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Love is the answer.


On my walk this morning.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  491 Hits

The path to understanding.


Kundera wrote about the pathway to understanding being a straight line. I have been much derided in my life for planting things in straight lines. So here's Mr Badger tonight hoovering up grubs and surprise, surprise, there's his little trail as he goes through the clover: in a straight bloody line. And they called me stupid.Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  438 Hits

Mr Badger goes walkabout.


I worry about this badger as he has decided he's not nocturnal at all. We frequently cross paths early morning and evening. I know where he lives. He doesn't seem to mind either the hound or I and will simply puff himself up and hiss if the hound gets too close. Luckily, the geriatric hound poses no threat and responds to my effing and blinding, returning promptly to my side. This badger is juvenile and I used to see him chattering to his sibling while sitting on the mound of their set. I fear his sibling is dead as badger baiting is practiced in these parts. I hope not because I like badgers and this one is quite a sweet little thing and I am hoping we shall get to know each other (and he s...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  261 Hits

How to live and How to eat.


To the horror of my guests, I ate snails at my wedding reception while they had to settle for chicken breasts stuffed with pistachios. The marriage didn't last but my love of snails did. I remain particularly fond of the little blighters especially when a crusty home-made bread and a merlot accompany them. Mix parsley finely chopped with lots of garlic and far too much butter, a splash of cognac, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake in a very hot oven (220 degrees C) until bubbling. PS This is not my recipe but classic ESCARGOTS A LA BOURGUIGNONNE. Worry about tomorrow tomorrow. My idea of happiness.Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  455 Hits

Make hay while the sun shines.


The neighbouring farm slaughtered their lambs and for the past six weeks has allowed the grass to grow in the field where once the ewes and lambs lived. Tonight the farmer is cutting the grass which he will leave to dry in the field for a few days and then he will make bales of hay to store in hangars over Winter.  The farmer needs to be assured of a good dry spell otherwise the hay will rot and won't keep over the Winter months.Today in London moped muggers were raiding luxury stores. The thieves must be congratulating themselves on their easy pickings. Elsewhere in our green and pleasant land, a farmer is still at work at 19h15 as I write this and if he doesn't  diligently plan to make hay...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  515 Hits

'I've lost me mum!'


There is an expression in Latin that the mother determines  the destiny of a child (hence the reason we blame our parents for f.... g up our lives). I was reminded as I found this fledgling probably out learning to fly on his mum's instructions and trying to go incognito from the hound and I as we walked past tonight and what was really going through his mind was 'where's mum? Help!'. I hope this little mite found his mum and she taught him how to fly. I still wish I had a mum.Photo copyright  SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  437 Hits

The Mysterious Clover


Clover grows wild where I live and only once have I ever found a four-leaf clover (in twenty years!). Clover seems to grow in straight lines and will run all around the periphery of a field. I often marvel at the design on the leaves......Although all the leaves appear identical, they are not. Look closely. A good lesson of how nature can't clone itself.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  595 Hits

Rams in the mist.


The sheep have been shorn of their Winter coats and the lambs are still frolicking in the fields. Every day I think they will be gone to market but they're still suckling at three months and always staying close to mum. Despite there being a couple hundred ewes and hundreds of lambs, even when separated, the lamb will run to his mum when she calls.The rams are kept in a separate adjoining field and now they are shorn, look quite ethereal.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  461 Hits

Do your own thing.


Each of us is unique. Why not discover how.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  435 Hits

The start of Summer.


Having emerged from what seemed like the longest Winter I have ever known, the frenzy of summer has begun. Nature is literally abuzz: apple trees have been pollinated, hedgerows are speckled with Hawthorn flowers, for one short week in Spring, sloe  bushes erupted in bloom, wild birds have already given birth. Nature is in a hurry now and we are reminded that time waits for no one.These are elderflowers and according to folklore herald the start of Summer, the season of abundance, a time where nature is seizing every opportunity and so should we.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  297 Hits

Not an ordinary miracle.


The Winter wheat crop is bolting in our current 'hot' weather. Having survived sub zero temperatures and frost, usually known as the Grim Reaper of agriculture, I am reminded however as I walk past everyday that the crop is weed-free and this thanks to the farmer's once-weekly chemical spraying. I find this image of not a single weed to be quite sad and a reminder of what the planet has endured for us.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  451 Hits

No better friend.


My darling doggie.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  440 Hits

Happiness is...


...finding newts in the pond.Photo copyright  SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  589 Hits

Cloud spaceships and lambs.


On my walk this evening. Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  536 Hits

Things that make me happy...


Today in my garden. Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  364 Hits

Crop Circles: Secret Finally Revealed!


 They are in fact tractor tyre marks as the farmer sprays his crops.As told to me by this alien.Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  354 Hits

I look like wheat. Animals and humans don't eat me. What could I be?


I have been driving past this field every day and scratching my head wondering what crop the unusually tall wheat-like grass could be. Last week the crop was harvested and over the weekend it was baled.Today I grabbed the farmer who informed me that it is more profitable than wheat or corn (which he has abandoned altogether) as it requires no special care or chemical treatments and the price is stable. MISCANTHUS grown for bio fuel. Look it up.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  850 Hits

Broken promises.


On my walk this evening with the hound. According to Blandford Nesting Birds (Windwood Reade & Eric Hosking), these are Hedge Sparrow eggs. The culprit would have been another bird such as a magpie. I have on occasion, at dusk, heard in the woods as magpies would decimate nests. The defending birds would swarm into the tree where the nest was and in unison, would cry as loudly as possible to scare away the magpies, who emboldened by the fear they could hear, would carry on with their dastardly act.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  503 Hits

The sun has arrived.


In the last twenty-four hours nature has taken off at full throttle. The wheat in the field grew two inches overnight and the trees are beginning to come out in leaf at the very top. A pair of mating partridges have turned up at our offices (they scuttled rapidly away as I tried to take their photo). This was the vista as I drove home for lunch today. Now really, is there anything more beautiful than the British countryside? I am very grateful that I live in this paradise.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  457 Hits

Spring at last!


Spare a thought for us Brits who have been wearing Winter coats since October 2017 - that's six months! The stereotype of British weather: rain and soggy temperatures to match - has never been truer. On my walk in the woods over the weekend I did however spy this fledgling bluebell, just barely emerging to initiate the Spring. To say I was wild with excitement as I stood in the rain staring at this symbol of change is an understatement. I feel as I have been lost in a fog for six months desperate for just enough sunlight to warm my bones. Could Spring be here at last! Hoorah!!! Now if it would only stop raining....Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  505 Hits