A Hazel Triquetra

Yesterday everything on the lane was dry and thirsty. The sky was lowering and there was a breeze through the trees making the leaves quiver and suggesting rain. Birds were silent. But the rain did not come until night fall.

The rain has been soft, not violent and flower breaking as it could have been. Plants, trees and grass look refreshed and colours more vibrant. The bramble flowers have become a blushing rose pink in the clear, fresher air and the mill stream is filling again.

Rosebay willow herb is now showing itself in the field of meadowsweet. Evidently Rosebay willowherb was also known as Bombed as it grew in the bomb sites during the war. It is a plant that grows on disturbed land which has earned it the other name of Fireweed as it is found in areas where there has been a forest fire.

There are now hazel nuts appearing more frequently. I’ve been wondering how much the drought would affect the hazel nuts, berries and other fruit as most plants look stressed. This hazel ‘triquetra’ is beautiful. While it can be seen to symbolise the Holy Trinity the triquetra can also be seen as the three stages of life or the earth, sea and sky. In any case the hazel in Celtic mythology  is a magical and protective tree or shrub – the tree of knowledge.

Days of hot summer

After being away from the lane for a few days  the changes brought about by the heat are apparent. The hart’s tongue ferns are splayed open except for those very close to the mill stream and even the mill stream is only trickling down its route. The bracket fungus  has almost disappeared too.

The lane is wooded and slightly cooler in the hot sun than the open countryside surrounding it and the wild strawberries are fruiting. The meadowsweet is now also flowering in all its creamy beauty. The birds are flying low down the lane in groups – whether that’s seeking water from streams or what I don’t know, but it’s quite strange to see.

Blue skies ahead?

From early this morning there has been blue sky and it is beginning to warm up – at last! When it is cooler it is as though the lane is sleeping. Everything is green but it as though it is waiting for the warmth. Plants like the meadowsweet, which are flowering on the top road above the lane are only still in udon the lane.

The sloes are developing on the blackthorn – green at the moment. It will be some time before they change colour.

Figwort is now flowering. It can be easily missed in the hedgerow but it has historically been used in herbal medicine. Its flowers are really amazing to look at because of their complexity.

The sheep grazing in the field seem to be enjoying the open and wooded area that borders the lane nearer the top.

Elderflowers and moss

The cool morning has subdued the colours on the lane but the elderflower blossom provides a creamy white highlights among the moss covered trees near the top of the lane. I love the scent of elderflower and with the deeper compost scent of the woods it is calming.

Ragged robin is blooming merrily. The petals look as though they’re constantly throwing their flower heads around, creating a tangled look but when I started drawing the flowers a different pattern emerges.

Roses everywhere!

It has been colder on the lane but there are still so many new flowers and plants appearing. Now there are little orchids near the mill stream and roses  – everywhere! Briar roses, dog roses and then the cultivated rosa rugosa.

The colour combinations that can be seen from the mixture of leaves, flowers, mosses and branches as they change through time make a marvellous resource for designs and paintings.

Roses are blooming!

The clouds yesterday were followed by intense heat and sun that lasted into the evening. Today, walking along the lane the delicate pink of the dog roses is showing,  climbing  high into the trees, weaving into the hedging. This pale pink is contrasted with the deeper carmine pink of the marsh thistle growing tall against the mill wall.

As a child I remember collecting rose hips later in the year and deciding that I would make rose hip syrup by putting the rose hips in a container in the oven with a little water. The result was a hard, golden ‘creation’. My mother was unable to use the bowl again! I haven’t tried making reship syrup as an adult but I should.

Mullycovet Lane

The rain, thunder and lightning has stopped. It has left a freshness in the air and blue sky and fluffy white clouds have begun to reappear. The cattle in the field are not sure what to make of a human who wanders around photographing things! The white roses in the hedge are really bright amongst the green and the leaves of the various plants in the hedgerow look even more vibrant.