Month nine of my photographer’s nature journal.
Time to go back to the lanes and see what, if anything, is around. It is a sublime day. Cloudless blue sky, temperature around 17°C and barely the whisper of a breeze. Robins serenade me on my circuit of the lanes and the hill. Yes, a walk around the lanes has to include a hike up the hill if only for the views of the turquoise sea.
Sunrise with the Harvest Moon
Crows “caw caw” across the fields and Jackdaws “mhwah mhwah” in response. At one point I stop to listen to a frog or a toad croaking in the undergrowth. I wait in hope that it might leave its hiding place, but no. Time to move on. I meet a lady walking her dog (everyone in Cornwall seems to own a dog) and she tells me about a barn owl trapped in the hedgerow only the other day. The lanes are full of surprises.
I pause beside a particularly popular bunch of flowering ivy. Swarming with bees and flies and hoverflies feasting on the late-season nectar I am focusing on one particularly large white-tailed bumblebee when a Red Admiral butterfly comes in to land, but obstinately refuses to open its wings for the camera. Before I go I spot a ladybird sunbathing on a leaf. Should I concentrate on colour or texture? Or insects? Or maybe shadows?
Every time I walk this circuit I still get the same shock of surprise when turning a bend I see the beautiful Mounts Bay on the horizon. It seems so close. Glossy green ivy leaves gleam in the hedgerows and the sunlight catches the ferns too.
Red fuchsias hang down like ear-drops and contrast nicely against the cerulean sky. Hips are in short supply. The only place I know where to find big fat ones is almost bare. The few hips in view are shrunk and wizened. Hydrangea lines the lane close to a hamlet in the dip where shade replaces sunlight: here grows an enormous Monterey pine tree (Pinus radiata) tree with its amazing structural presence and wide trunk and limbs.
Up on the hill I am looking for signs of autumn. A red tinged leaf. Bronze or golden bracken. Dried out foxgloves. Haws on the hawthorn, blackberries, red berries of the wild honeysuckle, dying leaves and seed heads of the buddleia, pretty green oak leaves and of course the ubiquitous gorse. Bleached out grasses sway gently.
I stop frequently and make a 360 degree turn to see what is around me. In doing so I spot the lonely flower of a honeysuckle, a tiny red leaf amongst green, the sun shining on a patch of grass which I photographed only five minutes before, but is now looking so much different. A clump of purple heather. It is a mindful walk. Smells, sounds, sights. Touch and even taste.
Sitting on the rock on the top of the hill and surveying the land below makes me wonder, not for the first time, why I ever need to leave this place.
The Changing Seasons | September