Tuesday, June 19, 2007

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow ...

The weather gods may have forgotten that we are supposed to be sizzling amid a globally-warmed June, but at least the hedgerows know their place in the world order. As the Grey Mare and I meander around the quiet back lanes, she snatches surreptitious mouthfuls of frothy cow parsley from the verge and I gaze at the cornucopia of plants jostling for space in the hedges.

At the moment, the hedgerows are at their very best: stuffed with pink dog roses, red and yellow honeysuckle, and the various hues of different green shrubs. One year, I spotted gooseberries; when I returned in the car, I couldn’t find them again. Later, more obvious fruits will appear: a sprinkling of purple brambles, then a scattering of scarlet hips and the occasional half-hidden handful of green crab apples as we move towards autumn.

Our route often takes us over a disused railway line, now choked with long grass and weeds of triffid proportions – all the better to hide the occasional rubbish that fly-tippers think no one will ever notice. There are plenty of things to be seen from horseback that you would never register speeding past in a car. Growing amid the tall trees at the side of the abandoned track is a pear tree that produces a few golden, out-of-reach fruit each year. I often wonder who tossed that pear core from a train all those years ago.


16 comments:

Drunk Mummy said...

OOhhh - gooseberries! They are such an under-rated fruit.
No-one likes them - but they don't care! (They are tough and hairy, after all.)

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Seeing is certainly enhanced by reduced velocity. You must have been in the girl guides such are your powers of observation! Clip clop clip clop!

andy said...

This really is the best month, sadly, we're two thirds through and I haven't had the chance to enjoy it because of this damn weather.

Grrr...

PS. I love gooseberries!

Lizzie said...

Oh, the Green Man! I tend to think his is rather a scary image but quite fascinating.

Gill said...

I had a fantastic walk the other day and the hedges are full of red campion, ragged robin,wild roses, honeysuckle, willow herb,goose grass,foxgloves and tall waving grasses. The humidity has made everything grow HUGE.

Anonymous said...

Another delicious post, eminem.

I went walking by the river in Bristol yesterday, after the thunder storm. There is a railway track just by the river, albeit only for steam trains these days - and did my small bit to crush some of the weeds - but as you say some are like triffids - and they are certainly enough to break down the surface of the cycle track.

Oddly enough there was a pear tree on the grounds of a local petrol station. It is now disused, and fenced off - no doubt by the property developers who own it. It seems a shame to let all those pears go to waste - but maybe of some use to a local partridge..

Stay at home dad said...

Surely it was one of the Railway Children...

Orhan Kahn said...

I'm gonna go ahead and guess that you're British?

Forgive me.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I don't think I'd see anything from horseback 'cause I keep fallin' off.

mountainear said...

A lots of fields near here have hung onto their old names giving a fascinating insight into the life of the village in days gone by. 3 or 4 are named after Pear trees and were probably where said fruit was grown for perry production. We've only found one lone tree remaining though.

It's a little link with the past that makes it worth getting out of the ubiquitous car.

Mopsa said...

Horses and dogs - they need exercise every day, rain or no rain, and in wellies and waterproof at a trot or walk you can see so much more. It took me ages to spot the crab apple trees - it was a dead give away once the fruit fell. But a wild goose-gog - that I have never seen. The dogs love blackberry time - they follow me and gently pick the berries at knee height,not pricking their mouths at all. It's lovely watching the two of them pick alongside me. The only difference is I come back with bagsful for crumble and jam, and they come back with purple tongues.

Omega Mum said...

We had so many rose hips last year that I contemplated making rose hip syrup. Then I snapped out of it and opened some wine. It sounds idyllic.

muddyboots said...

it's amazing that on horse back you seem to see so much more than when you are walking.

ziggi said...

. . . don't be alarmed now . . .

you're too young to know that song! I was at Knebworth in 1979 - brilliant!

Still I digress, I have not the one pear on my pear tree but the cherry tree is loaded!

and finally! I can't find a saddle to fit my Haf! She's too flat :(

Pig in the Kitchen said...

blissful, I was almost with you on the mare...

mutterings and meanderings said...

DM, there are gooseberries growing in next door's garden ...

YP, I was briefly a Brownie Sixer ...

Andy, i am hoping July will make up ..

Lizzie, I love the green man. Have you read the story about him by Kingsley Amis?

Gill, ain't it fab!

Anon, I have never seen a partridge in a tree - they tend to lie in teh grass waiting til you're almost on top of them then they whirr away - I wonder where the original 'partridge in a pear tree' came from?

SAHD, the tree is so tall, it's probably around the right age!

Orhan, have you only just realised??

CJ, that pony of yours doesn't look too far to fall from!

Mountainear, such a shame there is only one left. I wonder how long they live for?

Mopsa, you need to get that cob ...

OM, i think about that every year but mum always puts mne off with talk of things hanging dripping through muslin... same with crab apple jelly, which I love on toast ..

MB, that's so true - you're at a good height and other creatures aren't so scared by horses. I saw two deer galloping through the long grass on Sunday when I was riding. Glorious.

Ziggi, the only one to get my reference! The Grey Mare is flat-backed with v. little wither and we have an Ideal VSD on a highland and cob tree. Or what about a treeless?

Thank you Pig!