after days of wet and chill, at last a beautiful sunny morning. but already ploughing has begun, and the blackberry hedge has been laid waste by the dreaded flail. on narrow roads the hedges and banks must be trimmed for safety, but in places this hedge is two metres back from the road.

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only part of the hedgerow has been cut however, and there are still wonderful places covered in red berries of various sorts. unripe blackberries add to the colour, with rose hips in the background.

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the dog roses were spectacular in flower this summer, and the display of hips is equally gorgeous.

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near the culvert and the arm of woodland which reaches out from Bale wood, there are quite a few guelder rose in the hedge. this is a poisonous plant, every part is harmful.

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and the haws, the fruit of the hawthorn, is very important to wild birds. it also makes great itching powder for nasty boys to put down girls’ necks as I remember from my childhood.

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while I was photographing the hips I saw three roe deer out in the middle of the stubble field on the Hindringham side of the wood. two of them were playing, or play fighting, and I thought they were hares when I first spotted them. I am not sure whether this is a doe with two well-grown youngsters – I think really they are too big to be this years’ fawns – or a buck, on the left, as I think I can see a suspicion of antler between the ears, and a doe flirting. whether the other on the right would be another buck or a doe I can’t tell but it does look bigger than the little one in the middle. they were being quite skittish, and only looked at me, or my head, and then I could see they were listening as we walked up the road and caught sight of them through various gaps in the hedge. the dogs had no idea they were anywhere near deer.

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back at home, shed building is proceeding apace. now the framework is up it’s very quick. I had some donated windows which went in on Tuesday, and some old doors which were used as partitions in the original sheds. the windows don’t open, but I am having roof-lights which will open.

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there is a breathable membrane behind the lapped larch boards.

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and the walls will be lined with cheap insulation wool and covered with plywood on the inside, which I will paint white, to keep it light.

at the end of the day the rest of the walls are nearly finished. there will be a door in the back wall, with windows, my old kitchen door.

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