that sad time of the year when the evenings are suddenly dark by half past eight, and fields start to be ploughed, even though this year the sunshine goes on – and on …
… stubble fields studded with the great round bales, fringed with hedges and trees in that dark dark green of late summer leaves, smudged with blue by distance.
beautiful days of sun and cloud, and night skies filled with stars, the milky way dominating, our galaxy a massy star drove-way across the sky. one night I get up at four am to see brilliant Vega staring out, looking huge, between cloud that almost smothers Cygnus, hovering above.
the wheat fields make a texture of flat pattern across the landscape, growing darker as they pass from ripe blondness to a slightly greyed down shade, a little salt-and-pepper; as I write, there are still fields of wheat unharvested, as the cold nights make the fields too damp for combining.
some late August days the mist on the coastal horizon rolls inland at night and leaves everything dripping wet, taking several hours to burn off in the morning.
other days are sharp and bright so that you can see the sea from the higher parts of the village.
more texture and pattern as the wild flowers fade and change to seed heads of structural fantasy
even a weedy field of sugarbeet, seen against the low sun of early morning, gives me pattern and colour for maybe a painting, or a design.
Cake’s Lane has been looked after this year, to the extent that there are no pretty seed heads tall against the light, and even the molehills hardly impede one’s progress. since the barley was harvested the grass and weeds around the fields have been cut, so that we can walk along the edge of the wood, peering in past the mares tails and bracken at the dark leafiness, most secret at this time of year. the roe deer keep themselves tucked away, and there are very few sightings of hares. most present are the buzzards and the wood pigeons, and green woodpeckers bobbing across from one wood to another, shouting their laughter-like call. on a few mornings muffled chiff-chaff song emanates from tall hedges, if the sun is not out.
the garden is pretty overgrown; despite the lack of rain. my hedges are infested with white bryony draping its red berried stems everywhere. the buddleias are huge and for several weeks have been full of butterflies every sunny afternoon.
commas, small tortoiseshells, peacock and red admiral sip from the honey scented flowers, occasionally colliding with bumble bees.
they settle on any warm surface, wings spread wide, for a rest I suppose, and to take in the sun’s heat. they take nectar from my turk’s cap lilies too, and the broad coned pink echinaceas. after dark my courtyard garden is full of big moths; they come for the honeysuckle and the lilies, which are most scented after dark.
this afternoon Miss T and I went out for our usual walk, finding the big wheat field cut, we were tramping through the stubble, about twenty swallows weaving and skimming over it, and what looked like a stick at a distance was a roe deer, standing almost stock still a hundred yards from the wood. she held still until we were quite close and my lurcher started making some very frustrated noises … then pronked her way down to the wood’s edge and away.