Monday, 25 April 2016

Spring Greens

I love the moment in Spring when everything is just on the brink of bursting into leaf. The shoots, buds and new leaves are so many different shades and often there is a warm haze of purple and pink over the woodlands.

The new leaves are different colours on each tree and bush and only in Autumn does the countryside show such a variety of tones.
On my wanderings this weekend, I tried to capture as many different greens as I could find- such a pleasure!

Horse Chestnut



The verges are changed from their bedraggled winter dun colour to a rich new green where;
" Weeds in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush"


Queen Anne's Lace

mainly Blackberry

 Bluebells and stitchwort gleam against their background of grass and beech
Patterns of ferns and a Beech avenue
Everything was glowing in the sunlight
Wheat fields and far hills are green
And the tree line is, for this short space of time, a mix of so many shades and hues, before it settles down to the uniform green of summer

" Proud pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing."

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Wandering, finding and foraging

It has been a typical English April day, alternating sunshine and rain, with a bit of hail thrown in to keep things chilly.
I awoke to bright sunshine and this tempted me to spend the day exploring the local countryside. However, by the time I was ready to leave the house, it was pouring with rain.
Undeterred, I ventured out and by the time I found a nicely situated byway, the rain had stopped and all was calm and cool.

The path went slowly up beside some woods to a ridge, wandered along the top and then dipped down again to the valley. I walked slowly, looking around me and listening to the sounds of a spring day. There were birds everywhere. I saw and heard: Blue Tits, Great Tits, Woodpecker, Thrushes, a Chaffinch and Blackbirds, a quick swoop by of a Jay, the 'kee kee' of a Buzzard and my first Lark's song this year.
The landscape is still that of early spring from a distance but looking closer, I found many trees, leaves and flowers are just beginning to come out.

Wiltshire feels an old land, perhaps because some of the first people in England lived here. I'm always looking under fallen trees, in Mole hills and by Badger's sets in the hope of finding an ancient treasure.
Today I found this heavy and rusty horse shoe, dug up by a badger. I wonder how old it is?
Further down the bridleway, a rabbit had disturbed the earth beneath the hedge and this little flint caught my eye. I can never really tell if my findings are Stone Age tools, or just  pieces of chipped flint. I would so love to find an arrow head. Imagine holding something that was last touched by another human being thousands of years ago?


On my way home I stopped to pick an armful of Wild Garlic. It's just at its best and I wanted to make some Pesto.
 It is probably one of my favourite 'foods for free' and I love the fact that it seems to arrive so suddenly. Its garlicky smell and lush green leaves mark the true start to Spring for me.
There are various recipes for the Pesto on the internet. I tend to alter them according to what I have in my store-cupboard...
Wild Garlic and Parsley
Pine nuts and Cashew nuts

Cheddar and Parmesan cheese

Lemon juice

Quite a bit of Olive oil

All whizzed up together

There! Enough for me and two little gifts to take to my Brother and Mother tomorrow.
I have enjoyed myself today.
It feels as if I have had the best of country living