january sunshine; the roof of the wood is a lattice of branches letting the blue sky in. the beech tree’s naked trunk twists and turns like a mature-bodied dryad, in the centre of its glade, floored with copper leaves

here the wood is thicker and still makes a dark shade contrasting its boundary with the open field.

the wood is dry and crackling with leaves underfoot. no signs of primrose or violet yet, although the woodpecker’s drumming rings through the trees on these sunny days and the great tit has begun his repetitive two tone song.

clumps of elm trees have died and collapsed; until the inevitable clones spring up from the roots the wood is opened up to daylight and brambles are spreading; there is less cover for the roe deer and I rarely see them. today a hare got up and ran out of the trees as we walked through, noisily cracking dead twigs and making our clumsy way, no doubt spreading alarm amongst the inhabitants.

in my garden the snowdrops are out, and the celandines. the first promise of life this year.

continuing to make pieces with plant impressions; this is clematis harvested from the tangle of dead stuff round the pillars of the verandah.

the first biscuit firing done, and now a glaze firing to prepare for the first day of february.