Sunday, 6 January 2019

Ash Trees on the Mendips

I'm using this Title on this post because I took a picture of a magnificent ash tree on my ride today.  It was a shorter ride at around 8km, with 144m ascent.

The quiet time after Christmas is traditionally a time to consider new resolutions, Normally I don't make any resolutions, well not at this time of the year, but it dawned on me in the small wee hours that I ought to be less timid.    Friends who know the outer me may laugh at this, but the inner self does lack confidence in just getting on and trying things.

In  my less timid mode, I thought through the things I ought to set my sights on.  An important one is good health and fitness within one's capabilities.After my injury on the walks in Crete and a realisation that my feet would hardly ever be likely to be in shape to attempt even moderate walks let alone walks such as The Tour de Mont Blanc and crossing the Pyrenees as I had done some years ago, my mind has turned to cycling.  We are fortunate to live in a beautiful area, with reasonably quiet roads so this will be my new challenge and offer a variety of 'adventures'.

I have my workhorse of a bicycle, which with its panniers, serves me very well for visits to friends locally and most grocery shopping.  However there is no reason to limit oneself, and this is the third of my rides in my new regime.  I am exploring the area straight around our home.

Another area in which I have been timid, is in the use of the mobile phone!  After years of having first a pager, then a mobile phone for work, and jumping each time wondering what emergency would need to be dealt with, I had decided to use them as little as possible.  I have one and I want it to be a tool.

On my recent two cycle rides on the levels, one of the difficulties was getting out the Ordnance Survey Map from my pannier, opening it, finding where I was, and maybe trying to hold it open in the breeze or in the mizzle, which is the name for very fine rain/mist.

With the new Ordnance Survey Maps there is a facility to download a code, but first you need to upload an app, my first one!, and now I have the map on the phone, with a little help from Mr S.  So today, I have used this for the first time, and I am sure there are many features to explore and will be fun to use.

Another 'must try harder' area is using the mobile phone to take pictures....The picture of my Giant was taken with the phone, and another first for me today was uploading the picture to a 'Facebook' post using the phone.  Another first was sending the picture to my own email from the phone, so that I could upload it to my blog.

The Ash Tree was taken with my camera, and it really doesn't quite look as good.

There are large areas of mixed woodland on the Mendips, with Ash dominating.  Away from the coppiced woodland within the smaller fields 'eye catcher' specimens like this one offer landmarks along the lanes.  After cycling and indeed walking up steep hills pushing the bicycle, there was a steady downhill ride into Wookey, with much breaking. 

When looking up the flora and fauna of the Mendips I read that one of the plants 

"Purple gromwell: A characteristic plant of the Mendip ash-lime woodland frequently found in clearings and beside rides"

which by the way I shall look out for this spring around the edge of the wooded areas,  is growing in the green swath, which stands in for lawn in my front garden.  Was it planted there at some time, or is it a remnant of the original turf?


  1. I am still wary of using my cellphone beyond the most basic - SMS and Whatsapp. But having a compact in your pocket camera is useful.

    1. I have yet to get Whatsapp, but realising that a couple of the organisations I belong to are using this for their main group communication, I shall have to pluck up courage....