June 15th – The flora was also showing well, and the blackberry and dewberry brambles are flowering intensely this year – so if we get a nice few days with plenty of bees and bugs, there should be another ample crop of blackberries this autumn. The lovely, paper-white flowers are rarely studied closely, such is their proliferation, but they are most delicate, attractive things.
I was also pleased to note that following the great marsh orchid massacre – where the plants I had been lovingly watching were mown off by a C&RT grass cutting crew a week or so ago – another abundant patch seems to be growing on the slope down to the new pond at Clayhanger.
I love those orchids. I never saw anything like them here when I was younger, and cherish them as a sign of how much better the ecology generally is around here these days.
August 14th – Spotted at Little Aston – the first ripe blackberries of the year. Note the tighter structure. These are a little hairy, and I suspect they’re a hybrid, but the fruit was firm and smelt divine.
There’s an absolute feast out there at the moment. Never seen fruiting like it.
July 30th – The ripening is noticeable everywhere. Returning from Shenstone, the fields of wheat and oilseed rape were losing their last vestiges of green; not yet ready to harvest, but well on the way. The golden colour is welcome and is like late summer’s coat; the countryside is replete in golds, beige and dark, dark green.
Also doing well, the bramble fruits – dewberry and blackberry – are turning red, and the parsnips growing at Sandhills look in fine fettle.
Doesn’t look like it was such a bad season, after all.