Himalayan Balsam

Stands of pink flowered Himalayan Balsam now line many of our chalk streams and little wonder when the mechanism for seed dispersal is seen at close quarters. When ripening, the seedpods increase in tension as they mature and dry until they reach a point where the slightest touch triggers the…

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Field Mushroom

In the open cereal fields around us, the clean white caps of field mushrooms are emerging between the new shoots of next year’s crop. Whilst Agaris campestris is edible, correct identification of mushrooms is always important before collecting for the kitchen. I decided to leave these in the wild and…

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Meadow Puffball

Meadow Puffball Vascellum pratense Last week I found this Meadow Puffball, perhaps not surprisingly in a  meadow, close to our house. It was gone by the weekend, foraged no doubt by one of the badgers that live close bye. Its latin name Vascellum pratense means ‘little vase that lives in…

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Touchline Re-union

Familiar lanes stamped with memorygrooved into the sub-consciousover many seasons.Through the gatepark upon familiar mudclubhouse, treeswhispering storiesmoments of timeimprinted on placeresurrected by senseslight and season. A wave, a smilea shake of handsa hug, a tease, a joketwinkling eyes and laughter.This place is comfortablewarm with loveand memories sharedthat light the soul.…

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Invasion of the House Spiders

Tegenaria sp. Source: Wikipedia Commons As the days become chillier and morning autumn mists cover the countryside our fields and verges appear covered with spiders-webs, damp air beading like jewels that sparkle between the dessicated, dry grasses and field plants of summer. It is also the time of year when…

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Sounds: Fowlmere inflow

Just the other side of the path from the tall pipe arch, located near the watercress beds at RSPB Fowlmere, the water gushes into the reserve water system. When it is running, the inflow can be heard from some distance, pulsing and pumping like a great arterial organ, low bass…

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Sounds: Fowlmere pipes

Standing tall in the willow carr at the southern end of the RSPB’s Fowlmere reserve, an iron black water pipe stands like a huge tubular staple, melting into the shadows. The manhole cover below the great arch glows with the vibrant green of the damp moss that clings to the…

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Latchford Harvest

A barmy late August eveningthrobsto a mechanised beat. Golden sunbeamstouch cloudsof chaff-dustthat billowfrom the combinein drifts. Cut-lines mapthe pathof the mechanical scythe.Contoured curvesthat last a week’til the plough foldsthe remnantsof a season’s growthback into the earth. Emerging from the uncut cropa covey of grey partridgeeight or more strong.Notes from their…

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