In a brief window of opportunity on Sunday I took S out for a quick turn around the village, combining a fresh air fix with an errand by dropping off a birthday card for a friend on the Row.
Although It will be a few more weeks before I have been blogging for a year, I have a real sense of having come full circle, of having run through the seasons. This walk, although shorter, was very like the walk which I recounted in my first post. Everything was damp, especially the atmosphere. Familiar views had disappeared in a grey miasma. And yet I was struck by how much of interest there was still to see. Magpies and rooks flew from tree to tree, oystercatchers and curlews were probing the fields with their hooked beaks, wrens and robins hopped about the hedgerows. The hedges were once again festooned with droplets. Rather than focus on individual drops I tried to capture the overall effect of a prickly wall illuminated by tiny fairy-lights.
If nothing else the second picture captures the pervasive damp and gloom. But in the woods the beech saplings still have their leaves which seem almost orange in the absence of much other colour, and the evergreen of holly, yew, ivy and moss seemed all the greener in the low light.
A tree stump on which I found jew’s ear fungus on that January walk, now has fruiting bodies again. Of course the fungus was there in the wood all along, the mycelia invisibly feasting on its host, biding its time. I have that same sense about the countryside round about generally. It is coiled. Brimming with potential. All of the changes and events that will follow in the next cycle of seasons, and that I will witness in the next year of walking and gawking, are already present. Biding their time. A vegetable energy coded into the landscape.
It’s really quite exciting.