An exploration

Friday, September 11, 2020


A bit of an exploration was had at the weekend when trying out a new walk. It might have been a little more overgrown that expected; paths vanishing into nothing, following animal trails, getting clawed at by brambles and barbed by gorse. Swishing through thigh high long grass, teetering round and through nettles, minding the boggy patch. Heading off the wrong way only to have to retrace steps in the hope of returning to the 'trail'. It certainly felt like wilderness. 

From a common, to a nature reserve, to woodland then, sadly, our path to return with had disappeared into the undergrowth with no sign of any use (or existence) so plan b was to walk the visible path then take the road back to the car. The road was a nightmare. One of those country roads which is fine to drive fast on, virtually zero verges and permanent blind bends. It did really feel like a dangerous mile or so. It was a relief to reach a straight stretch and then intercept an empty lane back to the car. 

A deer encounter felt rather special. I did see a bird swoop silently through the forest and I wonder, as I always do, if it was a goshawk. 
Harebells and scabious...

Such fantastic wild flowers. I bet they change all summer. 
Below, mullein - possibly great.

Based on just how hard going the walk felt and how I never want to walk on a road like that again, it's unlikely we'll return. But in parts, it did feel like we'd escaped civilisation.

Above, black bryony - extremely poisonous
Below, massive football sized mushroom which has broken. I want to see one whole!

Fleabane above.
Hops! Since identifying hops in a hedgerow a couple of years ago we tend to spot it very often. The leaves are distinctive, the vines (if you call them that) are course and built for gripping on to other hedge plants and hoisting the hops to the top, along and all over. They travel far and wide. The papery flowers are fascinating. To hold, stroke and sniff. I think they smell sometimes citrus-y and often like garlic. If you see any yourself then let me know your findings. 
And lastly, I do occasionally see this and couldn't figure out what it was (not in the book) but it's creeping cinquefoil. The leaves are distinctive. 

It's due to be a steady start to the weekend but another toasty few days to start off the new week so don't pack your shorts away just yet. I'm excited to get out for plenty of outdoors activities, the list is growing! It could be the last chance to get blackberries, there are still some healthy ones in hedgerows but once they start to go, that's it. 

I hope you have some fun plans for the weekend, but whatever you do, try to spend some time outside to enjoy the last of the summer.

Take care,

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