Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Choose the Best Jacket

Well the solar eclipse was a bit of a damp (cloudy) squib where we were, but never mind there's a lunar eclipse in September and another solar one coming to the UK in 84 years or so...
Meanwhile, something that requires more immediate attention is choosing your favourite book cover from the 3 images below. 
Please leave feedback and select your favourite, there will be a free signed book in the post for the most helpful comments, when they actually arrive.
Number One, Seasons

Number Two, Cherries

Number Three, Illustration
We hope you like the look of these book jackets. 
Please do leave comments, it really helps. 
I think it is a difficult choice, but that is a good thing.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Eclipsing the Equinox

There might not be much to harvest from the hedgerows at this time of year but there is still plenty to get excited about.
The weekend of the 21st 22nd is when the Vernal (Spring) Equinox occurs. This is the first time of the year when the days and nights are of equal length; the second time is the Autumnal Equinox. The Vernal Equinox is also the time of year in the UK when the clocks get moved forward, so we loose and hour of sleep, which I could do without personally.
More excitingly, this week on Friday morning 20th March in the UK we will experience a partial solar eclipse, (almost total sounds more fun). In Southampton (where we live) this will occur at about 09:28 with about 83% of the sun covered. Do not try to use sunglasses or anything else; looking at the sun, even during an eclipse is very dangerous and can damage your eyes. The simple and safe way to watch the process is to make a pin-hole camera, or use a small mirror to cast the image onto a plain wall. You can download the Royal Astronomical Society leaflet here.
You will need your eyes to be working at their best during the coming months to spot all the beautiful blossom that is bursting out all over the trees in Spring. This bloom will hopefully be the precursor to vast amounts of free fresh fruit, which you will then be able to access and eat. If you can’t eat it all at once you can transform it into pies,cakes, puddings, jams, cordials, chutney or anything else that comes to mind.
You should also be adding the trees locations onto the FallingFruit map, this way you and other people will be able to locate them more easily in future years.
The Urbane Forager Book Update…
Swift progress is being made during the Spring on the Urbane Forager book and we are now in the final stages of the design work.

If you want to receive updates on the progress of this project, please notify me via the contact pages here or on our community website. Then we can invite you to the book release party and you can be among the first to own a signed copy.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Spring is Sprung

At last! I have spotted my first Plum blossom of the year. It’s far from abundant at the moment, but in the warmer sheltered places the delicate creamy white buds that cover the branches are now opening to reveal their petals. Soon we will begin to see whole swathes of this ivory bloom along the roadsides and in the hedgerows.
 Remember though, it is not only the flowers of the Plum that herald the onset of Spring, the closely related Blackthorn will also bloom at the same time. The plums will develop fruit that will ripen in the Summer but Blackthorn bushes supply the Sloes and these will not mature until late Autumn .
Now is the time to begin spotting and identifying blossom, wherever you are and record its location. Once you have done this, you should also take a moment to indicate it on the Falling Fruit map.
During the chilly month of February, we took a trip to discover a stone circle near Oxford. The Devil’sCoits are situated in the beautiful village of Stanton Harcourt. The original landscape was shamefully destroyed by gravel extraction and then replaced with landfill but thankfully, the henge and stone circle has now been restored.
While we were in the Cotswolds we spotted lots of beautiful Kites. These large but extremely graceful birds of prey are a delight to watch as their distinct silhouettes circle above the villages, scanning the landscape for food.
The Urbane Forager Book Update…
Swift progress has been made during the Winter on the new Urbane Forager book and we are now in the final stages of the design work. We have a few early versions of potential covers for the book jacket and will post them here soon for your approval.