For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Cygneous

Cow parsley lined the narrow road out of Bag Enderby - the commonest plant of our roadside verges. And in the more shaded, wooded areas I found blue and green mats of the small bugle flower, one of the dead nettle family, and well known as a cure-all. Nicholas Culpeper, the 17th century herbalist, wrote that it cured 'wounds, thrusts and stabs', which says a lot in a little about the 17th century - and, on reflection, it might be useful today too... Culpeper says it can cure every ailment from ulcers and broken bones to gout and delirium tremens. This panacea-plant is also supposed to be a narcotic. Perhaps this narcotic quality does provide some temporary relief from pain - persuading you it has eradicated the illness for good?

The occasional butterfly fluttered by - a white, a blue, a small tortoiseshell, an orange tip, several speckled wood - and I also noticed that bees and other insects were now active again. My path passed this row of trees, making for a gleam of gold in the middle distance...



This proved to be neither a yellow brick road nor a rainbow's pot of gold, but, more prosaically, yet another field of oilseed rape, with a small lake fringed with bulrushes beyond it...


... and in one corner of the pool I found a female mute swan (pen) sitting on her nest...



As I approached nearer and nearer, trying to get a good camera shot, the male (cob) appeared out of nowhere...


The closer I came, the higher he arced his wings in warning. I crept away, leaving them both to their cygneous, family affairs...

I was almost back at my starting point in Hagworthingham when I spotted this single Scots pine tree, surely the soulmate or younger sibling of the lonely pine I photographed on my previous walk from Tealby to Normanby-le-Wold...


6 comments:

am said...

It's still dark here but getting lighter. The birds are awake in the rain. I'm not sure why, but this set of photos is quite moving, especially the Scots pine.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks so much for the comment, am, and I'm glad you found the photo sequence affecting.

It may be something to do with the slightly disturbing quality of those uncanny, yellow fields (promising gold from afar but turning out to be just another farmer's crop) under an overcast sky, and the pair of swans, which are together but apart, and the pine tree which is alone, but yearning for the other pine tree in my earlier pic?

molly said...

Wish I'd been walking with you...

Thanks for sharing your lovely pics and tales.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I love the path by the trees. It has a lovely enclosed secretive feel.

jay said...

What a lovely walk! I was interested in the bugle flower being a panacea - I've seen such a lot of that this year, although the clump in my garden has had to be uprooted to make way for the new lawn!

verena said...

promising gold from afar but turning out to be just another farmer's crop...

maybe all desire
comes to an end
the instant
we see that
shangri-la
is found
right
here

:-)