Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Midsummer evening

I love these evenings when at 10pm it's still light enough to go for a walk. 

The sky to the north-west is a palette of pastel colours.

Cream heads of parsley glow amongst the silhouettes of tall, blunt-headed grasses. Light from the sinking sun drapes the cliff edges in diaphanous purple.

To the south the moon has risen in a cold, pure sky.

The sea is milk in a saucer.

Friday, 18 June 2010

St Columb's Broth

Even the stinging nettle has tassles of flowers at this time of year. They change from cream to red/brown as they age.
According to the recipe created by an Irish monk which appears at page 68 of Flora Brittanica (R. Mabey. Sinclair- Stevenson, London 1996) the young leaves of nettles should be picked before the end of June. Boil them. Drain and chop. Reheat with water and milk. Add oats or oatmeal and thicken. Serve with toast, grated cheese or a soft-boiled egg.
It sounds quite tasty.

Midsummer meadow

 It is almost midsummer's day and on a walk my senses gorge on the riches of the countryside.
I leave the path and amble around the edge of a wildflower meadow. It is an impressionist's canvas of flowers and grasses. Blurry swathes of tawny brown and gold, dotted cream and purple with the heads of  wild orchids and cow parsley.

The air is perfumed by the bank of bright green bracken against the hedge. There is the constant rumble and rattle of a harvester in the hay field next door. Bugle, Loosestrife, Self-heal; even the names of the flowers excite the imagination.

Monday, 14 June 2010

The wanderer returns

I have been silent for a few weeks, first because I was concentrating on work that had to be handed in for the MA Professional Writing course at Tremough and then because I went off to 'foreign parts'. I travelled to Suffolk in a campervan and explored the heaths, and coast of that county. Yesterday, on the way home, we stopped for a stroll in warm sunshine across the gently rolling, sheep-cropped green neatness of the chalk downs near Marlborough, Wiltshire.Today I was back on the Cornish coast path again - in gusty winds and a chill sea mist, and where the hedgerows and cliff edges are untidily stuffed to bursting with flowers and grasses. When I left, the dominant colours were green and yellow, but now hues of pink and purple have come into their own; foxgloves, heather, campions, thistles, thrift, clover, and wild orchids. White dog roses struggle up out of the tangle. In the woods, tall froths of rhododendrons are apostrophes amongst the trees.