sherwood forest: of silver birch & golden arrows …

‘…the arrow with the golden head
And shaft of silver white …’

‘Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow’, Child Ballad 152

Photos …
1: ‘English Longbow’ via Wildwood Traditional Archery
2: ‘Handcrafted Quiver’ by Juri via Paleoplanet Archery
3: ‘Wedge Tail Arrows’ via Wildwood Traditional Archery
4: ‘Gold Arrowhead’ via Phokion’s flickr

forest of ancients: thick as thieves …

Sherwood Forest, ‘continuously forested since the end of the Ice Age’ … ancient, enchanting & beloved hideaway of a certain legendary medieval thief & his gang of outlaws …

A venerable forest, now but a fragment of the original vast ‘wildwood’ … remarkable relics remain scattered amongst the silver birch {‘Birklands’}, the last refuge of ‘more than a thousand ancient oaks most of which are known to be more than five hundred years old’ …

Within the very heart of Sherwood Forest still resides the majestic ‘Major Oak’, aka ‘the Queen’ {long before it was re-nicknamed in the 18th c.} … & thought to be ‘as old as the English language’, about 800–1000 years …!

“Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me
And tune his merry note
Unto the sweet bird’s throat
Come hither, come hither, come hither
Here shall he see no enemy
But winter and rough weather.”

– William Shakespeare: Under the Greenwood Tree

Via John Palmer etcetera

Photos …
Top: ‘Forest Snow, Sherwood’ via DaveKav’s flickr
Middle: ‘Sherwood Forest Oaks’ via Nottinghamshire History
Bottom: ‘Oak, Sherwood Forest’ via Noel Kingsley’s blog

robbie burns: timorous beastie & ode to a haggis …

‘Wee Sleekit Cowrin Tim’rous Beastie’ & ‘Eat Haggis and Ceilidh On’; posters in honour of Robbie Burns, by Scottish artist Allistair Burt, found via Folksy

See & hear all things Burns, including a lovely poem read to you by Robbie Coltrane, Robert Carlyle, or Dougray Scott, or even Alex Salmond or perhaps Prince Charles, to name a few …!

no cloud above, no earth below – a universe of sky & snow!

‘Village in Snow’ by Timur Petrovich Novikov, via Art Inconnu

Much for stargazers to observe these first few days of January …!

Venus, a morning star, rises 3 hours before the Sun at a dazzling magnitude –4.7, its brightest of the year. It now reaches its highest point of 2011. Venus attains its greatest separation from the Sun, 47 degrees, on the 8th …
Mercury is a morning star, too, visible at the lower left of Venus during the first 20 days of the month …
Mars, however, lurks on the far side of the Sun, lost in its glare …
In the evening sky, Jupiter is the brightest “star” at nightfall, in the southwest …
Binoculars easily reveal blue-green Uranus just above it during the first week of the month …
The Moon is near Mercury on the 2nd and Jupiter on the 9th …
Saturn, in Virgo, rises at midnight …
Earth reaches Perihelion, its closest point to the Sun, on the 3rd …
Plus, a New Moon on the 4th …
And, a Solar partial eclipse on the 4th too, although not visible from North America, it will be from Europe and the East …!
Last but not least, the Quadrantids meteor shower, from about 8pm EST on the 3rd, into the wee hours of the 4th … did you know you can hear them ‘ping’ …?!

… via Old Farmer’s Almanac 2011

‘No cloud above, no earth below – a universe of sky & snow!’
Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier