The dews drop slowly and dreams gather; unknown spears
Today I went for a walk I seldom go to, but it was mainly to record the wildflowers that appear along this old trackway, now part of the Cotswold Way. It is here through the fields that the famous Lansdown Battle was fought, when the Royalists in the Civil War in 1643 tried to take over Bath. The battle line went over a great distance and the following photos show only one battle field. Two old friends on opposing sides, fought in this battle, one was to die, the dramatic wording on the descriptive panel talks of 'legs and arms flying everywhere'. War is one of those terrible things that humans engage in, we justify it on moral grounds, but the slaughter and misery it brings cannot equal the victories won....
The weather was grey and misty, but everywhere had the vivid colour of spring, a green depth that only a rain-soaked land like ours is capable of producing. As I hunted for the plants, Moss also found his great treasures, they comprised of the scents of pheasants and grouse, (which he missed) fox and a badger sett; as he stood triumphantly at the entrance to this last find, sadly I forgot to photograph him. The sett is in a little copse just by the old Langridge barrows, several entrances going deep underground into the copse. It was here in this field with the ladies smock and a bank of cowslips, that the wild orchids will appear later on.
The poem and the walk of course are threaded together, sometimes the 'presence' of words, ideas, nature and history long gone, are so evocative as to imprint the very air with their images. It is at these moments that such ideas as 'anima mundi' come into being, the holistic nature of the world around us. The dawn chorus is at its most vibrant, the colour of the leaves are fresh and new, there is a benign warmth in the air, a 'spirit of life' walks this particular patch of earth, the ghosts of the past are perhaps called forth - yet they are invisible. Yeats measured the futility of battle, against the long dead occupants of the cairn; the small people toiling in the field as people died for a greater glory, which of course is no glory.
The two protagonists in this War
'Washed azured' bluebell
Wild garlic sheeting through the woods
The old Cotswold wall on which either side the war was fought
There were also other wildflowers of course, red campion beginning to show, as was horsetail, this funny prehistoric plant seemingly an alien to this land, but some say that the romans brought it to this land. Primroses over their best and eaten by slugs, were being outshone by pyramidalis bugle which had also emerged. Cow parsley creaming through the hedgerows and the uninteresting flowers of the docks. Stitchwort also laced its way through the grass. The wildflowers along this old track seemed well protected by the tall hedges on either side protecting them from the fertilisers that must have been put on the fields around, they are though exceedingly vunerable trapped in this small corridor.