Elderberries nearing ripeness now. It’s fascinating to observe how the same type of tree or plant can be in such different stages of growth or fruiting depending on where they are situated on the lane. The lane is a series of micro climates, something that wouldn’t be noticed if I didn’t walk up and down it. It means that there is always something different, something changing, even in a very small way. The one constant is the stream and even that rushes down from the ravine and sloped woodland at the top through the area around the old mill and then meanders down and around to the bottom of the lane.
There are particular trees that I look out for on the lane. They stand at points where either I stop for a breath and to look around or Rosie, the dog has her established sniffing areas. The first tree I stop at is covered in ivy except the first couple of feet from the ground. It is obviously being grazed by animals – the hidden ones who don’t want or need human contact. The second is further up the lane and linked to the stone wall that marks the edge of the lane. It is a mossy, strangely spooky at times and today, the tree there was checked very carefully by Rosie. Some creature has been clawing away at the moss and earth at its roots in the hopes of finding something. Rosie knows what it is but isn’t saying.
Just standing and finding a different view, a different way of seeing something is part of the pleasure of the lane. When I first started this blog about Mullycovet it was to make a diary of the lane for a year. Starting in spring time there were different things to notice all the time and I was getting used to the lane’s rhythms. Now, late summer or what, when I sniff the air, smells like the beginning of an early autumn, the lane has changed its pace. Walking the lane is in effect a form of meditation as well as observation.