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Review of 1997

Ragwort at Old Winchester Hill

The Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaeae) is called the Buachalan Buidhe by the Gaelic Irish, pronounced “bouckalhan buiee”, and this lovely poem and the Gaelic name was provided by Margaret Reynolds, Earnley Nature Photographer, class of 1997.

The Buachalan Buidhe

All over the hills and the valleys so green
The buachalan buidhe in its glory is seen
Some call it a weed, and a weed it may be,
But not to the fairies, the buachalan buidhe

For when you and I are asleep in our bed
The buachalan tosses its yellow tressed head
And then 'tis a charger with mane flowing free
For fairies to ride on, the buachalan buidhe

In the dark of the moon when the breezes are still
There's a rustle and stir in the heart of each hill,
Where wee folks slip out from the halls of the sidhe*
To go for a ride on the buachalan buidhe

With bridles and saddles and stirrups of gold
They travel through Erin with few to behold
Till the first spears of dawning steal in from the sea
Then homeward they jog on the buachalan buidhe

So when on the hillsides and valleys so green
The buachalan buidhe in its glory is seen,
Don't call it a weed - though a weed it may be -
But the horse of the fairies, the buachalan buidhe

Attributed; Teresa Brayton

*Sidhe: Irish for fairies, pronounced “shee”

Pintail (Anas acuta)


The Spirit of Kingley Vale

A sculpture by Walter Bailey.

The sculpture represents the interaction between people and the rest of nature, and the record which this has etched indelibly on to the landscape. It was carved from a single piece of yew from a tree blown over in the great storm of 1987.

In his own words:

"In the carving I sought to celebrate the ancient trees and the many generations of people who have passed through Kingley Vale, each carrying away with them some essence of the mystery which trees engender.
"The sculpture surface is deliberately left in a raw state, reflecting the trees' marriage of decay and vitality.
"I have a deep respect for the longevity of these trees. I have chosen to represent a human figure which radiates from the heart. This echoes the pattern of yew tree growth, as the ancient trees themselves regenerate from their hollow centres by developing new roots from tree branches".

Grasshopper exuvium


Sunken garden path

Peacock at Earnley

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