Down a Devon Lane in Summer
Come on a walk
I'll show you some of the lovely things you can see in a Devon lane. Walk with me and see the wild flowers and maybe I'll add a poem or two. It's a beautiful day so let's start. Put your best foot forward.
The recreation field
Take a look at these books - Great photography
These books will give you a wider view of Devon England. While my lens is very local in these books you can explore the whole of Devon.
When the rain stops
Everything is fresh and green in Devon when the rain stops. Of course, it is the rain which makes it all so green, so we mustn't complain. Follow me as I go "round Byes" this is a walk past a farm called Byes and it takes you around the outskirts of our village.First I go past the recreation field and some houses, then slightly downhill towards the river. The recreation field is used for playing cricket, that most British of sports. Also it is used for the Church fete. Stalls are set up to sell cakes and bric a brac and anything else that will boost funds. The Church of England is saddled with the daunting task of maintaining buildings which are ancient monuments. But enough of these worries let's enjoy our walk down the Devon lane.
Thickly growing grass down the Devon Lane
Look at the lusciousness of this grass, proof of the rains we have had.
Red campions in the Devon Lane
Look for the bee
The bee on the campions
If you look carefully at this picture you will see a bee right in the middle. I was so pleased with this shot. I just held the camera near the bee and hoped for the best. You can see the stripe on his shoulders. Then he just flew away. It was about 6.30p.m. so I expect he was off home then. It is great to live in the country and enjoy the outdoors every day. I haven't managed to photograph any birds at close quarters yet. I can hear them singing now as I write this.
Oak leaves down the Devon Lane
Do these oak leaves think it is time to think about Autumn? My word we haven't had the longest day yet. Hopefully we are going to get some more summer now. It's been a bit on and off so far. We often get an Indian summer in September and October. I don't know where the term comes from.It's cloudy and grey tonight being now nearly 10 o'clock, but it is still light.
Hazel leaves down the Devon Lane
These are the leaves of the bush which produces hazel nuts. In the Autumn, where the bushes are mature enough, you will find hazel nuts with a hole ,on the ground, evidence of the insatiable appetite of the squirrel.
Something new around every corner in the Devon lane
It's a big trip of discovery when you go for a walk in the country. But you have to keep your eyes and ears open. Mind you, you also have to be aware of cars, unless you are in a very remote spot. Every now and then you have to get right close to the hedge as yet another car drives past, but the drivers usually wave in a friendly manner. It's surprising how few other walkers there are. You do meet the dog walkers, of course.
From the pea family the vetch also comes in purple. Some of its relatives are rare, such as the Black pea which grows in Scotland and the Fyfield pea in Essex.
Fields of Gold by the Devon lane
These are buttercups producing a golden carpet. What a glorious sight produced by a simple flower. As children we used to say,"Do you like butter?" and in the sunshine hold a buttercup under the chin of the child asked the question. As the bright yellow reflection lit up the chin, we would say,"Yes, you like butter." Buttercups have very shiny, reflective petals.
My native soil
Beneath my feet,
I trudge the
I breathe the air
I feel it on my face.
This land has nurtured me
Through all my days.
As a child I walked
So many miles
Among these buttercups.
We gleaned our rabbit food
From these hedges.
My brother and sister
Piled it high on my pram,
While I slept
And I awoke
To a green mountain
After your walk - Soothing music for the countryside
Music to enjoy after a pleasant walk in the countryside. Beethoven loved the countryside. In his sixth symphony The Pastoral you can hear bird song and a thunderstorm and a thankful shepherd once the storm is over. Beethoven had just been through a traumatic time as he wrestled with how he would cope with his deafness. The last movement of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 always makes me think of horses running in a paddock. I suppose it is the rhythm that produces that effect. The Dvorak always reminds me of hearing the story "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" which was on the BBC radio as I was growing up.
The promise of fruit to come. In my childhood we always picked blackberries to make pies with apple. Delicious and free food in days when things were tight for my parents. My resourceful mother always made use of anything that would supplement the things for which she had to pay. We had "free" apples in our orchard to go with the blackberries. To this day I find it difficult to buy cooking apples from the supermarket, since being used to getting them free in my childhood.
O babbling brook,
What did you say?
I heard you gurgling on your way.
It seemed my friend you spoke to me
Of how you meant to go to sea.
To wend your way through
And join the river
Where otters preen.
Joining in to make a flood
Chasing sheep upon the mud.
Then to be lost in the ocean great
Little brook this is your fate.
Dock - Good if you've been stung by a nettle
Cure for a sting
If you get stung by a nettle on your walk through the countryside, look for a dock leaf like those in the picture above. Pick it and spit on it and crush it a bit to release its sap. Then rub this over the affected area and you will find it soothes the sting. They usually grow near one another. Of course it's better to avoid being stung at all. Wearing Wellington boots can help but they are not very good for a long walk. Much better would be hiking boots and woollen socks.
