All posts tagged: Winter

Life and Death in Late Winter

The view from the old, stone castle or Ankara Kalesi stretches beyond the houses, tower blocks and mosques to the empty white mountains. The capital city has been exploding from a small town of some 50,000 in 1945 to a city of 5 million today. Young people […]

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Winter windfalls

Adrift in the North Downs, the small village of Eastling sleeps in the early morning sun. The great yews bury much of the churchyard in deep-frozen shade. A goldcrest briefly emerges from the dense needles in its hunt for tiny prey. Goldfinches sing their light, liquid trickle from high, hidden […]

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Pintails and Running Rail

Feather perfect, pintail pairs paddle the gin blue water of the East Flood; the males stay close and carefully guard their females. Every now and then the dominant male lifts up out of the water and bows his head toward his partner, and then a few […]

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Travels in the Holy Land

Israel December 20th 2016 – January 3rd 2017 The Ayalon River or Wadi Musrara used to flow from the Judean Hills west through Tel Aviv to the sea at Jaffa; today it is re-routed through a concrete channel that lies in the centre of the Ayalon […]

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Winter Sun

Oare Marshes, North Kent, December 14th 2016 The sun shines low in the sky and the few high clouds pay scant attention to the stretched blue canvas. The wind warms from the south, and the drying day is a break from the blanket of brooding drizzle. The […]

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East is East…Shellness and Sheerness

From the sea wall on the Isle of Grain, the Port of Sheerness is an unbroken strip of trade and industry between the gun metal Medway and the brilliant blue sky. The Grain Tower, once the principal defence for the Medway ports, squats in the shallow estuary […]

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On the Konya Plain

The ancient city of Konya, which sits at the southern end of the vast Central Anatolian plateau, has a rich history: visited by St Paul; the former capital of the Seljuk Turks; and home, in the 13th century, to the most famous Sufi poet, known simply […]

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Early Winter Snows

The  wind drives the Swale into a muddy broth. Small flocks of Brent geese career down the coast on the wind and then turn and hang before alighting on the barren shore. Oystercatchers flock on the tideline with curlews, redshanks, grey plovers and a handful of […]

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Cobham

I walked under grey skies, giving occasional rain but with rare splashes of weak sun, from Sole Street to Cobham. The footpath took off through grassy orchards to the Church. These held no veteran bramley, cox or russet, just neatly numbered rows of whips held […]

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A Murder in Reculver

Yesterday, I drove the A2 east under clear skies to the hamlet of Reculver, located on the flat coast not far from Margate and parked next to the pub beneath the remnant twin towers of the 12th century church.   Admiring its fearful symmetry and outstanding location, I […]

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Butcher’s Broom and Privet

Butcher’s Broom and Privet

Walking up the narrow lanes from Horton Kirby takes me past dark ivy-clad hedgerows topped by trails of clematis. These hedges house ancient woodland species such as holly, privet and spindle together with a spiky, evergreen shrub which once seen is not readily forgot – Butcher’s Broom.  It was, apparently, […]

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Higham and Cliffe Marshes

Higham and Cliffe Marshes

Yesterday, I walked from Higham railway station to St Mary’s Church on the edge of the grazing marshes. The old church with its short spire and overgrown graveyard had the appearance of Magwitch’s hideaway but that apparently is nearby St James’ in Cooling.  I walked […]

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