Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the field of the cloth of gold

Summer slowly changes into Autumn, the colours of the landscape change from green to a golden hue and just now the trees are beginning to turn again. On Radio 5 there is much time to talk about the England/Pakistan cricket matches but what is happening to people affected by the flood in Pakistan goes without mention.

Up on top of the hills whortleberries are harvested with sloes coming soon. Whortleberries are about the same size as the nail on your little finger making picking them a slow process. Down below grapes are ripening, the last cucumber has been cut and carrots are lifted from the ground. Standardised supermarket carrots bear little resemblance to the uniqueness and the earthy flavour of organically grown carrots, with many having the shape of a small figure or other amusing similarities. Marrows, Squashes, Beetroot, French Beans, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Tomatoes and assorted salad leaves are harvested, along with Cobnuts.

The woods remain lush and dark and at this time of year many are impenetrable due to the scale of their overgrown condition, where attempting to pass through them would cause too much destruction they are best left to clear themselves for a while and for visitors to remain outside.

Horsetail Ferns can be seen in photo 12. They are called ferns though they are actually Equisetaceae, which has no direct affinity with any other group of British plants. These used to grow to the size of trees in the Carboniferous Period, but like the Dragonfly we now just have a smaller version. They grow in wet places and the dark green woods in these photos follow small rivers down to the sea and so remain well watered for most of the time. These small valleys are known locally as Combes whereas in Dorset and the Isle of Wight they are called Chines. The nights grow longer again as the planets above perfom their alignments and the wind in the Poplar tree sings a lower and darker note, signaling the change of the seasons.