Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee, Whether summer clothe the general earth With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall Heard only in the trances of the blast, Or if the secret ministry of frost Shall hang them up in silent icicles, Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
Monday, June 06, 2011
A June Morning
We've been having some beautiful early mornings recently and B Baggins and I have been up on Blackamoor taking advantage of the sunshine and the tranquility. The wild roses are beginning to flower and I could look at them for hours. They are so beautiful and delicate with a lovely faint perfume.
They are equally beautiful when the buds are just beginning to open.
There is often a small herd of cows in the fields at the top of the lane where I park my car. They have several calves with them at the moment but the only time they were right near the road I didn't have my camera with me!
At the bottom end of the lane is this friendly looking ram who has a little harem of eight ewes to keep him company.
B Baggins taking advantage of Blacka Dike to cool down and have a drink before we start the steep climb up to Lenny Hill. A lot of these photos are clearer if you click on them, the sun is so bright that you can't actually tell that he's lying in a river in the small version. The water levels are very low at the moment because we've had so little rain this spring. I don't need to use the stepping stones as it's shallow enough to walk across.
The flowers on this wild rose are white and I think it's a field rose rather than a dog rose but I'm open to correction here.
The highest point of this particular walk, the small mound is the top of Lenny Hill. Just below where B Baggins is standing four tracks meet so you have a choice of walks from here. I shall be turning down the track to Strawberry Lee Lane as it makes a nice circular walk back to Shorts Lane.
I usually spend a few minutes sitting on this bench which stands where the four tracks meet. Carved around the top of it are these lovely words. I'm not sure whether it's poem or prose but I always read it and this morning I put a small notebook in my pocket so that I could write it down.
Heather welcomes all
Purple petal blowing
Sways of breeze
Cuddle with clouds of fragrance
Gusts of wind tickle softly
And so you carry on your journey.
Where a few weeks ago these branches were thick with blackthorn blossom now they are thick with sloes which will be put to good use in the autumn. They are green at the moment of course but as the year progresses they will ripen to a beautiful deep purple/black.
The huge soft leaves of the burdock with pink clover and buttercups. Burdock roots can be eaten and with the addition of dandelion root plus various spices and other bits and pieces they make the world's most wonderful soft drink - dandelion & burdock:)
I was really surprised to see that the spiky beech nut cases are already very visible and there are going to be lots of them by the looks of it.
Here I have turned off Strawberry Lee Lane onto a footpath that leads down between two farms. Until a couple of years ago it was just a steep,muddy track but now there are steps and a rough surface and happily all the wild flowers are now coming back.
B Baggins was determined to be in this photo! I was actually trying to photograph the plant by the wall which I've always known as vinegar plant because that's what my mum called it. I think it's proper name is common sorrel though. I grew up calling a lot of things by their country names, my dad showed me a bird that he called a peewit and I was an adult before I realised that it was another name for the lapwing. The call it makes sounds like 'peewit' which is how it got its country name.
This pretty daisy is the Scentless Mayweed.
Right at the bottom of the path is a small enclosure filled with ox eye daisies and pink campion. You definitely need to enlarge this to see properly how pretty it looks.
The path must have been straightened here at some point as it now goes past rather than through this lovely old stone squeeze style.
I knew what this was well before I got there because I could smell the wonderful scent of aniseed in the air - these are the seed pods of Sweet Cicely. The leaves can be used when you are cooking rhubarb or gooseberries as it reduces the amount of sugar that you need. The seeds are also aniseed flavoured and can be dried and used rather like caraway seeds. I love this plant for its name alone and have it growing in my garden but it grows wild in many places around here.
Finally we cross the narrow wooden bridge over the stream and walk up the field back to Shorts Lane. It's sheer delight to walk up here at the moment as the fields are thick with buttercups and it looks cheerful even on a dull morning. The whole walk can be done in about 45 minutes if you treat it like a route march but B Baggins and I take about an hour and a half because we are both looking for interesting sights and smells - in my case the smells are wild roses, elderflowers and sweet cicely:) I think B Baggins has a different agenda:)