Saturday, 10 October 2009

Fancy coming on the Saturday walk!

If you do then you will have to get a move on as Tess has caught a whiff of a walk in the offing and is dancing about in front of me and giving little barks. So come along - we are only going down the lane and back across the fields.

How things have changed in just a week. I am able to walk through dead and dying ash leaves which litter the floor. I see that the ash tree in the hedgerow has turned yellow and is casting its leaves. In the distance, the alder trees which line the passage of the beck through our neighbouring farmer's fields, show no vestige of Autumn colour yet. But in the hedgerow the blackthorne still has ripening sloes and the elder bushes are turning a bright red.
The birds are pretty silent apart from the robin. There seems to be one singing in every large tree I pass. I would love to think they are singing their song for the sheer joy of living here, but I know there is a more aggressive reason - they are singing to warn other robins off their territory.
The milking herd next door are in their farthest field. They have worn a path down the side of the lane, walking on the grass verge rather than on the tarmac. Poor cows have such trouble with their feet that by this time of the year, when they are shortly to be taken in for Winter, many of them are becoming a bit lame and the grass must be far more soothing to walk on. The trodden muddy path will soon disappear once they have moved to a different field.
Once on our way back across the fields, I can let Tess of the lead so that she can go searching for rabbits. We walk along the edge of what was the oats and barley field. They have long been harvested. The oats field has been ploughed and sown; the barley field lies as stubble. Three or four cock pheasants stalk between the rows, picking up tit-bits as they go. Tess barks at them but they take no notice and carry on with the search for food.
A yellow hammer comes part of the way with us, flying in front and keeping to the topmost boughs of the hedge - it never makes a sound. The beck is very low. We have had little rain in September and so far this month and the water weeds have grown apace so that now they have completely filled in the beck. The farmer will have to be down here shortly to dig it all out and get the water flowing well again before Winter.
The crab apple trees = which have been bare of fruit this year - are turning a golden-yellow, as are the hazel bushes. Some nuts still hang on the branches but the mice and the grey squirrels will soon finish them off.
The berries on the cotoneaster horizontalis on the wall shine like red beads. They will be left until the cold weather when the blackbirds will descend one day and strip the lot. In the meantime they gleam in the sun.
In the fields the hedges have grown rapidly. We do not cut our hedges in the breeding season for wild birds as so many of them nest there. Each year the farmer pinpoints blackbird nests and yellow hammer nests. But as Winter approaches so do the hedgerows and in many places the briars from the wild blackberries have pushed new growth well out into the field. How long would it be before they took over the whole field if they were not cut back, I wonder.
Coming back into the farmyard we see the farmer who is pruning and apple and cherry trees in the vegetable garden. He stands surrounded by branches - seems he has been a bit fierce with his pruning. "Kill or cure!" he says as we pass. Dark Lady - the rose by the back door - has blossomed with a third crop of deep red blooms. They are a delight, although this time there is little scent.
Back home to put the kettle on. Do stay for a cup of tea before you go - and maybe a biscuit too.
See you again next week. Have a good weekend.


Hildred said...

Well Weaver, I would love to come - you make it sound so delicious, but I have to make pies this morning. Apple and pumpkin.....

I would gladly contribute a slice to go with the biscuits, if only the miles weren't so long between us.

Jinksy said...

What a glorious place you do live in - all those wide open spaces call on a day like today, but I can only put my fingers in my ears to block them out, as I have no chance of following the call!

Jane Moxey said...

What a lovely walk! The tea and biscuits were delicious too. How kind of you to remember that I take my tea with milk and sugar:) How I miss the English robin. We have them here too, but they are three times the size of the little English fellows. Just as cheeky though.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely walk - sorry there are no crab apples up your way this year, our hedgerow trees are loaded. And thanks for the invite to a cup of tea and a biscuit - I could have done with that earlier this afternoon. Oh, and I love your pic of that tree. I am always photographing trees.

Babette Fraser Hale said...

That was the best walk I've had in a week! Today, I'll try our woods, in Wellies because it is WET. Yes, as in rain. All the rain for the past six months has fallen in the last three weeks. And I am not complaining.

I love your blog.

Heather said...

Another lovely walk Weaver and on such a glorious day. I can imagine the perfume of that rose on a summer day. I can't remember the last time I saw a yellowhammer, but we did have a grey wagtail on the back lawn the other day and a tiny wren, no bigger than my thumb, on the honeysuckle vines just outside the kitchen window. We live in quite a built up area between a small town and countryside so aren't really rural. Thankyou for the tea and biscuit - same time, same place next week?

Elizabeth said...

An excellent walk.
Buster would have loved it too.

Leilani Schuck Weatherington said...

Yes please. I would love a walk and a cup of tea.. and a biscuit.. and a shoulder to cry on if you don't mind (my mamma is not doing well).

Lisa at Greenbow said...

An enjoyable walk Weaver. I would be delighted to stay for a cup of tea and a biscuit.

steven said...

hello weaver, i had a gorgeous bike ride with my australian friend who is living with us at the moment - we biked along a disused railway path to a nearby town and miraculously found an incredibly good bakery!!! but the offer of a walk in the dale (despite my slightly tired legs) was too much to pass up. this is the time i always used to ;go home" to england in years past. your post details a small part of why!!! so lovely!!! thankyou for inviting us along. steven

Ann Christy said...

A lovely walk - much better weather than last Saturday!!! We are just back from a weeks walking in the Lakes District - what a perfect time of the year to go walking - each day out in the fresh air - really exhilarating!!!

Mistlethrush said...

Lovely walk - thank you. And how lucky to are to have yellow hammers - quite a luxury round our way.

Totalfeckineejit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Totalfeckineejit said...

A lovely walk,Weaver. I feel quite inspired.

Mice and squirrels gather nuts while they may,
nothing grows now but the weeds.
We all die a little each day,like
ash and alder shed leaves to
carpeted vestiges of winters creep.
Sweet birds leave us now,
save the fiesty robin,
red-breast proud in sunshine and in snow.
Let now the kettle sing upon the hob,
itself and the talk will keep us,
till the springtime smiles once more.

Cloudia said...

Oh thank you for this lovely walk!

Aloha, Sister Weaver

Comfort Spiral

Arija said...

In spirit I am all there and enjoying every step and snapping away at all the beauty around you which happily you do not take for granted.

I'd love a cuppa, unfortunately I will have to get up and make it myself. Just weeded around the edges of a freestanding garden bed and I'm totally bushed.

alison said...

Does Tess actually catch any rabbits? My border terrier is always a bit slow off the mark when there are rabbits around. Now, if a cat crosses our path that's a different story...the poor thing will be chased up the nearest tree!
I have been planning to post 'a walk a week' but always end up walking along the lane. It's the same walk every day but amazingly always seems different!
Off to walk Fudge now - Enjoy the rest of the wekend!

Crafty Green Poet said...

that's a lovely walk, so nice to have the yellow hammer accompaning you and the robins still singing. Always nice to see autumn progressing, though a little sad too...

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh wow! Apple and pumpkin pies - I wish.
And plenty of you calling in for tea and biscuits - lovely.
Regarding crab apples - I think we must have had a frost at the wrong time.
Glad you all enjoyed the walk - it even prompted a poem in the comments - I think that is a first.
We must walk again soon - in the meantime - keeeeep blogging!

Golden West said...

That was delightful - thank you for taking me along!

ChrisJ said...

A beautiful walk! One that makes me homesick and one that I could easily do once a week.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Is that the rose by your door in that last picture? Such a perfect blossom.

I would enjoy having a cup of tea with you and your garden.