caralockhartsmith

stories and illustration

Walking Among Trees in the Hirsel

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Blossom on the Half-Protected Tree

A warm day at last, so I take the back lane behind the Hirsel golf course, deciding to be out all afternoon. The route is full of shadows, which bend across and take colour from anything in their way, such as this bank and turquoise detritus at the entrance to the lane:

The bridge with the date 1893 crosses the Leet, shallow today, whereas not long ago it was overflowing its banks, benches and daffodils standing in water, and swans swimming above the bases of trees:

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The Old Bridge

The daffodils are fading fast now the sun is shining, but primroses are everywhere:

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To the left of the path is a patch of swampy ground. This is the kind of place where last summer the insects bit me, sticking to my skin, and I came out in these strange itchy patches all over my skin.  This year I have seen bees and butterflies.  This is to the good.  One year not so long ago there seemed to be no insects around at all.  And last year I did not see a butterfly, even on the buddleias by the river, until September:

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Little Patch of Swamp

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Catch the Sun

The wild garlic in the woods is like a dusting of snow, or ground frost:

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Wild Garlic and Tree-Shadows

There are periwinkles on the wood floor, and the flowers I thought when young were called “Wooden Enemies”, and cowslips, that I thought had almost disappeared from the countryside:

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And here is the first bluebell I have seen this year, with its attendant bee:

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Bluebell and Bee

And here is the Hirsel itself, seen from the back, across the wet meadows:

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The Hirsel, Seen from the Back

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A Gate and its Shadow

And a little further on, the fox-branched willows in the wet patch of ground:

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The ground opens out into meadows round the Leet:

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The Leet Seen from the Bridge

Across the other side of the bridge is this inscription, laid into the wall:

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I turn back homewards, through the woods on the other side of the river:

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Throughout the whole afternoon, I have met nobody except one man out walking with his dog.

 

May 8, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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