August 1st – I’ve been enjoying watching the progress of the berries and fruits this year, perhaps more than usual. Mainly I think because with the hot, dry weather I expected the harvest to be very poor, yet it’s far from meagre. Most things seem abundant, and it looks like being a good winter for birds with a bumper crop of haws reddening gradually in the hawthorn thickets and hedges.
These tough, hard berries are a good winter food for many birds, loaded with energy but bitter so they aren’t depleted quickly.
Grandad used to say and abundance of berries meant nature was preparing for a harsh winter.
It’ll be interesting to see if he was right.
September 3rd – I took to the canal on the way home, and observed that red appears to be the colour of choice for the season – a whole host of red berries, from honeysuckle, to ripening blackberries, to haws and hips are all doing well. I did wonder, however, what the very glossy red berries were – the ones with the very leathery leaves. There’s about twice the size of a pea, and look like haws but are too large, glossy and red. Any ideas?
I’m also wondering about the hop-like fruit of the broad leaved tree, centre. Something is telling me white birch, but I’m not sure.
Looks like there will be a good crop of helicopter seeds from the sycamores this year, too.
Any help welcome, thanks!
July 10th – This is a terrible photo, but illustrates something that always comes as a shock. The first vanguard of the fruiting season are the formation of haws on the hawthorn hedges and thickets. These hard, bitter berries will take the rest of the summer to ripen, before being eaten by the birds over winter. The sight of these fruits swelling and turning crimson is a harbinger of autumn to me, and a sign of the seasons’s passage. Together with the rain, this did not make for a terribly uplifting ride home…