After the virility of spring and early summer, the lassitude of August is somewhat a disappointment. The energy expended by the nesting birds and flowering plants has been replaced by a period of rest and recovery with our flora and fauna getting ready for the winter to come. Our wildlife walk around the commons reflected this with birdsong eerily silent and the few flowering plants swamped in a sea of green. We did however have a most pleasant stroll with sightings varying from a calling raven to an interesting variety of butterflies. Our visit to the pond on Liddaton common gave rise to a useful discussion of ways forward to make this area a more interesting and valuable environment.
The paths have been cut again and the bracken rolled. Walking around is now much more enjoyable with wide paths no longer crowded in with collapsing wet foliage. I am sure all of us dog walkers and dogs are feeling liberated with the extra space.
The rowan fruit is very fine this year with the large clusters of orange-red berries strikingly standing out against rather uniform green background. Blackberries and sloes are also abundant with supplies for all. I am always surprised that the more blackberries are picked the better they are for the next collector. To find the best fruit just look to see where the bushes have been recently trampled. The apples in our gardens are also abundant so it is blackberry and apple pies all round for our Sunday lunch.
It is hard to imagine that our summer visitors will soon be departing. The swifts have gone already. Soon the overhead wires will be used by the swallows to gather in preparation for their incredible journeys to come.