1 July 2018
Rain hisses down thin and uncertain; an adolescent wondering if it dare cross the floor to seek a partner for the dance; an old man struggling to produce a sample for the nurse; and an unwanted guest this particular day.
2 July 2018
The river wanders down its bed conversing quietly with the side streams and with itself; meandering and mulling on the life it leads through its shallow valley. Last night’s dance of lightning and of thunder hurled rain around for hours; most soaked into the dried earth and swelled the clods; but some gave greater voice to this river to rumble gently over rocks and grumble under her breath about fallen twigs and rotting branches.
3 July 2018
Waters have run away and the land is drying again; river is shrinking back to pre-storm level it’s voice quietened as are the birds. A languidness pervades the air as heat begins to rise. Sensible animals are lying in shade; like old dog on cool tile if they can; young dog sniffs and nuzzles at the leaf litter then gallops down the path for something better.
4 July 2018
Dew settled last night and holds in quiet corners and shady spaces but the heat will have it. It will search out the trinkets of moisture and the jewels that hide beneath the stones.
5 July 2018
Three strangers I met upon the road: first, a hare nonchalantly crossing it glancing at me as if I was something the cat had brought in; second was the cat, staring intently at the kill it was pawing and ignoring all who were passing; and finally a hawk, definitely not a handsaw, but a hawk swooping in on a gust of air that blew it all but stationery.
6 July 2018
Like children abandoned in the rubble of the countries where we encourage war the leaves and twigs that fall from summer trees are lost amongst the green that overflows and overwhelms rampages back and forth filling gaps and hiding dying trusses torn from wind blown branches.
7 July 2018
Four footed photons head at dog speed for separate gaps between the trees; thus replicating the two slit experiment to determine if they are particle or wave; and the leads I hold demonstrate whatever else is true, that we are all quantumly entangled.
8 July 2018
These chains with which you bind us do not matter. We know you must restrain our enthusiasm for human contact when there are so many others close at hand; some frail; some small and some with rats on strings who should be chased. What really matters is the deep meaningful relationship that binds man and dog and dog and man. We hope you understand. Now can we have our breakfast?
9 July 2018
Ground underfoot undulates and massages worn muscles; home ground, the earth of this place; never flat like tarmac or planned areas. Sense is that this just built here unplanned with naught in mind; washed in by water; rearranged by birds and animals; slowly changed by trees; slower still by insects. Each footstep fresh each hour of each day.
10 July 2018
Best crops, bramble, nettles and the occasional thistle grow to cross the path; supplicants holding out their hands as the lords in their carriages pass; or cruel spectators waiting to bait with thorns and stings the criminals struggling to their execution.
11 July 2018
River is nearly silent; whispers as it slips along complaining of the boredom that is summer; no fresh tales arrive from waters pouring in from field and stream; no stories of storm or floods or deluge to stir the current and drive it on its way; no yarns to warm the night and sooth the soul; just the shrinking drip of droplets on their private paths.
12 July 2018
Thistle stands tall facing me eye to eye and glistens in the early sun; dew settled last night in the folds and crevices of her leaves and balanced on the tufts that crown her pinkly purple flowers; some deeply coloured ready for the season whilst others barely shaded debutantes blushing pubescent teenagers in anticipation of their first dance; she leans out across the path both pressed behind by growth up which she has climbed and pushed forward to promote her ultra-violet beauty to passing insect life.
13 July 2018
In the darker depths of woodland a strand of sunlight finds a way through branch and foliage; a route that breeze and growth and chance will close tomorrow; and lands upon a tree all fecund in its summer progress. A badge of heraldry it makes upon the bark showing every line and crevice every crack and fissure every lion rampant. And in the shadows round about where insects crawl between the wooden cliffs in dark and shaded canyons whence light has never strayed and night rules unchallenged there, there is the place to look.
14 July 2018
An alder leans from out its copse across the path. In recent weeks the angle of that lean from vertical has grown as it has drooped. What used to hold above my hat must now be ducked a little. Trees on the other side support it and it manages to feed sap to its small array of leaves. Slowly but certainly I feel it dying. The growth around its base is thick so I cannot tell how much it has given up connection with the earth and must wait until another Spring to see.
15 July 2018
Thumbnail sized amphibian visitor, frog or toad, I guess the latter, crosses the path ahead. Old dog glances but decides this is not food so of no interest. Young dog would treat it as a toy but is sniffing just beyond and fails to notice it. The toad, oblivious to we mighty creatures who in our carelessness or driven instinct could crush or kill with ease, slips away underneath a swathe of grass still cool and moist from dew.
16 July 2018
Fully as a flurry than a flock, more a muddle than an mumuration of little birds dance about the edges of the shadow of the tallest ash their brownness folding in and out of vision. Old dog plods past them with bare a nod and young dog sets about the pointless chase. They flit and flutter wondering if he does it just for exercise.
