• ... and then this happened

    Heading home last night and spotted some great light on a hedgerow ash. Ran across the field to catch a picture before the storm clouds blacked everything out... and then this happened. How often when you see a rainbow & there isn't a decent picture to be made? Perhaps it's a little optimistic to have a rainbow over an ash tree.

    A few talks coming up this month for anyone interested:

    14.10 - West Midlands Tree Wardens Forum, Birmingham - "Ash"

    15.10 - 'Out of Nature' exhibition at Newport House, Almeley - "New Perspectives of Ancient Trees"

    19.10 - Welsh Historic Gardens Trust, Swansea "The British Oak"

    24.10 - Stoke Lacy Garden Club - "Treescape"

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  • Down to the Jurassic Coast

    It's been a busy spell & to those who visit regularly I extend apologies for lack of new posts. With work on my new book taking me away rather a lot the ol' blog has been somewhat neglected.

    A few days out down in Dorset couple of weeks back and it just reminded me what a stunningly beautiful part of the world it is. Time to unwind, mooch the hills, wander the beaches looking for fossils, dip a tentative toe in the briny (brrr - too cold for me, but Jan's all the way in) then find some great pub food or fish and chips on the sea wall at Lyme.

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  • Not quite found for a pound, but still an exciting find

    Those of you who visit regularly down the years will know that I'm a bit of an addict for the car boot sales on a weekend. Often I walk round and find nothing that takes my fancy, but last Sunday was the day I found an absolute gem. It cost a tad more than £1.... but not a lot, and is one of the rarest bits of pottery I think I've ever found.

    This little transfer printed milk jug celebrates the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway on 15th September 1830 and depicts the mighty Moorish Arch tunnel portal on one side and a very quaint depiction of one of those first trains full of little folks on the other side. Obviously the event pretty well dates the jug to 1830 or very shortly after & it would appear that it may have been made at the Herculaneum Pottery in Liverpool, although it bears no marks. A tiny bit of damage to the rim & some slight staining, but it is almost 200 years old!

    Found for Pound will return shortly with a few unusual summer finds...

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  • Strange being haunts this wood

    One of our nearby Herefordshire woods that I've been visiting for 25 years contains a truly weird and remarkable phenomenon on one of the ash trees. Burrs are not particularly common on straight growing woodland ash trees but a good bit more than 25 years ago something caused this tree to produce this strange 'ash-beast' that emanates from the trunk. Slowly, slowly it gets a little bigger each year, gathering more moss and ferns as it grows. My only hope is that nothing untoward happens to the tree, either natural disaster or some bright spark deciding to fell it. I have a suspicion that any forester with his wits about him might just be a little wary of causing such a tree any harm.

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  • Woodcutters around 1890

    Thought you might like to see this latest addition to my archive image collection. This is a late Victorian hand-coloured lantern slide made and sold by W.C.Hughes of London and I would date it to around 1890 judging by the clothing. Clearly it is a somewhat staged affair, but charming for all that, and the colouring is rather fine too - a bit splodgy when viewed with a lens, yet the overall effect is very pleasing and must have looked impressive when projected on to a large screen as originally intended. The quality of the image is very reminscent of the autochromes, perfected by the Lumiere Brothers in the very early 20th century.

    Victorian middle class society must have thought working life in the woods was so idyllic, more a genteel pastime with accompanying picnic rather than plain hard graft day in day out, come rain or shine.

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Archie Miles photography

Archie's Blog

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