My participation in the 30th World Sketchcrawl was limited to little more than an hour due to family commitments but I made the very best of that time.

The first sketch was a short one in my mother's garden.  She still lives in the house where I grew up and I have a lot of history with this particular Rowan tree.  Apparently, when I was aged four or five, I decided to see how many of the berrys from the tree I could fit in my nose.  My mother delights in reminding me about the fun of removing them with a pair of tweezers afterwards.  I, naturally, blame it on an investigative mind or deny all knowledge of the event depending on the identity of the other listener.

After that I went out for an hour, in sub zero temperatures, okay it was about 3 degrees but it felt like much less, and having set a theme of trees, visited a woodland near us that I'd never been to before.  Telegraph Wood lies, more or less, along one edge of a large village in Hampshire and fromn the entrance looks quite unprepossessing.  Once you get in there though there are stands of towering firs, coppiced beech and hazel with a myriad of long whippy branches growing from cut back trunks, lines of silver birch and wonderfully tangled and uddy paths leading every which way.

An old, coppiced growth seen early on after entering the woods

I loved the way this trunk had split into 2 and then four.  The curves of the four trunks make it look as if the tree was frozen in the midst of some erotic dance as they bend into each other.

I didn't capture it verywell but there was a hint of a face in the roots of this tree that captured my interest.  It brought to mind the paintings and drawings of Julek Heller of sleeping giants, asleep so long that trees and bushes have grown over them and they appear part of the scenary.

As I stood drawing these silver birches, anchored precariously on the bank of a small stream two silver grey wolves appeared and stopped briefly to stare at me with their heads cocked..  It was only as they left again that I spotted their collars and realise they were probably alsatian/wolf/huskey crosses.  They were incredibly wolflike and large in size.  What ever they were it was a transcendant moment for me.