The light always begins to change at this time of year as we come close to the autumn equinox. There is a clarity to it that the summer softness does not have and there is the unmistakeable scent of autumn in the air but this year it is warm, really warm. The last few days have been warmer than much of summer and there is a stillness, hardly a breath of wind. It is almost as though the natural world is saying there is nothing else to say or do about this strange year, only mark the stillness, the time of balance between dark and light at the equinox.
This year on the lane the hedges were covered in blackberry flowers promising – no that is wrong – nature doesn’t promise – suggesting to human eyes that there would be a good harvest of blackberries. There hasn’t. They have not ripened properly and those few that have are small.
But the harvest of anything is not a certainty. There are instead a lot of sloes ripening. Last year there were few. Rosie the collie is still on the look out for ripe hazelnuts to crack but not many yet.
The stones of the walls separating the fields from the lane and the deep lane edge are loosening in some places. The moist moss covering has been drying and because of this I caught sight of a fossil in one stone. A crinoid I think, part of an ancient sea lily from when this area was a warm tropical sea. And once you see one fossil it is difficult not to look for others. I found several and beside them, still flowering, a ragged robin.