Fungi in the forest …

… toadstools amongst the trees. Wednesday: we’re back in sunny (sometimes) Shropshire, taking a leg stretch on Haughmond Hill, near Shrewsbury. There are showers about – the trees might give us some shelter (it wasn’t needed). Around the fringes of the forest, there are some extensive views to the south Shropshire hills; within the woods, there’s a profusion of all kinds of fungus – one of the joys of moving into autumn.

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Jam tomorrow

…or perhaps in a week or two. Wednesday 11 September – a walk near Much Wenlock, armed with bags for the blackberries we hope to find on our way. It’s a breezy big-sky day, good to be out, and there’s no shortage of fruit, even if we have to brave the scratches and the nettle-stings. The jam will be worth it, perhaps not just yet – the berries (just under 4lb) are in the freezer, waiting for a couple of days when we’ve time for boiling, sieving and boiling again. It needs to be soon though – we’ve just finished the last jar from 2018.


Early Autumn on Brown Clee

The Met Office’s autumn starts on 1 September – summer’s over! It certainly feels like it today – there’s warm sunshine in-between the clouds, and the lightest of breezes, which is just as well, as the air’s cold. Perfect walking weather, of course, and once we’ve left behind the dog-walkers, there’s hardly anyone else up here. The views to the east are extensive, but unexciting,  as we ascend gently. The views to the west, once we’re on the summit ridge, are also extensive – and much more interesting. Line after line of hills stretching out to the limit of visibility, perhaps 40-50 miles – yes, it could be clearer, but we’re not complaining…

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Woodland creatures

It’s too warm for anything energetic, and it will be wise to keep out of the sunshine. A walk from Benthall Hall could be just the thing – we can find shady ways to the dense woodland of Benthall Edge. Who knows what there might be lurking in the shadows? Oh look, there’s a little old man of the woods!  Someone has made this tiny chap, and left him on a tree stump to enjoy the passing scene. A little further along the path, another tiny local resident scurries across the path, freezing in the leafy undergrowth for long enough to have a camera pointed at him. There must be thousands of little rodents in these woods, but how rarely we see them.

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The Honeypot and Willey

A delightful name – it’s no more than a few houses and a farm, a mile or so out of Broseley. By comparison, the hamlet of Willey is a positive metropolis – it’s even got a village hall. Other than a couple of cars on the two short stretches of road, I’ve got this quiet corner of Shropshire to myself this afternoon.

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