Crabs, bats and hops

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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An evening around Church Preen

After a busy day, an evening wander around these very quiet lanes is just the thing… Last autumn, there was a bush beside the lane, full of wild plums. It’s still there (I remember it well!) – but not a single fruit! Further along, there are damsons galore, though they’re some way off being ripe…

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Yorkshire Day on Brown Clee

It’s the 1st of August – Yorkshire Day! It’s a long way to the Yorkshire Dales, but just a little over 10 miles to Brown Clee, so that will have to do. Others had the same idea – it was quite crowded up there. We must have seen at least 15 other people, though happily they were well spread out. One had the temerity to sit in the chocolate seat! Fortunately we’d had our lunch, on the tranquil bank of Boyne Water, watching dozens of dragonflies and a goodly number of electric-blue damselflies. Most of them refused to be snapped, but one common darter posed obligingly. The sunshine was pleasant, the temperature likewise, with a gently-cooling breeze. Gradually, the sky’s blue turned milky white, and as I write, the rain is teeming down. I wonder if it’s raining in Yorkshire? (They’ll all be suppin in t’pub if they’ve any gumption…)

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Return to Rindleford

We walked this way in early March (see Roaming around Rindleford) – the air was clear and cold, the spring vegetation just beginning to appear. At the end of July, it’s a different scene – warm, grey, flat lighting – and truly a jungle on the descent to Batch Lane. Similarities: the route; the quiet surroundings…

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Harnage and Coundmoor Brook

Familiar ground, but today a slightly different route: up the (very quiet) road to Harnage, go round the back by the rough lane, walk a little further along the road, then follow the footpath past the pools and beside the wood as far as the Coundmoor Brook ford. Now we’re heading back, beside the brook for much of the way. The season’s first blackberries – just a few – are ripe, but they’d been eaten before I could take a photo! The light for today’s photos isn’t exactly spectacular, but it’s very pleasant and very quiet along these byways.

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No rain in Rowe Lane

It wasn’t our first choice – but when we arrived at our intended start, there was a fine drizzle which looked likely to keep up for some time. Perhaps it will be dry on the other side of Wenlock Edge? (Perhaps Tigger’s Ickle Shop will have some cakes?) Yes! The Corvedale fields look ready for harvesting, and here and there are hints (ripening berries and a few yellowing leaves) of the autumn to come

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Rail and riverbank

Starting and finishing through the shady Chestnut Coppice, we’re walking down the old Severn valley railway track as far as Bridgnorth golf course, then back along the riverside path. The latter follows the riverbank pretty closely, but the river is only occasionally visible through the jungle of vegetation on the bank, through the fishing access points. It’s a pleasant afternoon with a light cooling breeze; the cool air of the coppice is very welcome too.

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