In town on my lunch break today, I couldn’t resist browsing one of the book stalls in the street market. I picked up a copy of ‘The Common Ground’ by Richard Mabey. I’ll read anything of his and this is one I haven’t seen before. It’s a litle unusual in that it was commissioned by the Nature Conservancy Council. I may report more when I get round to reading it. I have an ever expanding backlog of unread second hand books. What a luxury. I have several books on the go at present and a number of passages mentally noted as pertinent to this blog.
This is from ‘Sea Room’ by Adam Nicolson, which tells the story of the Shiants, three islands in the Hebrides which he was given by his Father:
In the autumn of 1765, Rousseau went to live on the tiny Ile St Pierre, set in the Lac de Bienne in northern Switzerland….He botanised with patience and care and had a plan to write a book about this most precious and protected place. People might mock, he thought, but love of place can only attend to minute particulars. ‘They say a German once composed a book about a lemon-skin,’ he later wrote. ‘I could have written one about every grass in the meadows, every moss in the woods, every lichen covering the rocks.’
I was out for a brief walk this evening across the Lots to the Cove. The sun was setting, although it wasn’t as dark as the first photo above suggests. TBH and I had seen the early purple orchids on our last visit, but it had been very dark then. They are taller now. And growing in great profusion…
…with a few cowslips thrown in for good measure. Shakespeare apparently referred to these orchids as ‘long purples’ which is entirely appropriate. I don’t know why my camera insists in rendering them as pink.
No post about a walk to the cove would be complete without a photo of this view…
…of which I shall never tire. Here’s Rousseau again on the Ile St Pierre:
I was able to spend scarcely two months on that island, but I would have spent two years, two centuries and the whole of eternity without becoming bored with it for a moment.
In Eaves Wood on Sunday I noticed that the Ramson flowers were beginning to emerge. Today, in the wood at my back on the cliff-top and on the verges on Cove Road, they were in full flower.
I must soon fit in a visit to Bottoms Wood, which is carpeted with Ramsons, to drink in the spectacle and the garlic stench.
Whilst I was admiring the view, two black-headed gulls noisily chased the almost inevitable heron. I couldn’t see whether the heron had a fish, but I imagine that was why they were in pursuit.
Another exciting recent find on the book front was ‘Journey through Love’ by John Hillaby. I’m slowly collecting all of his books. I picked this one up at the marvelous Carnforth Book Shop over Easter. I haven’t started reading it properly but I did dip into the first chapter and found this…
Goethe says that in order to understand the world or, as he puts it, to comprehend the power of nature, it’s necessary to select an Eckchen, a small corner of it for contemplation.
And finally from tonight’s walk, something which I wasn’t expecting to see in this particular small corner of the world…