there’s treasure in them thar woods
Yesterday the boys and I had to amuse ourselves while daddy was busy all day with a group of garden designers, who were here to learn how to identify conifers. With an unusually wide variety of conifer species, Castle Beastie is an ideal place for such a course, and my husband was pleased to join them and to have the opportunity to add to his knowledge of trees.
Once the visitors were busy in the woods, we took ourselves off for a walk; into the woods as well, inevitably, since we are surrounded by trees here. I hope the garden designers found what they were looking for. We found treasure! Treasure, that is, on our own various terms. The dogs were delighted to find an old furry rabbit leg to chew. The boys rediscovered their favourite fallen log, which they pretend is a pirate ship. While they were sailing the seven seas in hot pursuit of Cut-throat Jake and his scurvy crew, I had a potter about in the leaf litter and found my own version of buried treasure. This particular wood is on a slope below the castle and was clearly once used as a tip by the castle servants, since one often finds broken shards of china there in amongst the leaves. Protruding from the roots of a beech tree, I found two old glass bottles, almost intact despite decades in the soil.
I have scrubbed the worst of the mud off them and they are now soaking to try to remove the rest. Near them, I found a large-ish piece of willow-pattern china, to add to my collection of pretty pieces from the woods. Some of them are really quite big:
With smaller pieces, you can make a sort of mosaic, as I did once with a delivery of pottery that was smashed in transit: it was very cathartic bashing them to size with a hammer, and then I stuck them on to a cheap wooden mirror surround with putty. It’s pretty basic, but it’s my favourite mirror.
It seems a shame to break up the big pieces, however. I’d welcome creative ideas for what to do with them. We have too much ‘stuff’ in the attics clogging the energy of this house already, so perhaps it is foolish to go scavenging for more. But there is such a childish satisfaction in finding things, isn’t there, and in making something pleasing out of other people’s cast-offs? We all came home from the woods feeling well satisfied with our morning’s adventures.