August 22nd – Despite the cooler weather and repeated inexplicable attacks by a hedge cutter, the honeysuckle at the southern flank of the Black Cock Bridge embankment continues to flower, fruit and thrive.
Every time I pass this beautifully scented shrub it makes me happy.
June 7th – Sad to note that the honeysuckle growing on the western rail of the Black Cock Bridge has again this year been hedge cut in it’s prime. I don’t know why anyone would do that, and it makes me sad – but it’s recovered well, and the woodbine still tumbles in a beautiful tangle into the meadow below the embankment.
A delight for bugs and bees. Clearly, someone doesn’t like it as much as I do.
June 8th – On a brighter note, the honeysuckle is in flower again – and it smells beautiful. It may be me, but it seems very early this year. I’m noticing it in hedgerows, embankments and scrubs – and it’s divine.
A real sign of summer.
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!
August 21st – It was a grey, damp Friday afternoon, and it felt more like October than August, and after a few grey, wet days I noticed the little meadow near the new pond at Clayhanger had lost all of it’s summer colour suddenly, like switching off a light.
All was not lost, though, as there are still wildflowers nearby – toadflax and honeysuckle are still showing well, and damsons and apples are adding autumn colour. Even a confused lupin was bright in the gloom.
Autumn can wait just a little while, can’t it?
August 6th – Another fruit of the season, but this time doing well, are honeysuckle berries. Sticky, poisonous and sugary they would upset human digestion but not that of the local birds, who will strip the shrubs on the south side of the Black Cock Bridge clear of berries as soon as they’re ripe.
Their sticky coating leads to them acquiring a patina of dust and road film, and I often wonder what effect that has on the wildlife that dines upon it.