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Still hot and sunny, the meadows are baked in the sunshine, and the reens that were full of water only a week or two ago , are drying up, leaving some huge groups of fat tadpoles stranded in large black wriggling masses. I collected a few jars full and transferred them to some fuller ponds, they have developed their back legs but still have a way to go before they can survive out of water. The willows that line the Olway valley are shedding their seed, white fluff falling down like snow.There are so many wild flowers in bloom, and ironically the best place to find them is on the roadside verges; ragweed, st. Johns wort,willow herb, bindweeds, agrimony,cranesbill and several varieties of thistle. Many of these plants are considered weeds these days, but they are all very pretty plants, and full of bees and butterflies. The grasshoppers too are out in force in the meadows, leaping between the different grasses.
Although my garden is full of house sparrow fledglings, the parents have started hatching out the next brood, unfortunately another day or so old chick fell out of its nest in the roof to its death. The little birds must be baking up in the roof-space, and dehydration can often be a problem for young animals of all sorts in this weather.
On the river the birds were looking a little worried by all the humans that have invaded their usually peaceful waters ( me included!).The river has a big bloom of crowsfoot this year, growing in thick clumps with little white flowers, even the people didn't deter the damsel flies that were crowding on to the flowers. Saw a young dipper, but sadly no kingfishers.
Summer Images-John Clare. ( lines from)
Now swarthy Summer, by rude health embrowned,
Precedence takes of rosy fingered Spring;
And laughing Joy, with wild flowers prank’d, and crown’d,
A wild and giddy thing,
And Health robust, from every care unbound,
Come on the zephyr’s wing,
And cheer the toiling clown.
Me not the noise of brawling pleasure cheers,
In nightly revels or in city streets;
But joys which soothe, and not distract the ears,
That one at leisure meets
In the green woods, and meadows summer-shorn,
Or fields, where bee-fly greets
The ear with mellow horn.
The green-swathed grasshopper, on treble pipe,
Sings there, and dances, in mad-hearted pranks;
There bees go courting every flower that’s ripe,
On baulks and sunny banks;
And droning dragon-fly, on rude bassoon,
Attempts to give God thanks
In no discordant tune.
The speckled thrush, by self-delight embued,
There sings unto himself for joy’s amends,
And drinks the honey dew of solitude.
There Happiness attends
With inbred Joy until the heart o’erflow,
Of which the world’s rude friends,
Nought heeding, nothing know.
There the gay river, laughing as it goes,
Plashes with easy wave its flaggy sides,
And to the calm of heart, in calmness shows
What pleasure there abides,
To trace its sedgy banks, from trouble free:
Spots Solitude provides
To muse, and happy be.
And waste life’s summer-health in riot rude,
Of nature, nor of nature’s sweets aware.
When passions vain intrude,
These, by calm musings, softened are and still;
And the heart’s better mood
Feels sick of doing ill.
I see the wild flowers, in their summer morn
Of beauty, feeding on joy’s luscious hours;
The gay convolvulus, wreathing round the thorn,
Agape for honey showers;
And slender kingcup, burnished with the dew
Of morning’s early hours,
Like gold yminted new.
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