During this crazy year, when time has either been standing still or passing us by, it’s quite reassuring to go for a walk and see the passing of the seasons. Whatever else happens, the wild plants still come into flower around the right time and the swallows migrate here. The farm year continues too and we see fields change as crops grow and reach harvest and spring lambs grow bigger.
Today I took my usual walk near the village and the first thing I spotted was that some of the meadows have been cut – the warm wet weather has really encouraged grass growth and hay and silage making.
The oilseed rape crop is ripening. The acid yellow flowers of spring have now been replaced by brown stems and seed pods.
The grain crops are ripening fast and combining has already begun in some places. This barley still has a greenish tinge. I love to watch it swirl about and ripple in the breeze.
The verges and hedgerows are now a dustier, darker green, with the creamy grass seed heads, thistledown and meadowsweet flowers and accents of purple from thistles, knapweed, meadow cranesbill and woundwort.
The most dominant birdsong I heard today was that of the yellowhammer: a rising sequence of notes followed by a single, lower, longer one. They seemed to follow me and every so often I’d catch a glimpse of one on top of a hedge.
There were lots of butterflies today, mainly whites, including green-veined whites and also small tortoiseshells and red admirals. I also saw this beautiful pale moth – so far I can’t identify it.
As we turned, a roebuck crossed by the bridge. They are very common round here, but mostly keep themselves well hidden in woodland, especially during summer, so it was lovely to see one.
What aspects of nature characterise this time of year where you live?