wood at Smithills Hall, Bolton.  A clough wood – that is in a steep-sided stream valley, very peaceful after the big city of Manchester and its airport.

Dappling through the beeches

Fine spalting in the stump of a very recently felled beech.

Town and country.

 

 

Deer me, what fools these humans be. Free etching …& bonus quizzes.

Deer course yesterday, photo report.  Above Harvey learns the old art of releasing the hodfast.  Like the nu mallet, WW1 style?

The soup and home-baked roll went down well. Yes some work was done too and everyone went home with a new pet:

But how it will fit in Harvey’s bedroom alongside his 6 foot t. rex head, I’m not sure.

David put a nose on his deer.

So these were sensible people spending a wet Saturday under cover learning hand drilling and round mortise and tenon joints and designing to their taste.  Some space still left on next Saturday’s course and a Christmas present one coming up in January.

However, blimey, sometimes people just are too difficult to understand.  Like the ones who use a flail machine to “trim” hedges, which involves thrashing small saplings half to death. O man! this really hurts me having to drive past the results every day.  I’ll spare you a picture.

Then there’s the ones who just don’t put the right values on stuff.  I found this in a skip.

I used to pass this house name when I was a boy, and at some point it was replaced by a pottery one.  OK I don’t care for the pottery one, but why throw away this old etched and enamelled one? Really, I’ve got to find a home for this without either confusing the postman or changing the name of my business.  If anyone wants it, drop me an email.

I’ve been having a little exchange with Tico Vogt about yew, its sources and uses as I’ve recently acquired a quantity of this poisonous stuff, I had a walk up to see what the grove of yew looks like at the top end of Strid Wood, where I rarely go.

(OK, there’s a massive oak mixed in there too.)

There are some that would be suitable for making longbows, I think, not that I know much about that, but again, why is this nice butt wasting away?  And it will take some time!

Doh!

Anyway, there are some good vistas up at that end of the wood, no wonder people are always coming here for walks.  Here is a view of ruined Barden Tower, once the home of the Shepherd Lord.

Spot the fisherman.

Also there are some softwoods up there, which are getting to look rather majestic.

Also up there is this building:

I’m glad to see the roof has recently been repaired – but riddle me, riddle me, what was it for?

Have a think and I’ll edit the post with a clue tonight.

OK, above’s the clue.