Six on Saturday- A Walk Around My Garden and Back Fields- 9th Nov 2019

It’s a cold, misty start to today’s walk around my garden and back fields. Peering through the gap in the hedge, the old oak tree looks golden. We see a fox crossing the field, so brazen in the morning light. Fox and field blend into one. All autumnal tones merge today. The fox heads for the ditch, sending a pheasant flying into the next field. In the hedge where I’m standing, blackbirds and robin start up their alarm call. I think it must be the fox causing the upset. But then a buzzard glides low overhead- silent at first, then making a plaintive mewing cry. I shiver. Magnificent. Deadly. Owning the sky.

We walk along the ridgeway path. It’s been a slow start to autumn here. Field maples usually yellow-up by mid to end of October. Suddenly today, as temperatures dip below zero, the hedgerow takes on a golden hue. It reminds me of a patchwork quilt. ‘Squares’ of black dogwood stitched together with patches of golden maple. Such a pretty view. I gaze at it, and hold it in my memory. A few autumn gales and the magic will be gone. A whole year before we see such sights again.

Blackberries. The bane of my life this year. They have taken over my garden and this winter there will be serious chopping back. Meanwhile, leaves glow a glorious red. Quite pretty, if they were not so determined to take over the world.

It’s been wet here. So far this month there’s been 42mm of rain. In October we had 146mm, and in September, 118mm. The ground is waterlogged, ditches overflowing. We follow a path where horses have trod. The ground is so soft there’s deep hoof prints, full of water. It’s calming following footprints, the sky reflected in the little pools of water.

A dip in the hedge reveals our trees on the left. I can hardly believe we planted them, all those years ago, when I was in my 20s. They’ve been a source of joy ever since. On the right in the distance stands Polly’s Wood. I have a dream to join the two woods together- a corridor for wildlife. One day, perhaps. We shall see. Dreams do sometimes come true.

Back through the garden gate, on our boundary, there’s a green corridor running down past the pond to the summerhouse beyond. Autumn and spring are my favourite times for this part of the garden. In spring, the lime green new shoots are bright and cheerful. At this time of the year, field maples and cherry trees create a golden tunnel.

If you look carefully, you can just see our 1930s summerhouse, hidden amongst the trees.

Thank you for all your kind words last week, following our cousin’s funeral. It’s seems I am not alone in turning to nature as a balm when there are sorrows. Perhaps we all find solace and hope in nature all around us. And gardening is something we all turn to in moments of need. This week after walking for miles, and gardening all hours, I feel restored and ready to face whatever life brings. No doubt there will be many more ups and downs to deal with. Nothing stands still in life, or in gardening, for that matter. Does it.

Links : More about buzzards and listen to their call :https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/buzzard/

Field Maples : https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/field-maple/

34 thoughts on “Six on Saturday- A Walk Around My Garden and Back Fields- 9th Nov 2019

  1. Karen your photos are magnificent, I love them. The first is so fabulous that it is confused with a wonderful painting. See a fox and a pheasant and the blackbirds and robin give the alarm I love it. The autumn skies are divine. I love gold field maple trees with black dogwood. The beauty of the red color came from blackberries gives them a provisional pardon. How good you did with 20 years in planting all the trees, I love them. Do not stop anything in realizing your dream of making a green corridor with Polly´s Wood. The green corridor that you have from the pond to beyond the Summer House I love. Seeing the Summer House among the trees stained with gold is a wonderful dream. I am very happy with Karen that you face life with that philosophy after having “understood” a little the sad death of your dear cousin. As you well say, “there will be many more ups and downs to deal with.” Life is like that, it has many good things but there are also bad things with which we have to learn to live and accept. But the balance is inclined to good things. Karen I will always be by your side for whatever you need. I didn’t want to tell you so you wouldn’t worry. My Mother has Glaucoma in both eyes for many years. He has always remained stable, but on the 6th of this month he went to the Ophthalmology doctor for review and was told that he had gotten much worse and that if he did not operate, he would go blind. I accepted it well but this weekend I went into shock. Today I reacted. On the 19th of this month my Mother has the tests with the doctors for the Preoperative and in a month or so they will operate on one eye and when that eye is cured they will operate on the other. By the way they will remove the cataracts it has. Forgive me for telling you but you are my friend and I am very worried about my Mother. Karen I’m so sorry it rains so much. Here this week will come a wave of winter cold with snow and rain throughout Spain and very cold. It is our turn to warm up at two. A lot of love, a lot of health, a lot of strength and a lot of encouragement for your whole family, for Mr. B and for you. Loving caresses to Grace and Meg. Take care of you all. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita Xxx

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  2. What beauty you find on your walks, and I love all the drama you uncover! I love seeing wildlife sharing the countryside but around here there are a few too many deer!
    I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Time and the wonders of life ease the pain and let you focus on the good times.

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  3. Your hedgerows and the view across the fields are so English and make me feel almost homesick. 😉 I love hearing the buzzards call too. We have many, and whenever I am outside I inevitably hear them. Or watch them circling above. We also have a lot of kestrels, so smaller birds tend to stay close to the woods. Perhaps we will have more near the house once our trees have grown a bit! Take care with those brambles Karen. I got thorns in my hands through two pairs of gloves when getting rid of one of ours!

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    • Thank you Noelle. Of course, at the time, we were planting little saplings 50cm tall. We had no idea they would grow into such a lovely bank of trees. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.

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  4. A great set of pictures and words, that led me along on your walk. I’m glad you are feeling a little better.

    The swaying of the trees calms us, as we remember the rocking motion of our mothers. Thanks, so much, for the wonderful trip around your place.

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  5. This time of year reminds me to notice wonderful sights and colours NOW, because they’ll soon be gone. I think that’s why Nature is comforting. It doesn’t make a fuss or try to fix you. It just IS. I love the idea of wildlife corridors; hope you succeed there!

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    • Thank you Audrey. There’s a hedge between the two woodlands. It wouldn’t take much land to join the two. Suddenly, autumn colours are on a fast forward. The leaves turned olive for weeks in the mild temperatures and rain. As soon as it dipped to -1, the leaves turned 🍁 . I’m trying to enjoy them as much as possible – knowing it’s whole year until the next display. Thanks for reading

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