Sunday, June 7, 2015

7th June - River Ter

A last walk round by a favourite spot.  The little river Ter. The landscape is wild at this particular spot, the farmed land leaves a wide pathway to walk, the little river choked with plants, great willows lie tumbled around, their roots clinging to the banks.  We pass an old oak tree, then a willow dying from the top, hardly any wild flowers, this is due to the presence of farmed land.  But in the hedgerow there ramps several hop plants, a relict from times past.

The river runs like a dark ribbon, empty of fish, but  three ducks are sitting quietly on a bank as we approach, they fly off and looking down over the bridge there is yellow iris.

When I walk and go to favourite spots, I am like a nurse, feeling the pulse of the place, noting the flowers and their health.  Here is meadow's cranesbill, not too happy, but look at the lines (ultra violet to the bee) that takes the bee to the pollen and the heart of the flower, it lies in a tangle of goose grass and cow parsley gone over and of course the hops.

The other side of the bridge, the river becomes a tiny rivulet choked by exuberant plants.

the silver of the willow leaves, the sting of nettles that line the banks.

Two things I love, underwater leaves streaming along with the current and old bent branches.

unloved, neglected? maybe not just nature filling every corner with life..

Which brings me to Old Man Willow, a Tolkien's character in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. Cannot find this poem/story on the net, yet whenever I visit an Bronze age barrow, these Barrow-wights always also come to mind.

Dark came under hill. Tom, he lit a candle;
'Hoo, Tom Bombadil! Look what night has brought you!
I'm here behind the door.  Now at last I caught you!
You'd forgotten Barrow-wight dwelling in the old mound
up there on hill-top with the ring of stones around.
He's got loose again.  Under Earth he'll take you.
Poor Tom Bombadil, pale and gold he'll make you.

And then there is Old Man Willow, strangely enough neither of these characters appeared in The Lord of the Rings, I expect there is a several dissertations on the net as to why not, but we won't go there!

Up woke Willow-man, began upon his singing
sang Tom fast asleep under branches swinging;
in a crack caught him tight: snick! it closed together,
trapped Tom Bombadil, coat and hat and feather.

'Ha, Tom Bombadil! What be you a-thinking,
peeping inside my tree, watching me a-drinking
deep in my wooden house, tickling me with feather, 
dripping wet down my face like a rainy weather?'

One last photo of the rose that hung its drooping flowers at The Cats pub and maybe LS holding one of his favourite glasses of beer up to the light to show the clear amber gold of its colour...


  1. Beautifully written Thelma. You are a woman after my own heart when it comes to observing nature in all its beauty.
    Sadly you will not find roses out yet up here. Not a single wild rose have I seen yet (my favourite) and in the garden Albertine is just showing colour on her buds - so a couple of warm days (I wish) and we should be there.

    1. Thank you. No roses yet!! must be cold up North;) The wild briars are out down here, from white to pink to deep red. All the roads out of Chelmsford have wide green verges backed by tall hedges that display a lot of native shrubs. Must pull out my rose book to choose some for 'up there'