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Sunset through Hazel Leaves and Leaping Giant Frogs.

Sunset through new hazel leaves

I have a thing about Beech trees.  In spring they are one of the most beautiful sights and in the autumn they are one of the most beautiful sights.  I love the smooth grey of their trunks and the sinuous strength of their limbs stretching out to the sun.  If you look at the way a Beech tree twig grows it is asymmetrical, elegant and.. erm...  pointy.   :)

Hazel bud burst on the trunk of the tree

Once I went to Avebury at Samhain.  I got chatting about Beech trees to the head Druid of the area before the ceremony started.  He had a loathing of splintery Beech Trees and we debated heavily about whether they were native or not.  It was brilliant!!  He had a point about them being splintery, the only close encounter with a falling tree I've ever had was the huge limb of a Beech tree ripping the tree in half in Savernake Forest.  Leo and I had just passed the tree a few moments before.  It sounded like the largest thunder clap I'd ever heard.  Scary stuff.

Not quite as scary as my church and graveyard explorations during this walk...

I was getting sucked into the stories behind the gravestones.  Fantasing about the lives these people may have had.  I came across the oldest gravestones, some dating to 1615!  It was in this patch that the Entrance to the Vault was.  Strangely compelling.  I think my irrational desire to be able to lift that stone and go down the beetle covered steps into the vault is what led me to go into the Church instead.

Willow and I opened the huge heavy oak door and were hit by the damp stone and dusty wood smell that is peculiar to churches.  Willow was having none of it.  She was not going in!  I finally managed to coax her in and I closed the door.  No lights.  It was creepy but beautiful!  It's what the windows were made for.  

This window was behind the altar.  Check out the masonic symbol in the very top window.

The church was full of shadowy pews, arches and churchy paraphernalia.  I was heading towards the altar when I saw the shadow of a person.  A huge person, with a perfectly defined head.  I nearly poo'd my pants.  there was an unexpected room off to the left with a huge statue of a man in it lit by the stained glass window below.  

About 10 years ago I used to live in a semi converted church in Capel Curig, North Wales (only half of it had been done, all the pews were still in place and the telly sat on the lectern!).  So being able to explore a church, in the dark, with noone else being there brought back memories of that crazy, wonderful time!

Sweet Woodruff

The woods are looking spectacular.  So many new plants and signs of nightly scurrying.  I found some more moschatel (Old town clock) by the woodruff.  Pretty, pretty, pretty!

I came up with many stories during this wandering of mine.  It was great fun.  You can't help it when you come across entrances..
The Entrance

I think that the Entrance had something to do with this poor giant frog.  He obviously tried his chances and leapt out into our world at the wrong time of day.   Now he's petrified in wood forever.  Poor thing.

Before my willow went disastrously slimy I managed to make some baskets for people and here they are...
I can't use the pond anymore to soak the withies as it's too full of life (I feel awful shaking out the newts, dragonfly nymphs etc...).  So in the meantime I'm using a green wheelie bin filled with water to soak them in.  It's not really deep enough, but will have to do until I'm finished building my soaking trough!

It's a magical world we live in!



  1. I like the story of your living in a semi converted church. Its as if your home, or your self, was part church too. That's pretty cool. Such places must be filled with a lot of energy from the past.

    I loved the photos of the stained glass. It is other worldly visiting old churches. However, going into the vaults would have been very spooky.

    Is there any traditional use for Beeches in crafts making? Maybe the tree has a message or request for you?

    Enjoy the Spring Hen. It has finally sprung over here in WA State too.


  2. Lovely post Hen. It really does look like a frog in the tree. The church sounds amazing I have a real fascination with churches too, which is odd as a Pagan, but theres just something about them. xxx

  3. Wow, beautiful post Hen. There are so many wonderful things to look at here. The beech are beautiful. Your church adventures look quite interesting. Its funny that Willow really did not want to go in there, I wonder if she could sense something? How was that living in a half converted church? Was it one that had good energy to it?
    And as always very beautiful baskets. Will your new soaking trough have a lid to it so wildlife doesnt make its way into your willows? Or just sort them out when you pull the willow out of soaking?

