Friday 7 November 2014

Free Materials

Free materials are everywhere but occasionally I have to actively look for them  in order to see them. This week I have been walking every day to try and help my body cure itself of a chronic back problem and I always take a bag and some secateurs. The bag is for free food (15 walnuts and  8 figs yesterday) and the secateurs for free materials.

I have been spending part of my time in this little French village for many years and  over that time I have walked down every path and track in and around the commune plenty of times. But, it was only this year that I noticed not more than 100 metres from my house these clumps of rush in a fallow field. The village is almost at sea level and this field is a little below that which means that the water table is very high and the land can flood. I cannot recall the field ever having been used for crops or animals but I have never, ever, noticed the rushes before, perhaps they weren't there before, but I suspect that they were .......

They are a variety of Juncus effusus but not quite the same as the ones that grow in Shetland which are fatter. These rushes  also have quite distinct vertical ridges which are not so evident on the Shetland ones.
In June I cut some which dried a  grey green colour and were lovely to work with. The field was then cut by the owner and I thought that would be it for the year but now the clumps are about a metre high again so, yesterday, I cut some more.