Seeking the shade with a walk along Shirlett Lane, down Round Hill, through the Smithies and back up Ned’s Lane. Crabs? Two years ago, we had an excellent haul of tiny apples (which later became excellent crab apple jelly) from a tree along the way. Last year, barely an apple to be seen. This year – it’s well laden. We’ll be back! Near the bottom of Round Hill, we stopped to watch dragonflies. Again, a couple of years ago they posed obligingly on the bushes. Today – no chance. “That’s a big one”. Yes, it would have been – but it was a bat, not a dragonfly, flitting about in broad daylight (it’s about 2.30pm). In the Smithies, there are more reminders that, despite more warm weather to come, it will soon be autumn. Yellowing leaves, damsons – and wild hops in the hedgerow.
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