Web of Life

Understanding the relationship between nature and how land is used is at the heart of what I do in conservation management planning.  Today I was back at historic Dinefwr learning how an ancient deer park…

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

with ancient trees planted 500 years ago…

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

that is grazed by the descendants of those first fallow deer…

Fallow deer herd  Photo: Mike Alexander
Fallow deer herd Photo: Mike Alexander

with a good helping of clean, warm, wet, Welsh air, can provide perfect conditions for lichen communities that can take hundreds of years to become established, and only if conditions are just right…

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

Once the relationships are understood, making the appropriate management decisions is relatively easy.  These rare lichens need light, open conditions on old parkland trees that grow without competition from neighbours or smothering from ivy and scrub.  Grazing livestock create these conditions, and a deer park created in the 1700’s is the perfect place to find them.

And lots of other wildlife also benefits, from beautiful woodpeckers, red kites, treecreepers, to tiny beetles living in the dead wood and even tinier yellow meadow ants who make their anthills in the ancient grassland…

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress In Brief…

A very brief rendition of a classic and beautiful song with my interpretation on it for a Saturday night 🙂

Winter Sea…

Photo: Mike Howe
Photo: Mike Howe

Drift Away…

I loved writing and recording this song from my album “Heading West” because of the instrumentation I used to convey it’s spirit.  To describe it I couldn’t do any better than music reviewer Kathy Parsons who did me the honour of reviewing the album in 2013…

“Drift” is a rapturous slow dance with a gentle sway. Piano, guitar, and light percussion elicit sighs of contentment”.

Not Just Oil on Canvas

A good friend of mine, the artist Simon Parker gave me one of his paintings of a beautiful beach near our home.  How lucky am I?  Simon’s work is available through Saatchi Art if you fancy a gander 🙂

"Musselwick 2" by Simon Parker
“Musselwick 2” by Simon Parker

 

Summer Day Dreams

Photo: Mike Alexander - scapeimages.com
Photo: Mike Alexander – scapeimages.com

I’m just finishing off a job I had last summer writing conservation management plans for several National Trust castle and mansion gardens, and this photo has briefly transported me back from the cold and the rain to more serene days of glorious summer…

This Land of Ours

You know how every country has a national anthem? Well, not being much of subscriber to nationalism myself, I thought I’d compose an anthem for land, people and nature wherever they may be found.

“This Land of Ours” is from my album “Round River” and can be purchased  here, or here, or here 🙂

Sneak Preview of What’s Happening In The Studio

https://soundcloud.com/mike-howe-1/you-know-me/s-s4Ryd
I probably shouldn’t do this but I’m excited about writing and recording new songs for my next album, so I wanted to preview just one of them, a simple song called “You Know Me”.  Hope you like it…