Life in the Cracks
Peeling back the bark of a fallen tree last weekend, I found myself staring at the beautiful etchings of bark beetle larvae that had, at some point, hatched and tunnelled their way out of the wood. I had no idea which species of beetle made them, whether they were invasive or ‘friendly’ to the UK ecosystem, but I loved tracing the grooves to see where their little journeys had taken them, imagining the world through the eyes of a newly hatched beetle infant.
Thanks for reading Tiffany’s Substack! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
The tree had fallen in the grounds of Hinton Ampner, a National Trust-owned country manor between Petersfield and Winchester. I love visiting old houses and their gardens, particularly those that have been protected for centuries to come. The former inhabitants are often long dead, but as with everything nature touches, life still grows and flourishes in every crack and corner. In the cottage garden we crunched on apples and watched the last swallows gathering in the sky before their autumn migration. The pumpkins and squashes were almost ripe. I rubbed rosemary leaves between my fingers under a warm sun, glowing with the promise of resurgence.
Afterwards, we left to eat lunch at the local pub, where my unborn child demanded I eat an entire baked camembert to myself.