Flowers

Flowers

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Forces of Nature

We're not under water for miles and miles here in the Cotswolds (well, not quite, anyway), but river levels are very high and the meadows and gardens on its banks are flooded. The high winds seemed to claim a new tree every day, so it's a huge relief that the really stormy weather seems to have receded a bit. These two below are in the woods adjoining the cricket field.




The Rack Isle, above, is usually marshy, but not completely under water! It's now a nature reserve, but in the olden days, it was used by the weavers who lived in the cottages of Arlington Row as a place to hang their cloth, hence the name. The wall on the right between the river and the main road through the village is quite high, thank goodness.


Rows of sandbags protect the cottages themselves. The biggest problem here, however, is not the river overflowing, but groundwater coming up through the floor.


The water is so clear, even with the river in full flood. At least we don't have sewage or any other nasties to contend with.


One of the gardens in the village. They used to have a "Keep Off The Grass" sign, but it must have floated away.


Last Saturday, this huge cedar came down in the churchyard. I don't know exactly how old it was, but my guess would be around 200 years. It came down on the first weekend of half-term, which was just as well, because the tree stood between the parish church and the village primary school. Not only that, but it fell INTO the prevailing wind. This meant that instead of falling on the school, the topmost branches merely scraped against the wall of the church. Did someone say miracle?
However, you can see how much mess it has made in the churchyard. The enormous rootball ripped up the graves beneath the tree and you could even see human bones tangled in the roots. I didn't take a picture, because I thought it seemed a bit intrusive, but I like to think that those long-dead villagers somehow helped the tree to fall the right way. There will be a service of rededication for them once everything is back in place.
 

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Leslie! We're all fine, although the cats are sick of the rain. I swear they roll their eyes when they look out of the windows.

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  2. Glad to hear you're on some sort of safe ground!

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    1. I've been very lucky, considering what other people have been through this winter

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  3. There will be firewood for next winter at least. I do hope spring arrives soon with clear skies and just a bit less rain.

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  4. It's been such a stormy winter! Glad to hear you're safe. Shame about the trees but at least the damage was relatively minimal

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    1. I think I hate gales more than any other kind of weather. So destructive.

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  5. Good grief that is a huge tree, shame about the churchyard but what a fortunate escape for school and children. What happens to the wood? It would be lovely if it could be used for the benefit of the village.

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    1. The tree surgeons said they were going to turn some of it into a bench for the school playground, which is a lovely idea.

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  6. I feel odd where I live. Nothing has gone wrong with my house or my street - yet just up the road there have been flood sirens and Portland has been cut off from the mainland at least twice and there are big diggers on Chesil beach every day trying to repair it so the sea doesn't sweep in. The wind grew to hurricane force but we are so well protected I could hear it but not feel it.
    About the tree - I've noticed that happening on other occasions - things falling into the wind - and thought it was to do with the wind hitting a wall and being curved back from it. But maybe there's something else at work. (I gave up physics when I got lost in a maze of reflections.)
    Glad you and your home haven't been affected. May it remain that way.
    Would you be interested in following a tree this year? There's info. here http://tinyurl.com/bv6pzt5

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    1. Good point - maybe the buildings around the tree acted as a sort of centrifuge. I got so sick of the wind rattling the doors of the cottage that I fitted draught excluder on them ...and then found I couldn't shut the doors! But at least I couldn't hear the wind.

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  7. So sad to see the demise of such a large tree. Your mention of ground water problems reminds me that we have friends in Worcester who have a well inside their house. They were very anxious as the water level rose in the well to just a few feet from the top. I'm glad your cottage isn't affected by the flooding. I fear there is more to come.

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  8. I'm glad to read that you & yours are safe & dry. A pity about the tree. Handy that it fell while the school was on break. Sounds like the cats are as tired of rain as we are of snow!

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  9. Hello Victoria:

    How wonderful to have discovered your splendidly eclectic blog through Faisal of 'Gardener in the Distance'.

    From all that we read, and hear, the weather in Britain has, over the past few months, been truly terrible with so very many people affected, and continuing to be affected, by the most devastating floods. In all the years we lived and gardened in Herefordshire [some twenty-five in total], we were mindful of the small stream which ran through our garden and which could, so very readily, turn into a raging torrent. Sandbags are not unknown to us!!

    As you remark here, something of a miracle that the fallen tree did so little damage compared with what might have been the case. Providence at work. We do rather like the idea of a rededication service to honour graves which have been wrecked.

    We have signed as Followers. Should you need to know anything about us, then we are simply a click away!

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