After a very overcast day yesterday, the sun came out in the late afternoon, and P went off for his regular run in the countryside nearby. It's been a wet week with some torrential downpours, and suddenly everything is looking very lush and green. I had been sitting indoors trying to crochet a new mandala for the table and had ended up after an hour's work crossly ripping it all back and putting it away in a disgruntled manner with nothing to show for my efforts. At this point my phone buzzed and a message came through from P saying we should go for a walk to the fields he'd just run in, as he'd seen something he knew I'd like. I knew that some fresh air and exercise would do me good, so we soon headed off to the fields a couple of roads away, following our familiar path over the stile and across the stream.
On our way this little fellow charmed me, as I'm very fond of squirrels. He/she hung around for quite a while, allowing me to take a good few photos. My favourite is the top left springing action shot.
The hedgerows have changed since our walk in April, and are now full of tall perennial wild flowers, tangled clematis and arching brambles. As we walked we listened to skylarks singing high overhead and spotted what we think was a red kite wheeling with outstretched wings above us on the warm air.
We followed the line of the hedgerow and soon stopped at the elder bushes. They are in bloom now, and the large heads of tiny frothy flowers are gorgeous.
A rich, yellowy white, the colour of clotted cream, they smell wonderfully sweet. and are full of pollen. We picked 30 heads of flowers with elderflower cordial in mind.
We swooshed through he grasses as we walked through the fields. They are at their best now, purpley and delicate, and swaying in the gentlest breeze.
Soon we rounded the corner of a field and came upon the sight that P had told me about - a corn field full of poppies. A huge swathe of bright scarlet red scattered over a field of soft green. I stood and stared with my mouth open, trying to take in all that colour. I make no apology for the fact that I took lots of photos, as the poppies were absolutely glorious.
Rarely do you see such concentrations of eye-popping colour in the British countryside.
The farmer had left a narrow path through the field as a right of way, and I was able to walk right into the middle of it and get up close to the flowers and wheat without damaging anything.
The sun shone through the paper-thin translucent petals and caught the tiny hairs on the stems and buds.
Standing deep in wheat and poppies I stilled myself and, as a couple of minutes ticked by, my heart-rate and breathing slowed. I got used to the lack of the sounds I'm used to in everyday life and really listened. Two sounds emerged and grew as I concentrated harder - the buzz of bees and insect life, and the song of birds. The field was absolutely a-buzz with life.
So much floral loveliness. Wow.
After a long time of gazing, photographing and just drinking it all in, we wandered home carrying a bunch of elderflowers each, looking like two lost wedding guests carrying bouquets.
Once home, I boiled up some water and sugar, and poured it over the flowers with the rind and slices of a lemon and an orange, and left it to steep overnight.
A delicious memory of a wonderful summer afternoon.
(Before I go, I'd like to say thank you for your kind and encouraging comments on the flower painting which I showed you in my last post - you are a lovely lot! I shall try to catch up with you all this week. See you soon x)