When my son was six he had a birthday party with lots of little boys and girls. They were cramped in my little cottage, so I took them to the orchard where they could run around. One boy made such a fuss when he was stung by a nettle, but we soon made things better by using a dock.
The making of the scene
How the farmer works with nature to give us the scenery
There's nothing so grand
As a walk in the country,
Whether alone or with friends.
The air is clear
And the view is sweet.
There are horses and cows and sheep
In the fields
And a feeling of harmony.
Man has been at work with nature
Working with the weather
As you have to do.
No good fighting it
But get to know it as a friend.
And so the scene has been tailored by the farmer.
If he neglected his job it would be a very different picture
That would meet our eyes.
But as it is we enjoy what he has done in his partnership with nature.
The view over the hedge of the Devon lane
With all this wealth about one,
How could one e'er be sad?
With jocund flowers
From the hedges peeping
And summer skies above.
With freedom to walk the lane at will.
A king's ransom could not give you more.
Hemlock, deadly poisonous, easily mistaken for Cow's Parsley, of the same family
Look at those little white parasols all twirling around a centre. Such wonderful design by God the creator. O the wonder of creation. How wonderful that the plants spring into life each year with always the same colour and shape as former years. Each plant containing the secret code to keep them true to their first design.
A red Devon cow
Such strong healthy cattle, one a little annoyed at my being here in the gateway disturbing her ruminations. But charmingly looking my way. She is keeping the grass mown and providing food for insects, which in turn feed the birds. The birds are a great source of interest to us humans. We all need each other.
Another bee on a thistle
It seems I am fond of catching bees with my camera. This one likes the thistle. This one, the thistle, was growing beside the lane just going out of the village. It is so wonderful to live so near nature. I once lived in a city and was amazed how much parkland there was but I would rather live in a village.
There are signs that Autumn is most definitely on its way - The berries of the cuckoo pint, or Lords and Ladies
Hopefully there are many more light and pleasant days to come before winter draws in.
Not quite so ripe. - This one is down further in the undergrowth of the hedge
Look at that autumnal colour - A dock plant covered in seeds, the promise of another year.
We regret the passing of summer, especially when we have had a lot of rain and not too many really light nights. However Autumn can be a glorious time with lots of sunshine but not too much heat. It is a time in Britain when our youngsters start a new year in their schooling and we see them moving forward and developing in their lives.
The hedge rows too are full of promise for the future as the seeds form in the seed pods. Later when everything has dried out the pepperpot seed capsules will blow in the wind and shake out their seeds to start life again next Spring.
Evening sun on the river
What a glorious sight , the waning evening sun glancing on the river, which is shaded by young trees. A place to stop and reflect on yet another passing year.Nothing stays the same, even rivers change their course here and there in the flood plain. when a river floods it is not all bad as precious nutrients are spilled out on the land to make it more fertile. Just as trials in life make us more spiritually fertile.
Pepperpot seed capsules of the campion
Look at this close-up of campions to see where the pods form
Bed and Breakfast near the Devon Lane
- Link to Pounds Farm
This B&B is set in the beautiful Devon countryside, as you can see on their website. This is very near the Devon Lane I have presented to you in this lens.
- This is the link to Brook House
This B&B is in the heart of Hemyock. The Devon Lane runs around the out skirts of Hemyock.
- Orchard Lea
A bit further outside the village, but a welcoming and comfortable B&B
A home for someone
Devon hedges bordering the Devon lane
The Devon lane is mostly bounded by hedges. These can be very tall. They are mounds of earth where many grasses and wild flowers grow. They usually have trees growing from them. These banks are the home of lots of wildlife, whether little rodents, insects and in the trees and bushes birds. The tree above has a hole which can be a home for an owl or maybe a squirrel. These hedges have been thrown up and planted to keep the cattle and sheep in so are dependent on the farming which has gone on over the centuries.
Sometimes the hedges grow up tall and the farmer will lay the ditch so that it will be thicker but not so tall. This is done particularly with young hazel saplings. They are partially cut down but with part of the trunk still attached to the root. The small trunk is laid along the hedge. This is done in the aautumn and then it the spring it sprouts again and grows upwards.
The saplings are still attached to the root stock
A laid hazel hedge bursting back into life
Which is your favourite season in the Devon lane?
Why farming is so important for our wildlife.
Our wildlife rely on our farming of cows and sheep. The manure from these animals is essential to keep a good population of insect life, which in turn is essential for the birdlife. If farming declined in Britain our whoe countryside would change. The beauty of hill and pasture and tree which we now have would disappear. Maybe it would still be beautiful, but in a very different way. There would also be the danger of buildings taking over as new housing is always needed here. We need to encourage our farmers to keep going and keep Britain the beautiful place it still is.
Our wildlife has declined and the butterfly below is not seen so often anymore.
Speckled wood (female)
Trees, hills and pastures
I would love to hear what you think of this lens. Any helpful tips you can give will be appreciated.