Monday, 17 August 2015

Acorns and Damsons

Have you noticed? Autumn has arrived to cradle Summer through her final days. She rallies in the middle of the day, for a few hours of hot sun, or vents her frustration with thundery showers, but we know her strength will not last long. 
Look at the oak trees when you next pass one, the acorns are forming in their cups and swell with every fall of rain; the jays and squirrels will soon be pilfering them for their food caches. 
This morning when I went for a walk I found some acorns that had been blown down by the wind; they came home with me in the same way that I used to collect 'treasure' on walks as a child.  

The hedgerows and waysides on my short wander were a confused mixture of flowers and fruit. 
Bryony wound its self around the barbed wire, starry flowers held on green tendrils and curled stems. Further along the track, the same plant was adorned with red berries instead of cream petals. 
Yellow toadflax forced its way through the brambles next to blackberries in shades of red and purple. Bumblebees visited them, pale moths fluttered from the bushes and long grass when disturbed, diving back into the vegetation to find a camouflaged hiding place, and the electric chirp of grasshoppers was almost deafening. 
Thistle down clung in fluffy clouds. A harvestman spider tiptoed through the vegetation on spindly jointed legs.
The wild damsons that dangle over the winterbourne behind the farm barns are ripe where the branches are south facing and catch the sun, although the majority are out of reach we can collect a few from the bridge. 
Have you heard the robins singing? There was one muttering a few notes as I picked the purple fruits, a wonderful sound to hear which has been missing for too long from the hedgerows throughout the summer moult. 

This evening the sky is clouded, tinted lemonade colour by the sun already sinking towards the west. The butterflies have abandoned the buddleia bush. It is time for a cup of tea and to research recipes for damson gin. 

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Hello! Thank you for viewing my blogs and profile. I am passionate about the countryside and british wildlife and I hope that this comes through in my blog. I am a nature writer and have been pursuing photography since early teenage years, whilst building a career in conservation. Helping people to reconnect with the natural world is very important to me, whether through direct hands on interaction, education or literature. Please also visit my website, for more information, my current CV, and further examples of writing and photography. You can contact me or keep up to date with new blog posts via Twitter @SophiEcoWild and/or Feedback, comments and audience participation are always welcome! Sophie May Lewis