Monday, May 9, 2011


Its been a quiet week, not much to write about.  The birds in the garden have young fledglings which need protection from the cats around here; the blackbird anxious tutting as a youngster lands on the ground can often be heard, starlings and sparrows fly food away for their young; and a bold young magpie, no tail as yet comes down to eat the soaked bread I put out two or three times a day.
We had visitors over the weekend, one of my partner's oldest friends, a saki merchant from Haiwai, and still in touch with Gary Snyder, one of my heroes, so that has probably shut me up! My mind roving over the plains of America and his poetry,  but reading Roger Deakin's 'Wildwood', which I am at the moment, would send any mind wandering over the vast marvellous natural world we live in.  He had made a visit to Kazakhstan to the apple forests, where the original wild apple came into being.  Russia is a vast country, with smaller satellites in it, and when reading about it you realise how beautiful it must be in some places.
I had read the book about Chernobyl, an oral history of the disaster; some of it is terrible to think about but what also came out was the beautiful landscape and the self-sufficiency of the people who lived there.  The old who went back to their houses to live out the rest of their lives in the place they loved best.  The wild life that thrived and increased, living in the abandoned houses and villages. Nature always succeeds where man does'nt.
So what of these apple/fruit forests,  and also walnut forests, of course they are disappearing because of human expansion.  In the walnut forests people leave their valley homes taking  all their livestock up to the mountain forest, and camp out in old dacha's maybe, or tents, taking with them their beautiful quilts, cushions and the household utilities to live out in the open for a couple of months. 
Roger Deakin great favourite was green walnuts soaked in honey which he had for breakfast, along with yoghurt, bread, chai and fruit.  It seems people ate well, though we would see their lives as poverty-stricken, but who on earth wants what we have in our western culture, noise, bustle, a great rushing around to 'economically' improve our wealth all the time, so ok we have some advantages in good health care but what have we lost along the way?
The original wild apple was called malus sieversii,and must have travelled by that old trackway called the 'silk road'. We have in England a great diversity of apples, but unfortunately we don't eat them, so they also wither away into extinction, and we dine on tasteless African apples instead, grown for the supermarkets

Two photos that caught the eye this week; the chair is an elegant 'nursing' chair I bought to celebrate my son's birth, the hat is Chinese, made out of paper, it provides shade for when we drink morning coffee outside.  The heart a xmas present from my daughter, bought at Tom's gallery in Whitby.
The second photo is part of a screen, a pleasing triptych, of mother hen, proud cock, and a rose, underneath all are scattered little yellow chicks..

chick fleeing father's bad temper

1 comment:

  1. Your posts often leave me with some interesting things to look up and explore when I have a moment to spare. I have often wished that the older fruit varieties could be grafted and named, saved at least for a gene pool. I think there is finally more awareness in this country of the value in "saving seed."


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