Battling the south westerlies

Getting to the top of the lane feels like a real expedition today. Battling through fallen leaves, wary of branches landing too close for comfort, there is still something exhilarating about it. A wild and stormy wind from the south west is causing havoc. It may not be cold but it is destructive.

Rosie, the collie, is not impressed. She lowers herself close to the ground as each new gust of wind breaks through the trees and hedges. Her usual confidence in the walk further eroded by the fluttering leaves and twigs landing around us.

The lane has so many little micro climates. My favourite is close to the top where it doesn’t seem to matter if it is snowing, raining or windy, the sun comes out and it is warm. Today it was where the birds were, settled into their perches, singing loudly. No sign of the squirrels. A great disappointment to Rosie.

It’s beautiful time of year on the lane. Plants appear as though magic, crowding in over the lane. It becomes the lost lane, hardly wide enough for a car. The hawthorn is in flower with its slightly disturbing scent, the ash is coming into leaf, although today there were a lot of fallen ash seeds and branches. Willow and hazel catkins, cow parsley crowd around the mill stream, delicate white flowers against the bright greens of new growth. Wild strawberries are now edging the stream and hedgerows mixed in with bugle, speedwell and stitchwort. Next will be the wild roses and the figwort – but not just yet. There is always something to look forward to.

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