• A new small black hairy member of the family has arrived

    It's not all about trees. Dear old Molly died at the ripe old age of 16 just over a year ago & since then we've been thinking about whether we should go for a new partner for Flossie, aged 7. We finally jumped and two days ago Jessie, aged 8 weeks, has joined the team. Flo is slightly uncertain about this tiny wagging black thing that seems desperate to make her acquaintance & is steering cautiously around her, just coming to terms with the newcomer. It'll be fine in a day or two. Eric the cat really not sure at all, but again he'll get used to it. Lovely to start out on another adventure with a new animal. Pearson Bark now has both its logo Scotties back in hand.

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  • Special Outing to The Major Oak around 1895

    What a beautiful image! Latest acquisition for the archive is this enchanting group portrait of a school or perhaps Sunday school outing to the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest, some time around 1895 I would guess. The children certainly seem dressed in their best for their excursion and close study of the costume reveals many fancy bonnets, beautiful lace details to dresses, and smart jackets for many of the boys. The children in the front row reveal their boots well-studded and blakeyed - some may be wearing clogs. Everyone remained perfectly still for the exposure apart from one tiny child in the front - perhaps the baby of the group - who passed into posterity as a ghostly blur. Unfortunately no information on the reverse of the card mount, but a glorious vignette of a grand day out.

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  • Sun, Sitka, Surprise

    To be perfectly frank I am seldom entranced by a stand of Sitka spruce, but out yesterday in Aconbury Wood I caught a cracking view of late afternoon sunlight bursting through a big group of mature trees, but they were spaced well apart so that the young generation were able to make way beneath them. Beautiful backlight - just for a fleeting moment transported to a northwest American forest.

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  • Wesley Tree - A rare and early Ash image surfaces

    Ain't it always the way - just after one has commited to press something comes along that you wish you'd known about or managed to find before the sign-off. Well it was six months ago now that ASH was ready to print, but since I do include a short feature about the Wesley Tree in Winchelsea, Sussex it would have been wonderful to include this image.

    Trawling the Internet a few days ago I spotted this delightful little carte-de-visite photograph from around 1865. Taken by E.T. Gasson, a photographer from nearby Rye, it was clearly intended to function as a tourist memento in much the same way that postcards would do some 40 years later. One wonders who the top-hatted gent beneath the tree might have been - some local worthy, friend or relative of the photographer? I then went on to investigate the Photographic Artist and found a splendid article in a local magazine - without further ado take a look at https://ryesown.co.uk/ryes-first-photographer/ It's a great story about a remarkable man. Enjoy the wonderful portrait of the man himself - not only photographer, carpenter, picture framer, stationer, museum proprietor, but also Bird Stuffer! A fascinating link between Gasson and Winchelsea was that his mother was born there - probably around 1790 - the date of Wesley's visit!

    This original tree fell in gales in the 1920s, but a replacement tree was planted from a cutting, and still survives to this day.

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  • Hedge laying for beginner

    It wasn't until I had a closer look at one of our hedges the other day that I realised that there was more ivy than hedge tree in it and so, bearing in mind it was hardly a long enough stretch to bother about a pro., the novice hedge layer AM decided to have a bit of a shot at it. Cleared the gap as well as possible - tons of ivy and a couple of dead elders - the gap opened up even more. Carefully semi-severed some hawthorn and field maple either side of the gap, making sure I left a live heel on each one. Found three stakes to weave the stems around and pushed them down as hard and far as I could. Then planted a couple of little hollies, a hawthorn and a couple of wild plums along the gap (hope they will all take). Finished off with a bit of chicken wire on the inside to stop Scottie Flossie from squeezing through. Fingers crossed & let's see what the spring brings.

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Archie Miles photography

Archie's Blog

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