August 18th – In spite of my earlier feeling that we were in for a thin harvest, the hedgerows and woodlands are laden with berries, nuts and fruit this year. I noted on Brownhills Common that the elderberries were now showing well and in abundance, which is good news for local winemakers, who will produce a dark red, strong and face-numbing drink from these shiny, dark berries.
And long may it continue!
April 11th – There is beauty and positivity in the gloom – the cycleways, verges, edge lands and tracks of Telford are lined with tentative buds and trees coming into early leaf. Nature is just poised to go for it when the warmth comes, just holding it’s breath…
Aren’t we all?
May 8th – The one blossom that’s always overlooked, but is actually beautiful is Elder; elderflowers of course make great wine and soft drinks,not to mention the berries but the blooms look pretty too, and smell divine – all the more welcome as often elder grows in margins, edgelands and waste ground otherwise considered ugly.
Here on the cycleway at Goscote there’s a prolific and strong showing of the creamy white blossom which most be a good sign for the home-brew types this year too.
May14th – I was back in Telford, and shut in an airless building with no natural light, so I missed a sunny, gorgeous day. This made it nicer to be out when I left though, and cycling home from Four Oaks in the evening sun I was struck by how green and verdant everything now is.
At Mill Green, the cottage looks lovely cloaked in it’s summertime shroud of greenery, and I noted the elders were flowering beautifully up the lane.
A wonderful evening ride.
September 13th – Elderberries seem a bit thin on the ground this year. Along the canal from Walsall Wood to Brownhills, there are usually clumps of the dark fruit hanging heavy on the bushes during autumn. I guess this is another symptom of a poor summer with few insects to pollinate the flowers. Local home-brew specialists may well have to find other wild fruit for their wines this year.