Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Blackberrying;  Very ripe, old Satan has arrived and already spat upon a few of them! But it has been an early summer fruiting with the weather we have been having.  This small spot of wilderness has many blackberries, sloes and hawes.  We come each year, and today a small knot of worry unfolded in my stomach as the prolific greenness of everything gave out its vitality on all sides and relaxed that core of stress.  The soft grey of the old willows, the pink of the Himalayan Balsam,  a welcome 'foreigner' for me, blackberries squidging between ones fingers, the angry squawk of blackbirds as their domain was invaded, and the thrush picking a snail from the road and cracking it in the dark interior of the hedge.  This part of the Chelmer river, gently falls into the decay of land not used.  Belonging to Sandford Mill, a museum for some of the river and farming treasures, though only open on specific times during the year.  Autumn is in the air though, a slight chill bought on the wind by Bertha!

The little path over the river to nowhere

Secret pathways

Himalayan balsam


Old Willows

A small wilderness

Lilac teasels forming


  1. So pleased to see you're using the larger picture setting Thelma - what a difference it makes. Love your wilderness but I'm afraid I'm not a fan of the HB, which is dessimating certain hedgerows here and creeping up rivers towards the moor. No blackberries here yet sadly...

  2. Hi Em, It was you who pointed me in that direction funnily enough, how could I have been so stupid as not to take note of the various settings. Japanese Knotweed probably tops Himalayan Balsam for thuggery along our river banks, it is terrible in Wales..

  3. I rather like the thought of that path going to nowhere.
    We have pounds of blackberries - good thing is that they freeze well. Not so the muchrooms - around 16 pounds picked this week so far.

  4. Well actually it does goes to a dead end lane and three terraced cottages, they have been cut off by the A12 just a few fields away, therefore cannot use this little path over the river. That is a lot of mushrooms, Paul would love to be able to pick edible mushrooms but he wants the experience of knowing which ones to pick!