The cooler, slightly darker mornings are making me all too aware that Summer is slowly coming to an end…the days are still warm and a bit muggy but the evenings are gradually drawing on in and I often now find I’m needing to put the light on in the kitchen when I’m cooking….but while the weather is so glorious we went out for a couple of walks as we had a long weekend, sometimes it’s nice just to amble, not to have to be at a place by a certain time, just enjoying being out of doors and going where our feet just take us…..
Each Summer cows from a nearby farm are put out on to the meadows and marshes, they keep the grass down and make the pastures easier to walk around, you just have to mind where you step though as cleaning cow poop off shoes isn’t the most fragrant way to end a walk when you get home.
At the moment there are some very pretty young cows on here, some are a soft russetty orange and others are white…both colours have the pinkest noses, like wild rose petals. For the most part they’re a bit shy and if we get too close tend to slowly move out of our way, though the odd one stands still and is quite content for a nose rub and face stroke while we whisper sweet nothings and tell them how handsome they are. I’d hoped to take pictures but they were a bit skittish and camera shy, but take it from me, they really were very handsome young fellows.
And along with meadows full of cows there’s an absolute abundance of Purple Loosestrife across here, huge swathes line both sides of the mown pathways and the colour is incredibly intense….. the flowers must be very pollen rich as the air around them is filled with the sound of gentle buzzing….
Each spear head of flower seems host to at least one bee and there must have been 4 or 5 different bee varieties on this one plant…..there’s also butterlies flittering about and dragon flies and damsel flies…the air is far from still in sound and movement…..there’s always conservation work going on here so these are regulalry cut back and never allowed to overwhelm the other meadow plant life.
Further along are patches of Rosebay Willowherb ….the colour is amazing, intense pinky mauve and velvety soft petals that reach up higher and higher as Summer comes to an end, some of the plants along here are well over 5ft …..come Autumn the seed heads turn and become all wispy, and will puff away like thistle down……manys the time I’ve seen small tits, finches and chaffs that Winter here, balance on the plants and gather up beakfuls of silvery seed fluff to line their nests….during the winter this plant is barely recognizable and gives itself over to beautiful Art Nouveau swirls and curls especially when there’s been a frost or snow fall.
I rarely walk over the marshes without rubbing a few water mint leaves between my fingers, we often pick a couple of stems and use the mint in cocktails and Summer drinks, the taste is lovely and clean….there’s lots of mint and wild flowers on all the pastures this year so even though they disappear quickly when the cows are grazing it soon grows back up again…..I put some stems of mint in a jam jar of water on the kitchen window sill and lots of tiny roots have begun to grow so I plan to put them in a pot and let them grow out in the garden or on the patio…..there’s always butterflies, bees and other tiny hovering insects flying around the mint so I think it will be good to have the mint in the garden as another plant and source of pollen for the bees and butterflies that visit us.