August 21, 2011

Sticks and Stones

I've always been fascinated by erosion. I love the way that stone steps can be shaped by years of use or the smoothing of a piece of wood, touched lightly by thousands of hands.

I also see shapes in inanimate objects. Our brains are hard wired to recognise faces and it seems that every tree or cloud has a face in it somewhere. Its all subconscious but I have found myself staring at a stain or scratch and can see it as something else, I am always on the lookout for the unusual. Its like a four-leafed clover, you have to look for them to see them and, if you have the shape of those four leaves in your mind, you will find quite a few.

So, as I wander the banks of the river or the sea shore I am constantly scanning the ground for anything of note. Nicky has a large collection of little stones, pebbles and shells that have come from everywhere we have travelled, each a little reminder, each a little bit different from the norm. There are a couple of stones that are almost perfect spheres, a larger, porous stone that actually floats, although that may be an eroded building block but it looks good in the pond.

Here are three of my favourites.

The first is a heavy piece of stone that looks like it has been melted and hardened into its current shape. It was lodged amongst other stones in a fast section of water and appears to have formed naturally. Either way, it is pleasing to look at and handle.

As is number 2. I found this just a few weeks ago on a shingle beach by the river Wye. It is beautifully smooth and must have taken eons to create. Any stone with a hole eroded into it is a good find but this one, this is just wonderful.

My last item of note is an oak tree that stands at the entrance to our fishery. Years ago a large bough fell or was cut from the main trunk. The damage has repaired, softened and has formed the most gorgeous shape. Known locally as 'The Bum Tree', it makes me smile every time I look at it.

Keep your eyes open, there's a world of treasure out there.


  1. The 'bum tree'............ i have often seen that tree Dave and sniggered to myself at the thought, glad its not just me who spotted it LOL

  2. It is also quite a nice bum and thankfully female. Were she in Barnsley I dread to think what would have happened to her.

  3. Rumour has it that on the opposite side of the tree there's a little nest ;-)