Tag Archives: landscape

Newcastle Writers Festival sessions

I’ll be talking about Understory at several sessions at the Newcastle Writers Festival next month, as well as leading a masterclass at the University of Newcastle for creative writing students. I’m particularly excited about the session on Writing the Landscape … Continue reading

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Shallow Crossing

The flash and gleam of light, the plop and bubble of others, below – the constant play of a world within a world that knows its own secret. Continue reading

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Foxfire

The Finns call the northern lights revontulet, or ‘foxfire,’ after a fabulous mythical fox who swept snow into the air with its tail and ignited it. According to legend, if you talk to the lights, they will come down and … Continue reading

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William Bartram

Three early American natural history writers had a particular influence on the development of nature writing: William Bartram, Alexander Wilson and John James Audubon. As Romanticism shifted the emphasis from the physical qualities of the landscape to the feelings it engendered in … Continue reading

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Woo-hoo: Powerful Owl

 When we first set up Olvar Wood, we kept hearing a deep mournful call carrying from far off in the early evenings, like a child speaking into a piece of poly pipe down near the large dams on the citrus grove below … Continue reading

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Gilbert White’s A Natural History of Selbourne

Gilbert White believed that those who study “only one district are much more likely to advance natural knowledge than those that grasp at more than they can possibly be acquainted with: every kingdom, every province, should have its own monographer.”
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Lone Tree

Trees, like us, live not only in the present but remember the past and anticipate the future. The Larch, for example, remembers a caterpillar attack. The next year, it grows shorter, stouter leaves, which don’t photosynthesise as efficiently as its … Continue reading

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Falling Wood

The trees sometimes leave gifts for us at Olvar Wood: driftwood from the sky. Branches and fragments bleached pale grey and rubbed smooth not by the tumble of the ocean but by wind and sun and rain. They fall to … Continue reading

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ash and cupcakes

15 August 2011 The woodpile is shrinking. I had planned to chainsaw more wood today, but I’m tired and it is raining. Yesterday we cleaned out the ash from beneath the fireplace, which had piled right up to within an … Continue reading

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The Mary Smokes Boys by Patrick Holland

“It doesnt matter anyhow. I own you. All things belong to the people who love them most.” Continue reading

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