Monday, 21 July 2014

Hamsterley Forest

Recently Jeff and I went to Hamsterley Forest for the day.
We had a really good time despite arguing over which trail to take when a logging diversion closed part of the path. The walk was very challenging and both of us could not believe that we had walked such a short distance as it felt like at least twice as long as the map claimed.
These are a couple of creatures we met on the way.

A walker looking rather fatigued.

A Gruffalo, having escaped from a children's storybook.


The trees and flowers are at their summer peak now. These poppies were growing in the park.
There is that high summer smell in the air now of rotting vegetation and the distinctive smell of the plants which grow around here.
Heavy showers, sun and heat are combining to make all the plants, weeds included, grow quickly.

Gallowgate and Pitt Street

There have been so many changes on Gallowgate and Pitt Street recently, the area has been completely transformed.
It is a bit beyond me to do much in the way of documentary. However I do know that already I am feeling like the buildings are closing in on me. This one reminds me of two images, the film "Jaws" about the shark, and the painting "The Scream" by Edvard Munch.

If you want to see for yourself here is the location on

google maps

Friday, 18 July 2014


The Laburnum trees have finished flowering now for this year and have got their seeds pods on, but I did like this photo of the tree that stands at the top of the steps onto Castle Leazes.

Pebbles and stones with moss and lichen

Recently I bought a reconditioned iPhone 4s on ebay, and I have been taking a lot of photos with it.
I have only just worked out how to focus it but it is very handy to just have in the pocket when I go out. The NiKon Coolpix was a bit too big to fit in the pocket.

I liked the idea of getting a secondhand phone as it accorded with my principles about recycling and the enviromnent.

I made this stones series during some free time at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey last month. The 2 stones with holes in were found on a north east beach many years ago, and are supposed to be lucky. I am not sure where I got the 2 pink polished stones from.

Stones in sunlight on wall with lichen.

Stones with flowering mosses.

Stones in crevasse on wall.

After the stones spending the week (during which I was attending Reverend Olwen's retreat) sitting on the windowsill in the room I was staying in, I had decided it would be good for them to stay, but I didn't want to leave them on the wall. I had got quite sentimental about them.
So I eventually decided to leave them in the plant pot outside the Abbot's House.
I dedicated the merit of my activity with the to all the trainees who visit Throssel.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Spring flowers

Lots of Midland Hawthorn Blossom this year, providing food for woodpigeons.

These buds of rhodedendron in Leazes Park were particularly pleasing.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Woodland near Torver Jetty

Woodland in May has a special light to it.
The moss and ferns add to the quality of the light.

These woodland scenes are from the path near Torver Jetty last month.

Dogen's book "Shobogenzo" can be downloaded as a free pdf from the net. Then it can easily be searched for any word or phrase you want.

Here is another quote:
"When the breezes of spring rise up, the withered trees sound forth the Dragon’s song: when the leaves of autumn wither, the chill woods scatter their flowers abroad. The jewel-like stepping-stones make patterns in the moss: the faces of people take on the hue of haze and mist. Distracting sounds have become hushed: conditions are just what they are. "