  4. Pixiedust, :) thank you! I would go as far as to say that I am borderline obsessed with Churches. I'm no where near being a Christian either! I can understand how you feel!! :)

  5. Such a lovely post hen! I was hoping to get out and about this weekend but a poorly baby (and now a poorly husband) meant that we weren't able to - so seeing your lovely pictures of the woodland is a much needed breath of fresh air for me! :)

    I love the creature in the tree (and your story about it) - it does look very frog-like or perhaps even a creature from the deep....

    As always your baskets are lovely! Shame that you're going to have to relocate your willow soaking but great that the pond is so full of life!


  6. Stacey and Bernie :) I'm convinced Willow could sense something. Could have been my trepidation but was probably something that I was blocking so I could explore. She stayed so close to the ground the whole time I was in there and kind of scuttled out when we left.

    There was a LOT of energy in Capel Curig church. It is twice the size of the one I visited here and the living area was the other end of the aisle from the entrance. There was no light in the aisle area with all the pews in and so I'd get home, lock the huge wooden door with the giant key and run the 100m down the aisle to the giant, red, theatre curtains that separated the two areas. *shudder*

    I looked after 2 dogs there and had my own dog there too, 'Woof'. It was often a scary moment when the three of them would all start looking into a dark corner and growling, hackles up.

    It had positive energy in only one place, the room that would have had the alter in it, the huge domed ceiling was painted with Christ on a throne surrounded by four angels. They were about 12feet in height, the bed was directly beneath it, it was all gold and deep colours. It was a very light room, visually and energy wise.

    My peculiar need to explore things meant that I snouted out every corner of that Church. Even going as far as to pull up a massive vent cover that had a tunnel in it. I wish I'd stopped myself investigating that, it led to the vault. If I hadn't done that I may have stayed a bit longer! :)

    Our land is covered in ancient Beech trees, huge beasts! My job is to care for them, so I do my best. I do carve a few things from their wood when they drop some. So maybe that's my calling to Beech trees. To look after them. :)

    Stacey, the new trough will definitely have a lid on! I can't bear the idea of hurting things that are just trying to get on with their business and live!

    Phew... huge comment! :)


  7. Aw, Rebecca! I'm sorry to hear about poorly smalls and lovers! Keep yourself healthy too!

    I can so see a creature from the deep, seaweed trailing...

    Is there anything better than a healthy pond? I've lost entire days pond watching!

    Your Giveaway is so cooooooooool!!! Beautiful stuff!!!!!!!!


  8. What wonderful photographs, the stone is quite unusual I should think, I've never seen one like that and I wander round a lot of churches. I agree with you about beech trees and hedges too - I love them. The green of the new beech leaves in truly beautiful and the autumn colours are lovely too. I have beech hedges nd love them in the autumn when they look like a patchwork quilt in greens and golds and browns. Not quite so thrilled at this time of year when they drop their old leaves all over my newly tidied flower beds! And I think I recognise that basket on the right:)

  9. ah, yes, that's your basket !! ;)


  10. Loved your comment Hen! Thanks for sharing your experiences of living at the church. It must have been exciting and scary all in one.

    I used to have cats that would look at presences that entered the room and they would just stare at something for a long time. But they were not scared of this particular entity. Sometimes when I was sitting on the floor, I'd feel a cat come up against me, but when I would look, nothing was there. This happened to me often. Lots of ghost stories to share.

  11. About the churches... I'm nowhere near any organized religion, but as a spiritual person, beautiful churches touch me also. I think it's the spiritual expression of the artists touching the spiritual part of me. I had a favorite church that I visited every week when I went to Ireland. Very peaceful.

    Your place is so beautiful, Hen, and I love how you look at it.


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