23 Sep 2011

A pocketful of conkers

Due to some of the heaviest rainstorms we’ve had for some time, I’ve not been getting out much during the day for a walk – I start off my day fully intending to, but dark clouds always seem to know when you need or want to be outside and gather accordingly. We had to cut our walk short last Sunday as the heavens opened in a spectacular deluge.

Please click on any of the photographs for a larger view.

There was clear evidence of recent heavy storms, this mature tree had fallen and done damage to the wall and pavement beneath.

It always happened doing the school run – it’s a known scientific fact that weather worsens as school home time approaches – and you can get very wet walking almost a mile in a downpour. The same force seems to ensure that we have lousy weekend weather and glorious Mondays.

The last hard winter has given rise to a bumper crop of berries and fruits, these are perhaps the biggest hawthorn berries I’ve ever seen, they were like cherries.

I desperately had the need for some fresh air yesterday so decided, as soon as we had a spell of better weather, to just drop what I was doing, put my boots on and grab the camera and what might be a short-lived opportunity. I decided that the break and fresh air would probably do more good than me battling on working. I actually had assorted thinking to do, but didn’t even manage that, I just pottered, taking photos, gawping at the scenery and with a largely empty head. Sometimes that’s just what you need; a bit of mental inactivity can be deceptively productive.

There was a distinctly late-summer feel to the vegetation with everything bursting into seed and fruit.

I must admit that I do get a tad bored of doing the same walks, it’s times like this that I regret not having a car (I’d have to learn to drive first too) and being able to take myself a little further afield, but I also want to walk where I feel safe and comfortable and I do at least have some open countryside within walking distance of my door, so I can’t really complain.

I’ve always had a bit of a fixation with this old gatepost and others like it. I worry that one day it will be gone and replaced with something modern, boring looking and utilitarian.

I normally don’t venture down this route alone, as it’s very quiet (and I’m a pussy), but it just looked – and sounded – too tempting.

I usually stick to known routes on my own that are fairly public and near houses and roads, but the dappled sunshine through the trees and accompanying birdsong tempted me to walk the circular route through the two adjacent villages. It’s much quieter than my usual route and I normally only do it with other people, but it looked that bit more attractive than returning and seeing the same things.

I’m glad that I did, it was the perfect day for it and I was treated to sunlight filtering through the trees (it wasn’t always sunny, it left me a few times and was alarmingly dark to the north), undisturbed fallen conkers to stuff in my pockets and was serenaded by the woodland birds and very little else.

I live in an area that is a combination of industrial and greenbelt – often directly adjoining each other and even where it’s now quiet and no longer worked, the signs of the Victorian heritage are very evident. Even though I’ve shown the prettiest parts of the route, I also have to walk along a main road and through industrial yards to be able to enjoy the nicer green bits.

It was however somewhat breezy, so some of my photographs suffered for it, but you really can’t beat coming home with rosy cheeks, wind-tousled hair, muddy boots and pocketfuls of conkers!

I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a conker fall from a tree, they just appear on the ground, but one of these blighters actually got me hard on the bonce whilst I was gathering others. I did look up sharply, half expecting to see an irritated squirrel taking aim with another.

2 thoughts on “A pocketful of conkers

  1. I know, where has the year gone? It’s pathetic that I collect conkers really, I just can’t resist their colour and gloss. I was disappointed that the blackberry photo wasn’t that sharp – they were blowing about and I was trying to snatch shots as the breeze dropped a little – at the same time trying to dodge rich people driving too fast past me in their 4x4s!

  2. I can’t believe it’s conker time already… Beautiful photographs as always – especially love the one of the blackberries. Its been quite nice here for a couple of days – I hope you’ve had a break from the rain!

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