On a beautifully sunny morning I aimed for the wood beyond the rape field. What, earlier in the year, when the crop was young, I had described as a brassica field, had in fact been sown with rapeRape 1Rape 2 which has completely overgrown the public footpath.

Footpath overgrown

I wasn’t about to tackle that in sandals with my dodgy leg.

Footpath less overgrown 1

Another path has been trodden around the edge of the field. I took that one.

Footpath less overgrown 2

Stinging nettles made it rather less inviting in parts.


Today’s ‘bee’ is probably a hoverfly. The disguise of these harmless insects is so deceptive that I can’t always tell the difference.

I eventually made it to the wood and walked down to the stream where I rested on the rails of the wooden bridge, watching overhead foliage flickering in the shallow water, before retracing my steps.Reflections in streamHolly shadow

The filtered sunlight dappled the dark, sheltered, path, casting fascinating shadows.


Our own garden now being less overgrown, we can appreciate our antirrhinum snapdragons,

rose Compassion

and the rose Compassion.

The rest of the day was jointly occupied in weeding and planting. Sometimes I wonder if the necessity of eradicating unwelcome flowers has come about purely to make space for the trays of the more acceptable bargains that are brought back from garden centres every time Jackie ‘pops out for compost’. When my Dad ‘popped out for some cigarettes’, you would not see him for an hour or so. So it is with Jackie and compost. When I ran out of weedkiller whilst treating the future rose garden, there were, it being a Sunday, just ten minutes to closing time at Otter Nurseries. I thought I might escape by being able to finish the task tomorrow, but she volunteered to go and buy some immediately. As she said when she returned very soon afterwards, that must have been her quickest ever trip to a garden centre.

This evening we dined on garlicky chicken Kiev, creamy mashed potatoes, roasted peppers and mushrooms, crisp green beans, and pure white cauliflower. Jackie drank her customary amber beer in the form of Hoegaarden, whilst my red wine was a little more of the chianti.


  1. The antirrhinum brought back a few early memories: we used to call them “bunnies” as kids, and if you squeezed and resqueezed the base of the flower it would open and shut its mouth!

  2. You were right; rape is a brassica. We call in canola in Australia, now genetically engineered varieties are causing causing major problems for organic farmers.

  3. Thanks for sharing your walk, and work day in the garden. The photograph of the reflections is quite a charming abstract. We stay out of many of the local state parks in the summer months because their hiking trails get terribly over grown. Around here we have to worry about deer ticks and evil little things called chiggers. Chigger bites leave a tiny welt that itches for a few weeks.

  4. I would be seeing read at an unreconstructed public footpath. Grrr, it is a personal insult!! But a grand Sunday by all accounts and you too have beautiful roses!

  5. Your walk sounds like it was quite an adventure – seeking out passable paths! I too have been noticing the wonderful shadows cast by sunlight filtering through the leaves. I loved the holly shadow shot. The dandelion’s visitor is what we know as a ‘Marmalade hoverfly’ – but there are so many species of these useful creatures, I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess as to its ‘official name’ 😉

      1. Hoverflies are useful as pollinators alongside bees and also the lavae of some species feed on aphids, making them even more of a gardener’s friend.

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