Thursday, 8 November 2007

The calm before the storm

The leaves in their coppery hues still cling to these elegant trees at the Lawns (see October post). A mature beech and oak almost intertwined. The November wind was picking up and the leaves swirling - a couple of hours later there would be a hefty shower to bring the leaves tumbling down.

The Swindon Advertiser publishes a monthly column called Nature Notes where they print seasonal extracts from the work of local 19th century writer Richard Jefferies. Yesterday (7th November) they published an extract from 'Hodge and His Masters' written in 188o.

So there are days to be enjoyed out of doors even in much-abused November. And when the wind rises and the storm is near, if you get under the lee of a good thick copse, there is a pleasure in the frenzy that passes over.
With a rush the leaves stream outwards, thickening the air, whirling round and round; the treetops bend and sigh, the blast strikes them, and in an instant they are stripped and bare.

The Old Ice House - at the Lawns, Old Town
This tiny little building at the Lawns is thought by some to be a folly - it was in fact an Ice House with ice stored there for use by Goddard family who owned of the Manor House which once stood in the grounds of the Lawns. The Manor House was demolished after the Second World War but the grounds are now a much loved and beautiful parkland space for the pleasure of local people.