Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Return to Scotland (15th-18th)

Day 1
Flight to Scotland

Over Scotland's blue mountains

Eilean Donan Castle at night

Day 2

Dunollie Hotel and Broadford Bay

View of Loch Hourn and Beinn Sgritheall (left of screen) on the Kinloch Forest/Leiter Fura trail in the south of Skye

Walk to Leiter Fura historic township in the sunshine

The Cuillin

Inside Dun Beag and The Cuillin range from afar 

Dun Beag Iron Age Broch

The Storr and Old Man of Storr

Waterfall and Stream

Mealt Falls and Kilt Rock

Day 3
Kenmore Club in Autumn

Loch Tay Crannog Centre (closed)

The Falls of Dochart in Beautiful Killin

Inverness at Night

Monday, 10 November 2014

New Project: L.E.A.F

I've decided to start a small project.

The Landscapes and Environmental Ambient Field-Recordings project celebrates the aesthetic details large and small and the myriad sounds of the natural world. LEAF at its core is devoted to atmosphere, ambience and appreciation of the quiet observation. From the chilling tundra winds to bubbling woodland streams to the chattering of busy townsfolk, this channel explores the often ignored sounds of the natural world. From a visual perspective, LEAF tries to capture the aesthetic details of the natural and “digital world" to create a deep sense of immersion.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Sparsholt College

Started Sparsholt Level 3 Diploma in Conservation and Wildlife Management.

*Sparsholt College.Week 2 - Ditch clearance at Mottisfont woods as part of the Estate Skills unit. Two weeks in and already gaining more valuable experience in great places (19th September)*

23rd September: Three weeks into Sparsholt Conservation and Wildlife Management course and thoroughly enjoying it. It balances valuable practical work with quite rigorous theory in places.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Secrets of the Heath Day 2

Day 2. The last day of the event was great, with much improved weather, but the start of the day was particularly good because I got to listen to Will Lord speak for about 15 minutes just before the Heath event started. At the end he rather generously gave me the top quality arrowhead he made in that time to me. When everyone else had left I of course expressed my gratitude and thanked him for the talk, which was about much more than just flint knapping, but perception of prehistoric reenactors, hunting, understanding nature, primitive man and more. Day 2 was much the same as the first, though I done a lot more paddling in the Eurybia. I did take some time out to go and see the Amphibian and Reptile conservation area and had a chat with a few of the volunteers there. I held a toad and slow worm. I wanted to hold the grass snake, but I didn't have time. So that's the Secrets of the Heath event over. It was an incredible two days.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Secrets of the Heath Day 1

I'm back from day one of the Petersfield Heath Secrets of the Heath event. And what an incredibly eventful day it was. Where to begin? I'll try my best to summarise the day and choose a few choice photographs after.

Turning up at the event an hour early, I helped sort out our Buster Ancient Farm stall and checked up on the Eurybia boat before it went on its first launch of the day. During this time, Will Lord came to visit us from his stall. It was decided that Ryan Watts, the lead builder of the Eurybia, dressed in full "Stone Age" clothing, would have a picture taken with Will in the boat. It was somewhat surreal, it has to be said, in that Will Lord paddled in a boat which I helped make. We spoke for a bit after said photographs were taken. Very much in the vein of Mears, Lord is down to earth and a pleasure to talk to. The rest of the day was somewhat fragmented, as I mostly spent it talking to customers and wandering around stalls and enjoying the atmosphere. At one point I walked with a friend and volunteer through the Heath Bronze Age barrows. Soon there came a more active point when I was paddling the boat a fair bit for the public which was nice.

After the event, around 5:30, we packed up and most of us went back to the Farm to celebrate. An Iron Age weekend was going on at Butser during the SotH, but by the time we got back to the Farm most of the reenactors had left or were hiding, so I didn't speak to many of them. I didn't stay long, but the barbecue was great and there were a couple of speeches of thanks to the boat builders and the Heath helpers. All in all, a very very eventful and exciting day.

I hope you all enjoyed the write up. Cheers.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

On the Value of Work and Experience

As I sat in my sleeping bag in the roundhouse, I began to think about the value of volunteering and gaining experience in general. If you volunteer doing something you enjoy, you'll find eventually that time goes by really fast and you notice changes in yourself. That's been the case for me. Mostly I've been volunteering at the Farm, and I view the place very differently from when I first arrived on the 14th Novemeber, on my 20th Birthday. I now know the volunteers quite well and have had many great times. I have also volunteered at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, but I view that as more of an extension of other conservation voluntary work I've done before. Although I want to work in conservation, Butser is more unique in many respects, so I'll
use my work there as the primary example.

Experience to me is an interesting thing, because I never had much at all before joining these several voluntary groups, in Scotland and England. I believe I've said it before, but volunteering really is one of the great values in life, I think. It gives you experience in life, in the practical, theoretical and it all builds up. It also gives a better work ethic and lasting connections.

It's not just about volunteering though, in everything one does there's experience to be gained. I'm somewhat obsessed with not allowing my self to stagnate too much these days. I do have bouts of laziness, but I am at least concious of it, and that's what matters. I feel better when I've done hard work or have read something new. Everything I do now so different from my earlier years that I really see no value whatsoever in those days. Only in the last few years has there been any sort of improvement, and I'd say I've really thrown myself into having new experiences. You can't grow as a person and mature if you just don't do things. I just wish I had the sense to start doing work like this and developing my interests at an earlier age. I really didn't think I'd be working on a Mesolithic boat or sleeping in roundhouses just a few years ago. It's easy to write that, but you won't understand the full extent of why that's such an important realisation. It's because I did such vastly different work when I was younger. I mainly dwelt in the digital realm and although I worked hard, it's just such a contrast that I can never fully comprehend. Becoming interested in nature and the countryside was a colossal turning point in my life, and I dread to think what I'd be doing if I didn't take those first steps.

So volunteer, do new things and meet new, like-minded people. If, like me, you found it hard at first, I urge you to try it. You won't regret it. In the case of volunteering, you will be able to say you've lead a good life, doing good work for free. And on gaining experience in general, don't be afraid to jump in and just do things, visit interesting places, and learn and observe.You'll eventually find that the days will roll by and you'll find yourself moulded and changed by the experiences you've had.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Cartography - Sarturus (Ulthui) Map Progress

Hello. It's a cartography article today. The video below shows the current progress on my world project, with most of the first continent, Ulthui, complete. The video aims to give a broad overview of the regions and inhabitants of Ulthui, and the lore behind Sarturus.

I hope you enjoyed watching.