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Springtime As As I Collect My Nettle Tops.

Updated on August 6, 2015

Notes from a Lancashire Countryman

The sun was shining brightly, the sky an azure blue, only wisps of cloud sailing across the meadows, which were playing host to vigorous new growth, competing with a mass of golden dandelions. The hedgerows are now green and the tiny flowers of the hawthorn are developing in the bosom of leaves. What a pleasure it is to walk through lush , fresh meadows when so many of their ilk have succumbed to suburbia.

Grasses danced in a genial breeze, soft and gentle cooling for travellers and inhabitants alike.Cattle grouped in the neighbouring pasture were lazily chewing the cud with eyes half closed. early white butterflies danced over arching brambles that tenanted the margin by the gate.

Low down in the leafy thicket the shrill jet of notes sang by the wren reverberated on the breeze. I have observed this tiny bird when singing, its tiny body quivering with immense joy. Birds of the hedgerow are ever alert even in places of seclusion.The bird life is opulent in this locality. Lapwings wheeling and tumbling, enjoying life to the full cry their plaintive notes to all who care to listen. At the tip of a tall tree on the flimsiest of twigs swaying in the breeze,a green finch attempted to sing his nasal notes. He seemed to me to be attempting this performance from a precarious position.

Top. Lapwing. Bottom Greenfinch

The lapwing at rest. Photograph courtesy of Andreas Trepte
The lapwing at rest. Photograph courtesy of Andreas Trepte
green finch.Above the male below his wife  Photographs courtesy of Adreas Trepte. Photo natur.de.
green finch.Above the male below his wife Photographs courtesy of Adreas Trepte. Photo natur.de.

Along the hedgerow

Along the hedgerow I saw the flowers of herb robert their little pink faces peeping out from the hedge bottom along side the stitchwort's starry flowers. These and other spring blooms are just a dress rehearsal of the floral extravaganza to follow during the summer months.

I collected my nettletops for the purpose of making a nettle tea, a drink that is good for the blood and refreshing to the palate, from a swathe, where the white throat and his wife raise their family, concealed and protected by these stinging sentinels.

To many people an unpleasant feature of grassland herbage is the spit-like froth of the froghopper nymph. This froth is produced by the nymph to protect its soft body from being consumed by birds and other insectivores. The adult when at rest is suggestive of a small frog. Although it has wings it is much given to hopping, hence this tiny insect gained its common name.

Even the abundance of this unpleasant feature could not detract from this campestral beauty all around me as I carried my nettle tops home in a moistened plastic bag.

Top. herb robert. Middle Hedgerow. Bottom nettle tops

The small pink flowers of herb robert. Photograph courtesy of Sannse.
The small pink flowers of herb robert. Photograph courtesy of Sannse.
hedgerows are an important feature for wildlife. Photograph by D.A.L.
hedgerows are an important feature for wildlife. Photograph by D.A.L.
nettle tops make a fine beverage which is good for purifying the blood. Photograph by D.A.L.
nettle tops make a fine beverage which is good for purifying the blood. Photograph by D.A.L.

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    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      2uesday, thank you so much for that.

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 

      8 years ago

      Your descriptions of nature are exceptional, which makes your hubs so enjoyable to read. Thank you.

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      lelane55. glad you enjoyed the stroll. The beauty of all this is it costs nothing to enjoy. Enjoy your nettle tea.

    • lelanew55 profile image

      lelanew55 

      8 years ago

      I was transported to the beautiful scenery by the words you wrote. I could see the flowers, the meadow, the cattle grazing, and hear the birds singing. Another beautiful start for my morning. And I love nettle tea. Thank you D.A.L

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Darlene I have to thank you wants again my friend for your kind and appreciated comments.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      You are such a romantic, your eyes seems to catch any movement around you. Your words are so perfect in description and splendor. I feel a sense of joy of life and nature when reading your hubs. You are a special and gifted writer, your hubs flow like the nature you describe. Thumbs up, and thank you...

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 

      8 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Very relaxing read! thank you!!

      John

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