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wood pigeons

Jumping Bale

Friday, 11th July 2003, West Yorkshire

smoke by the wood

The people who are going to put horses back in the meadow are making a thorough job of putting it in order. Today they've had a JCB digger in to move the hay bales over to the corner by the little stable.

These bales are like giant Swiss rolls, 5 feet in diameter. The children leap from one to another along the row.

On my sketch smoke drifts up in front of the wood from a bonfire they've lit, while a wood pigeon flies over.

One or two isolated hawthorn bushes that have sprung up in the field over the years are scooped up in the bucket of the digger and trundled over to the woodland edge.

BevanI remember one day, years ago, one little hawthorn came in useful. I'd taken a short-cut over the meadow to get a sample of stream water for analysis at an evening class that I was teaching.

Bevan, the Welsh pony who was kept in the field spotted me. Down he cantered towards me, ears pricked up and looking as if he meant mischief. I had time to dash behind the little bush: he went one way around the bush, I dodged away in the other. When he turned, I turned and I made a quick escape to the edge of the wood and walked back the long way round.

Beech Leaves

beech leavesRuskin urged the students in his drawing classes to observe the way leaves are arranged on branches and to do a series of studies for each species of tree. As I've got nothing better to draw as I sit on the sofa in our lounge this evening I draw this branch of the beech hedge, just outside our front window. It's a reminder to me that I must give that hedge a trim.

News from the Meadow

Coxley meadowMy diary for this day in 2000 (see link below), is not for the faint-hearted. In fact three years later the threatened meadow (it's the next one downstream from the one that's just been mown for hay) still hasn't been built on, but I know these things take time.

The factory next to it is now set to go, to be replaced by 85 houses. At one time I would have commented on some of the obvious consequences of such a decision - but I've learnt my lesson now! It would be an alarming and fruitless exercise and I could literally loose my house, thanks to the laws which allow local authorities to employ legal counsel to threaten with costs those who support the authority's view but go against the view of the developer (as I did). It sounds strange but it's true. And legal. You'll have to plough through that diary entry for the full story.

There's been no change in the law and the best our Member of Parliament can do is tell me he sympathises with me and that a lot of his fellow M.P.s are also concerned. But he can't change things. Nor can I. next page

Richard Bell