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Beagle For Beauty - November 2020

Woods by Wendell Berry I part the out thrusting branches

and come in beneath

the blessed and the blessing trees.

Though I am silent

there is singing around me.

Though I am dark

there is vision around me.

Though I am heavy

there is flight around me.

1. Still Life - Wonder Filled Wood: The fern canopy overshadows the forest floor, casting shade, providing shelter. Deep in the shadows, blanketed by moss and bark the little umbrellas are up. Soft, almost a dream, warm and snug in the damp air, they reach for the light. A flutter or wings, a cry from the disturbed magpie, she flees our intrusion.

I discovered this area of woodland a couple of years ago, the kids and I were out for a ramble and I was drawn to the blanket of amber ferns that stretched as far as the eye could see. We meandered and explored, going off the beaten track and marvelling at the rich, egg yolk sunshine dappling through the golden birch leaves above. The ground was soft and spongey under foot with its many layers of fallen leaves, bark strips bent like paper and log limbs crumbled like soft cheese. We found a secret world that day and of course I was excited to capture it with my camera. Pictured right is the first image I took back then of the many and varied fungi growing there. So for my November project I really wanted to go back and gather some little subjects and recreate the magical autumnal scene for you. I cannot tell you how many spiders escaped into my room or bugs who very rightly, put out by my creative endeavours, had to find a new home, in mine! I was twitching and jumping at every small black spec for days! Check out the cheeky pink fellow at the back, what a shade. If I could add one more thing to the still life it would either be a squirrel, hedgehog or bird or... a fairy!

2. Slow Living: I am most excited to share Morten Hilmer with you this month. In my own pursuit of slower living I came across Morten earlier in the year, he is a very special wildlife and landscape photographer living in Greenland. Morten was once part of a special forces sled team but now spends his time photographing nature and creating videos. Sometimes his videos are lovely to have on in the background, they really slow you down and bring a peaceful atmosphere. Never over narrated and his final images set to beautiful classical music, his work will help you reconnect with nature as he takes you on his nature adventures. You are in for a treat!

3. Podcasts: It's been a good month for podcasts, something I love to listen to as I walk the dog, do my make-up, fold laundry or cook dinner. Sally Clarkson is my No.1 go-to and this month not only did I have the privilege and fun of being on with her twice but this conversation between Sally and author Shelly Miller was most beautiful and powerful, and probably moreso as I write today as Shelly has gone to be with the Lord since. You will need a tissue but it will also stoke your faith. This insightful and important conversation from the The Holy Post by Phil Vischer between Skye Jethani and Daniel Darling I feel is not to be missed when it comes to the importance of social media and how it's influencing us.

4. Art: I love this art tour in the New York Times, Seeing our Own Reflection In The Birth Of Self-Portrait. Keep scrolling and enjoy this unfolding journey. If you enjoy ice skating you'll appreciate this stunning routine by Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. I have been following The Kitcheners for a while