Monday, August 24, 2009


Before we went to the Saxon church of St.Peter on Sunday, we had got up early to go blackberrying at Sandford Mill. The early morning light is as everyone knows, or should know, tinges everything with a soft rose glow, it has a special luminosity. We parked the car by an oak full of acorns, this has indeed been a fruitful year for all the wild berries and nuts. Over the stile into the field by the mill, a great bush covered in rosehips greets you, I might go back and pick some and make rosehip jelly, even if it is only to catch that lovely shade of orange/yellow they are at the present. Blackberries are starting to go over, but there are still a lot on the bushes. Tall teazels in the sunlight, red berries on the hawthorn, a tiny pale lemon closed flower on the ground which looked like a buttercup but was'nt. Which reminds me of the ladies bedstraw at St.Cedd's church which smelt very sweet, and the large stand of bulrushes (edit; not bulrushes but great reedmace)by the side of the track. All things to look up in Margery Blamey's book on wildflowers.
Back over the stile and we walk down to the leat by the bridge, looking down into the enlarged pond small fry dart around, then larger fish come into view, the water is clear and plenty of fish around. Over on the other side by the great willow, a small waterway has an emerald green scum on top, pondweed? or is it algae produced by the hot sun and field run off from fertilisers. There is plenty of these poisonous algaes around at the moment in the sea and rivers, killing off fish.
There are more blackberries down this lane, and the bag is starting to burst with the weight of the fruit, nettles tangle amongst the briar, picking them is a painful affair.
Following photographs, and was'nt the digital camera a marvellous thing , records what I see.

Water forget-me-nots on the other side

Green sludge

Rose hips

Teasels caught in the sun

Greater Reedmace on the track to St.Cedd's church

Old willow at Sandford mill

Pretty gall on wild rose

Teasels are extraordinarly exotic plants

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