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.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Bryony berries looking like jewels strung along the hedgerow.

I'm not the first to post John Keats' poem but it's so lovely it bears reading more than once I think:) The photographs are from a short trip to Norfolk last week to attend my Uncle Vic's funeral, it's quite a long way so I decided to stay over a couple of nights and renew my acquaintance with this lovely part of England. It's some years since I was last there and this visit has made me resolve to go back more often. I'm not likely to be around much for the next three weeks or so, though I'm hoping to get at least one more post about Norfolk done before I leave for a two week stay in the USA next weekend.
Clicking on the photos will improve most of them.

To Autumn (1819)


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.


Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.


Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

The photos
Wild crab apples and hawthorn berries
Hazel nuts (taken near home not in Norfolk)
A recently harvested cornfield
Small tortoiseshell butterfly on wild mint
Damselfly (Bluetailed damselfly I think)


Julie said...

Rowan - thank you for the photos, especially of the bryony berries. I had never heard of them. I had heard of hawthorne but had never seen a photo of the berries.

I hope you have a great time in my country. What part (parts) are you going to visit?


Julie said...


How wonderful for you. I hope you have a great time. I hope you get to see at least a part of the fall color show. I, myself, have never been to New England, but I would love to go there in the fall. Hope you find some treasures.


Amy said...

I can't wait for autumn to come around here again - it's my favourite time of the year :-)

Mary said...

Oh my! Rowan these photos are gorgeous, especially the hazel nuts which I used to pick along our lane.
I will do the Agatha C. post some time in the future - may wait until I get back from Devon at the end of Oct. as I may have more info. on her life after visiting the Torquay Museum again.

New Hampshire should be lovely when you visit - think I told you my husband is from there and I lived there when we were first married. Hope you get to see great Fall color and make it to the White Mts. and the coast. Portsmouth is full of history and then across the bridge into Maine for some good lobster and clams!!! Let me know if you need any info. on the area - Bob and I will be happy to assist.

Rowan said...

Mary, my friends live very close to Portsmouth, I know the area well as I've been many times over the last 25 years. We always go up into Maine as I love that coast, York and Kennebunkport are both easy day trips.

Ragged Roses said...

Thank you Rowan, the photos are beautiful and I have loved that poem ever since we had to study it in English at school.
Kim x
PS I'm sure you must have imagined, duck, pea and potato sweets!

Miss Robyn said...

gorgeous phots Rowan and I had never read the poem - thankyou.. I think I may just copy it into my BoS! safe travels to you - cannot wait to hear about your trip!

smilnsigh said...

Keats' "To Autumn" can never be posted too often. I love it so. And such lovely photos you have, to accompany it.

Oh I'd love to see your hedgerows and all the lovely country areas of England.

Hope you enjoy your coming visit to the US. You'll be cool. -smile- But you'll enjoy the Autumnal foliage 'show.'


PAT said...

Rowan...This is beautiful!

I dream of visiting New England during autumn. It's going to be a wonderful trip for you. I look forward to your photos and travel stories!


Anonymous said...

Autumn is definitely my favourite season and your photos catch so brilliantly all that Keats was putting down in words. Did you pick any of those hazel nuts/ cobnuts? They look delicious!

Have a lovely holiday :)

Rosie said...

Lovely photos - hope you have a great holiday :)

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

I love the photo of the field, and am so excited that you are visiting the States (and a tad envious!!!) Can't wait to see your photos!

Anonymous said...

thank you so much, beautiful photos accompanying a beautiful poem. I was forced to stop and take the time to read the poetryk I'm glad I did. It made me realize I don't stop and read poetry as much as I used to, and I miss it.

Have a wonderful holiday.

Laurie said...

Thank you for visiting my blog.
I love Autumn, my favorite time of year, but it is still so very hot here in Mississippi.
Bright Blessings ~

Linda G. said...

I had a delightful time Rowan. Your pix are all marvelous..the dazzeling fruitful first pic and the damsel fly are my faves..I think..guess I'll go through them one more time..
Have fun on your trip to the states.

peppylady (Dora) said...

I've never heard of Bryony berries. There only a minor change toward fall the days are getting shorter and the days aren't as hot.
Love your poem

rel said...

Of course Keat's Ode to Autumn" sits right up there with my favorites as fall is my favorite time, as well I think, it's yours also. For some unexplained reason my senses are sharpened and the world takes on a refreshing aire. Your photos are enticing and I long to see them in person (the countryside more than the actual pictures;). I've only been to England once and that only for a weekend. We took the chunnel over from Paris 2 years ago.
Well, I am sorry that we are passing in the air and the more so that I won't be able to make the effort to scoot over to NH and pay you folks a visit. Perhaps another year will bring a renewed or there, it matters not.
Have a splendid time my good friend and be sure to soak up the ambience of the forest colors in all their peaked splender.

Val said...

You have captured the essence of the season! Wonderful words and pictures. Ive never seen so many damsel flies as this year (or mosquitos!)

OhSoVintage said...

Wonderful photos, especially the cornfield. Have a wonderful time in the US and looking forward to seeing your photos you take there.

Unknown said...

You have outdone yourself. This post is such a beautiful read. Visually stunning. I adore damselflies.
But in the company of such brilliant words...even sweeter.

Tea said...

Have a wonderful holiday Rowan!!


Peaceful/Paisible said...

that's great...the poem, the photos...really beautiful...thank you Rowan, and I wish you beautiful holidays...
see you

meggie said...

Thankyou for the poem & the pictures! Beautiful. Autumn is my favourite season, & I have always loved that poem.

Leanne said...

those are wonderful photos Rowan. we live in a beautiful country, dont we?

Leanne x

La Tea Dah said...

Beautiful, beautiful post. Thank yo so much for sharing! I love the photos especially.


Amanda and Tim said...

Wow what a beautiful post! I have never heard that poem before but it is so beautiful and reminds me exactly why I love autumn so much!