I am sure I say this every year, and every year it catches me unawares, the smell of autumn. So, it is faint I admit but it is the first day I have noticed the slight change of scent in the fields, the invisible line between seasons is being crossed. This slight sump of land where the burn runs through is a favourite walk. The farmer has planted the margins with wild plants, a muddle of thistle and bramble, meadowsweet, campion, dockan and pineapple weed. A yellowhammer’s insistent call reminds me of the description in the Observers book of birds 1972 which says that the yellowhammer’s call is – ‘a little bit of bread and no cheese.’ I like that and say it repeatedly back to the bird on the telegraph wire but it seems unimpressed. Chiff chaff, wren and a couple of goldfinches. I turn north up the track, past an old ash, and a spindly, tall beech tree with a hole right through its centre, offering a view of clear blue sky, a portal. Up at the entrance to the estate two large doocots stand either side of the main gates. I meet a couple of walkers who say they are impressed by my doocots. Caught off balance by the stupid humour lurking in the comment but also by the idea that I might own said doocots I inform them they are not mine but agree on their magnificence. We chat about kingfishers and badgers and carry on our way. Past the tattie farm I spot a small bird’s nest lying on the track. Such a wonderful object, constructed of sheep’s wool, horse hair, moss and baler twine. I carry it home carefully. It has been a lovely morning in a place I know but never know, and simply by being out in the landscape it brings all manner of unexpected experiences.
2 Replies to “Between the fields.”
Funny I was thinking the same thing two days ago sitting high up in the hills in the sunshine picking bilberries. Not only the scents, but the odd dock leaf turning red overnight, and the earlier, lengthening shadows.
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I know. I quite like these in betweeny states, where nothing feels fixed, a fluidity in time, and a sort of suspension. Thanks Liza 🙂