This month Jude at Travel Words asks us to explore the colour green. So I thought I’d start with our home landscapes. Here in the English countryside we perhaps take greenness for granted. Even our over-wintering fields are bright with sprouting wheat and pasture grass. The header shot is a December view, looking across Shropshire from Wenlock Edge.
Closer to home is the long-shot view I see whenever I go to the allotment: Callaughton Ash on the southerly edge of Much Wenlock. It’s one I never tire of – those sky-line ash trees with their ivy cladding.
Then behind our house is Townsend Meadow. Wheat has been grown along the flanks of Wenlock Edge for centuries, and as proof has left its name ‘The Wheatlands’ in part of it. These days the crop is sown in October-November and is usually well sprouted by Christmas. I like the corduroy effect.
By summer, after serial dosing, the field looks like this:
And on our side of the fence, thanks to home-made compost:
Meanwhile my summer route across the field to the allotment used to look like this – before the farmer cut the ‘wildlife’ reserve back to the ‘path’:
And when things go well on the plot:
… we get other ‘greens’:
Life in Colour: Green
One of the extraordinary things that happened last March, along with advent-lockdown, was the appearance of this red-legged partridge on top of the old privy roof. Well! Never had this kind of thing happened in the garden before. In my experience partridges are rather covert birds. You’re lucky to have a fleeting glimpse if you happen to startle one along a farm-field hedgerow. This one, however, stood in full view for ages. Not only that, it began to further advertise its presence with some very loud and rasping calls. It was all rather thrilling. Who knew that partridge plumage was so very magnificent. I certainly didn’t.
Square Up #29
Bird Weekly: Lisa calls for brown feathered varieties
Life in Colour: Brown
In recent days there has been a bit of a coup over in the crab apple at the top of the garden. Mama Blackbird has staked her claim to the crop. In fact the other morning I caught her seeing off the male blackbird in a most aggressive manner. No quarter given there then. He went off in a fluster.
Back in early December it was he who was King of the Crab Apples. There had been no frost or snow to soften the fruit, and he was finding the going tough, adopting a fencer’s lunging stroke to slice off shreds of fruity flesh. Once in a while he’d (accidently) end up with a whole mini-apple wedged in his beak, too hard to scrunch in one pincer movement. Next would come a rapid descent to the garden path to sort himself out. Once or twice I thought he was in danger of choking, and wondered what the procedure might be – to unchoke a blackbird. But then he hopped back on the fence and, if birds can cough, he coughed a few times and returned to lunging.
And so now all is clear. There was naturally a very good reason why Mama Blackbird was biding her time, waiting for wintery weather to make easy pickings of the apples .
Apple Sorbet on a stalk. Mine! All mine! says Mama Merle.
Square Up #7
Here are some of the many photos taken in the last few days in my various spheres of activity. First: snow scenes in the Linden Field.
And in and out the garden, over the garden fence:
And up at the allotment and surrounding vistas:
And finally my Happy New Year photo: all the very best to everyone in 2021.
The Changing Seasons: December 2020
By this morning most of yesterday’s snow had washed away in the rain. But then back it came at midday, leaving a layer deep enough for some happy sledging on Windmill Hill and giant snowball rolling in the Linden Field. Wenlock dogs were fizzing with delight and even the grown-up humans were having a good play. Nothing like a snowball fight if you’re well wrapped up. And it was bitterly cold this afternoon even as the trees began to drip and drip.
I had only popped out in the garden to photograph the crab apples, but one thing led to another, and soon I was heading for the Linden Walk, and then across the old railway line towards the Priory ruins. And while I was there I thought I’d carry on and have a wander round the Church Green, and see if I could get a photo of the Prior’s House from over the graveyard wall.
Time passed as I stood to watch the Highland Cattle tuck into their silage. So did lunch-time. He who binds books and lives in my house was very glad when I finally did turn up to make some soup. I made no excuses for absence without explanation. Nor did he expect any. He knows as well as I do: you have to make the most of snow-days. The only thing lacking was a spot of sunshine to brighten up the place. Now as I write this, a frost has set in for the night, and there’s a fat moon shining over the Linden Field.
On Saturday night we had high winds and deluge. Rain pounded the roof-lights for hours. The gale buffeted about the cottage. Today we woke to eerie stillness, the sort that only comes with snow.
This is probably the last shot of the ‘guerrilla garden’ for this year. I’ve been enjoying the silhouettes over the fence, so have yet to raze the dead stems of our unofficial planting along the field edge. Golden Rod, Fountain Grass, Teasels, Michaelmas Daisies and the crab apple tree, and in front, the winter’s light on the ash log sundial that a good chum made us one year as a Christmas present. I’m sorry you can’t see what time it’s telling, though I’d say it’s around noon, the sun in the south. And talking of sun, in the northlands the days are already lengthening. Soon there will be signs of spring in my Shropshire garden. You will be the first to know.
Happy holidays to all who visit me here on the Edge.
And a big, big thank you for the many kind words you have posted here in these strangest of times. Wishing us all better days ahead.
Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Gates and fences
White-tailed bumble bee in nasturtium: a rude perspective?
Square Perspective #17
I have a few sugar snap peas growing in a bucket at the top of the garden by the seat. They have a few willow twigs for support and they seem quite happy surrounded by a profusion of geranium Rozanne. Also as I’m continually walking past them, I can easily spot the pods as soon as they’re ready for picking – usually enough to add to a stir fry or salad. So no glut of curly, tough and past-it pods. And then when these first plants have done their stuff, I have another bucket of later sown sugar snaps coming on beside them.
None of this was planned, but now that I’ve done it, I’m thinking it’s a good way to create small successions of this particular crop. Besides, the pea flowers provide ideal landing platforms for raindrops.
Square Perspective #2
Pop over the Becky’s to see her handsome pusscat perspective.
Six Word Saturday
Pop over to Debbie’s at Travel with Intent