Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Boating on the river Line

A perpetually engaging site in the field by the river Line to the north west of Whatlington Road is the small rowing boat called 'Lucky', beached on the grass.

What is she used for, I wonder. The river at this point is only two or three metres wide and someone rowing would find the oars reached the banks. Also there is nowhere much to go. Perhaps the vessel is used to access trees and bushes that need cutting back, or to rescue livestock that fall in.

Whatever the case the boat, the water, the alders, the willows and the peaceful countryside remind me of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn chapter in the Wind in the Willows: "They got the boat out, and the Rat took the sculls, paddling with caution. Out in midstream, there was a clear, narrow track that faintly reflected the sky; but wherever shadows fell on the water from bank, bush, or tree, they were as solid to all appearance as the banks themselves, and the Mole had to steer with judgment accordingly."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Little Black Cows of Whatlington

For a few weeks this herd of little black cows has been enjoying life in the fields to the south of Riccards Lane. They are an unusual breed - maybe Dexters, the small Irish cattle supposedly developed from ancient Celtic stock. Whatever the case, they are a delight to see as they seem to emanate health and contentment, often trotting about the grass seemingly for the sheer joy of being alive.

If anyone knows for certain what breed they are, I would be glad to hear from them.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The January 2007 gale

Yesterday a great wind swept over Sussex and much of the rest of England, throwing trees, blocking roads and bringing down power lines everywhere.

There were several trees across the Whatlington Road, which was closed for a while, including the one above now tidied away into a lay-by complete with its shroud of ivy.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The path through the wood

One of my most surprising discoveries in the summer of 2006 was the public footpath through the wood next to the river Line - see link here for map (the path is just above the 'i' in 'Whatlington'). A very beautiful, tranquil place with willows and alders, and the bruise blue beautiful demoiselle damsel flies, Calopteryx virgo, flittering from bush to bush. Strangely it isn't marked as a wood on the map, though it looks ancient and shows up in aerial photos.

It led to a wide enclosed field rich in flowers - more of that in another posting