Monday, 26 August 2013
A Late summer evening
Late summer seems often to be a time of muted, heavy colours. But walking around this evening there are still some vibrant shades too. The showy, meter high flower spikes of Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium) are nearing the end of their flowering period. The capsules which form as the flowers drop will open to disperse seeds carried on downy plumes. Also known as "fireweed", it's a successful plant considered a weed by gardeners, and as each plant can self-pollinate and produce up to 80,000 seeds it's difficult to eradicate once established. The bees like it though, flowering patches fairly hum with activity.
Wild raspberries are at their best in July and August. The fruits really stand out against the dark leaves and make a sweet snack from the hedgerows :o)
On the farmland the pace is beginning to quicken. A grass field newly cut for silage is almost shockingly fresh green against the gold of rapidly ripening barley. Soon the big machines will be cutting the barley too.
On a warm and windless summer evening we ate outside and sat long into the dusk watching the light fade and the first stars appear, the evening birds joined by pipistrelle bats - the perfect summer evening in fact. The following morning has brought thick mist which is slow to burn off in the sun and there's a slight autumnal feel to the air.
It's still late summer, but there's no doubt that the wheel of the seasons is beginning to turn...