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What is very tall, noisy, and belches smoke over the trees on the Carriageway?

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

13th August, 2023. Such a beautiful morning - we climbed up to Hillside, then along up through the dappled woods, wondering what our beloved beech grove would show us today.

Of course, many of these wonderful old trees had been whooshed over by the howling, ferocious, Storm Arwen. And a sorry state the whole area is now. Although because most of the trees have been tidied up and moved away, there is now the lovely panorama of Cragside, not seen before from this angle, by us. It is quite spectacular.

However, hearing a loud mechanical buzzing sort of noise, and noticing the tarmac, we walked further over to find this incredibly tall 5G mast (I think that is what it is).

Then we noticed a considerable amount of smelly smoke coming from the diesel generator.

I wonder why they are still using diesel so long after installing this mast?

Put the sound up high, to hear the noise it makes.

Is this ironic? When we walked to edge - where the grounds of Cragside now lay out in front of us, I wondered what the name of the hill across from us is. I took out my mobile phone. Clicked on my PeakLens - Mountain Identification Android Mobile App to find out. I couldn't, though, because... you must have guessed? I had no signal on my phone!

I admit I am ignorant about mast/phones and so on. You, no doubt, know why I could not get a signal even when I was so close to a huge, noisy, mast. But it is a mystery to me.

The tree trunks have mostly been moved away now. Lots of very dry twigs and branches remain.

We continued on our way, and noted many upturned trees, still displaying their weird underneath faces - this one is particularly evocative, don't you agree?

I can see the face of some kind of tree sprite, or wood nymph, hoping not to be noticed, but giving off a vaguely threatening vibe to keep us away. What do you see?

Fly Agaric

Oh the beautiful heather!

Below you can see a contrast where the heather on one half of the path has been burned, compared to the beauty of the fully flowering heather on the right.

Birthdays, do you like them?

Today is the day before my birthday. Always a strange day for me - it makes me think about my mum. I never thought to ask her what it was like to be carrying me, her youngest and the last, of four children. What she felt when she held me for the first time. Who delivered me, in our home, in Nottingham? I have so many questions I would love to have heard her answer. So many conversations I would welcome and cherish.

I really appreciate my life so very much. How can I not, living in this most magnificent, remarkable, of places?

When Great Trees Fall By Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,

rocks on distant hills shudder,

lions hunker down

in tall grasses,

and even elephants

lumber after safety.

When great trees fall

in forests,

small things recoil into silence,

their senses

eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,

the air around us becomes

light, rare, sterile.

We breathe, briefly.

Our eyes, briefly,

see with

a hurtful clarity.

Our memory, suddenly sharpened,


gnaws on kind words


promised walks

never taken.

Great souls die and

our reality, bound to

them, takes leave of us.

Our souls,

dependent upon their


now shrink, wizened.

Our minds, formed

and informed by their


fall away.

We are not so much maddened

as reduced to the unutterable ignorance

of dark, cold


And when great souls die,

after a period peace blooms,

slowly and always

irregularly. Spaces fill

with a kind of

soothing electric vibration.

Our senses, restored, never

to be the same, whisper to us.

They existed. They existed.

We can be. Be and be

better. For they existed.

Maya Angelou. "When Great Trees Fall." Family Friend Poems, 2006.


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