17 July 2018
Droplets hang from ripening elderberry the remnants of last night’s rainstorm that washed the very air and bathed each and every leaf of dust and rinsed the barbs of brambles cleansing off the scraps of skin and hair that they had caught and clung to in drier times but laden now with water weighing them down across the path preparing them to catch on every passing thing.
18 July 2018
In their thousands acorns sit in over-sized cups their heads barely peeking over the parapet to look out upon the world. Cups almost full size holding seeds gently in their grasp, seeds that will spend the summer growing until autumn falling many will spill from out those cups; easier to transport to eat and to forget; and once forgotten winter will be spent hoping for a quiet spot where come the spring a root can dig down into soft earth and leaves can grow.
19 July 2018
Dew gathered overnight as heat escaped into a clear and darkening sky; so under leaves and between the blades of grass a mist has formed; the finest droplets the world has seen. A brush past collects an irregular blanket soft and cool and in sun they add a silver fire turning grass into a wild rage of swords bent ready for the battle.
20 July 2018
Pale and wan the blackberries are forming horde upon horde of them; heads poking up toward the sun as if escaping from the thorny forests that bred and built and feed them. Softening with the year until ripe and succulent to attract all manner of birds and animals to feast upon them and take their seeds to somewhere new; but for now they are small and hard and unattractive.
21 July 2018
In the cool and quiet of an early morning there is a rustle in the undergrowth and young dog hurtles off at breakneck speed; old dog and I stand and stare at each other and smile and then continue walking. Ahead the rustle has disappeared and young dog failing to capture the hare or tortoise he was chasing races back and forth to find it. He eventually appears with head held high and cat like sneers at any who would doubt that his intention had been carried out exactly.
22 July 2018
Plummeting to earth walnuts can hit the unwary; most green and hard double the diameter of the nut, as I discovered, they can take the hat from off a man or scare a dog who knows not what has passed. Some brown and soft and ripe and early grown by nature not for food for us or others but to generate more walnuts; their succulence a device to make us transport them outward and hopefully drop some in fecund places on our route.
23 July 2018
Woods are alive with the sound of spiders silently syncopating to an eight legged drum beat as their webs become harps and single strands of silver thread the stuff of violins. Vibrations filter through the thread that makes up the world wide spider web and out goes the message to eat more flies.
24 July 2018
Hidden amongst the elderberries in their green similarity the fruit of the lithe climber with its little purple flowers and yellow phallic centrepieces are changing to a deep dark red. Double the size of the berries of the elder and standing out strongly either to warn away those who would eat them or to attract passing birds to carry their seeds onwards.
25 July 2018
A world revealed by a loss; hidden floor of river winding through the valley; where stones settle and refuse to move until a winter wave of something stronger comes to roll them on a little; sticks inundated with so much water they sank moons ago now briefly left part clear they may lose that liquid lighten and lift in the next gentle rising to restart a journey that ends in inevitable disintegration somewhere between here and ocean.
26 July 2018
Amongst the beauty and the gentleness lies death; my purple petaled yellow centred plant is literally the beautiful lady of belladonna; its deep green berries shading to a red do not carry poison but from the leaves and roots can be extracted atrophine. Why is it that deadly nightshade carries this in our quiet gentle woodland?
27 July 2018
At the edge the first dappled shade registers what is ahead; the wondrous coolness of morning in the wood. Even birds have given up their morning songs to avoid disturbing the tranquillity that will only hold for hours; not warbling throats for fear of raising warmth and shortening the languidity before the heat takes charge and rules and ruins the day.
28 July 2018
A breeze a veritable breeze brings with it the thinnest of light rains; beads the size of mosquito footprints swirl in the air; acknowledging the gravity of the situation we know the general direction is downwards but all our senses say that these minuscule globules have appeared from nowhere are moving randomly and will disappear without trace; and minutes later the breeze has dropped the drops have vanished and the sun is carefully removing any evidence of their existence.
29 July 2018
In the very highest branches of the poplars; those that disappear into the sky; conversations are being had with winds; to carry stories round about the globe; winds that barely move and cannot reach the ground; they must bear these tales by trees until they glance upon another tall and strong or beat against a mountain side and impart their chronicles to stones that breathe; and one storm laden day will feel the earth beneath them move and slow to start but gaining speed will tumble down the slopes and come at last to rest in some quiet shady glade beside a river; there to whisper words to passing waters.
30 July 2018
Vast insufficiency of rain fails to fall to hard dry ground; lands instead upon raised grasses and leaves within the wood; there it gathers particles of liquid almost flickering in and out of existence until sufficient coalesce and once combined become aware that they have formed a drop; then with all the power at their command they congregate upon the tip of a leaf bending it slowly downward; finally falling until they reach the earth and are absorbed complete.
31 July 2018
River barely whispers as it crawls across the mud and stone; earth sucking out the moisture and the sound; silencing the ripple over rocks by leaving barely enough to trickle in between them. Streams give up their waters with reluctance ushering twigs ahead to slow the flow.