Although I was born and grew up in a London suburb, awareness of nature was hammered into me, partly by my family, partly by primary school, where the “nature table” was obligatory in every classroom and was always piled high with artefacts, and partly by the nature books that lay around the house. It was while poring over these behind the sofa that I began to learn my flowers.
The turn of the season is felt, not so much as a drop in temperature or the way the need for warm socks and waterproofs creeps up on you, but in the way the woods smell different. Decaying leaves, leaves still on the trees but for whom decay is imminent: the smell, for me, of being 11 years old and at a new school, where our introduction to Biology was the invitation to compile a Biology Scrapbook over the course of a year.
Still, sultry mornings make taking photos of wild plants easier … but watch out for the flies…
Wandering into Five Mile Wood last week, I was considering what might turn out to be the wood’s gift this month when I got distracted by a long-ago fallen log. Or rather, the holes in it.