cool winds blow 37/75

working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘RisshO’ / beginning of autumn, 8th – 22nd August
Micro climate ‘cool winds blow’, 8th-12th August.

Getting behind with this project!

We certainly have been experiencing ‘cool winds’, or rather, sudden gales, on the hill, here in Scotland!

Punctuated with absolutely heavenly, blissful days of late summer, then back to gales and heavy rain the next day.

There has been thunder and I have had a couple of ‘feeling autumn in the air’ moments….the reddening rowan berries always bring it to attention…..

Such extremes of weather.

And the resulting fluctuating moods.

Time flying by.

Lots going on.

I was gutted when a fierce, Easterly, gale snapped the pole of my bird-feeder/willow experiment.

I had made many mistakes when I ‘planted’ this. I had glibly thought it would be fun to plant a few willows around the severe looking metal bird-feeder and train them in a spiral around it. It has been growing pretty happily for 5 years now and the birds and I have really been enjoying it!

Then, in the last two years, the weight of it’s leafy crown caused an immense ‘sail’ effect and the branches began snapping in these late summer gales. I have been giving it a severe, early, haircut to prevent this.

And now the pole itself has snapped….

The rigidity of the metal feeder had been robbing the willow of the flexibility necessary to survive these strong winds.

Supported by the pole it grew bigger, but weaker….then when the hollow, sectioned, tent-style pole snapped, the raw edge was scarring the trees in the wind, on the inside….

But, amazingly, the pole worked its way out and it (the entire installation) ‘fell’/bent under the weight of summer foliage.

The willows retained, though, the flexibility to lie horizontally across the lawn without breaking!

Scarred, but far from dead. All connected. Bendy willow.



Most gardeners I know would wonder why I just did not cut it right down and dig it out!

But I’ve actioned some possible solutions, in order to save it, by removing a section of the remaining pole (that had not ‘grown’ into the willow) from the ‘inside’, hopefully allowing a bit more flexibility, giving it all an even more serious haircut (to prevent wind blow) and providing a little support in the form of a string tied to the downpipe of our house!

Hope it re-grows stronger now….even with remaining, grown-in, metal appendages lodged in it’s crown!!

I see many parallels in this small story with our human relationship with nature.
Our attempts to push nature to our needs/whims. Artificial, so called ‘supporting systems’ making us all ‘grow bigger, but weaker’, all life threatened as rigid systems refuse to ‘bend’, how ‘it all falls’ when the systems themselves snap, only hope for survival of living things becoming to remove as much as possible of said ‘artificial, rigid, pole’, leaving only the best bits, the bits we know work, suffer some ‘cut-backs’ and use the experience to grow stronger, more resilient, having learned our lessons…..and with a little gentle, love and care….to come into right relationship….from better foundations.

I have managed to get some work done on the tiny gallery, but am really beginning to panic that it will not get finished….I always worry too much….it has walls to hang art on…and I am always up to something interesting! I can imagine that being a visitor that finds ‘artist’ swearing and building a door…. could also be interesting! And a chance to stop and have a cup of tea will always be welcome!

Here’s a wee gallery of this seasons best pics from the hill….autumn certainly does seem to creeping up on us….

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