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Notes from the same spot: Summer 2022

A view of a golden field of oats, surrounded by the branches of a chestnut tree
Through the branches of the sweet chestnut tree

It’s 14 July and I’ve returned to my usual spot to do my summer seasonal diary. I’ve been coming here four times a year for about 18 months and taking time to observe how the landscape changes and moves along, depending on the time of year.

Today is a glorious summer morning and even though it’s only about 9.30am, it’s already heating up. The sky is bright blue with just a few little white, wispy clouds in the distance and the sun is beaming down. I’m standing underneath a chestnut tree and high above me, hidden from view, I can hear a woodpecker pecking against its trunk. Little bits of bark shower down onto the road from where it’s working. I think it must hear or see me from its hidden vantage point because it suddenly goes quiet. I like thinking of it up there peering down at me through the branches, hoping I'll clear off and leave it alone. It sounded busily industrious and I'm sure it wants to get back to work. I won't keep it long.

The scene around me is absolutely beautiful. To my left is a field of oats which hasn’t been harvested yet and they’re a beautiful sun-faded, pale golden colour complementing the lush green of the woods and the blue of the sky. From all sides, I can hear layers of bird song, some which I recognise and some which I need to look up later. There are dozens of butterflies delicately fluttering around.

A summer meadow full of grasses against a bright blue sky
A summer meadow of grasses and wildflowers

Opposite where I’m standing is a meadow which is let to grassland every year and it’s a wave of gentle yellow, creamy white and golden, bleached out grasses. I can see a section of the wood that was cleared last year but it’s already been taken over by scrub again now. It’s in shade this morning and it’s a dark, sombre green against the pale colours of the meadows. The textures are incredibly beautiful, with the contrast between the spikiness of the grasses against a soft wash of gentle yellow and white pointillist dots. It reminds me of an impressionist landscape.

In the distance I can hear a tractor and looking down the road I see a big field of sunflowers nodding their heads and turning their faces into the warmth and light of the sun. Above me, I notice the areas of light and shade pouring through the gaps in the leaves of the chestnut

tree, as the sun comes through. Some of the leaves look almost black and some of them are bright verdant green, depending on how the light hits them. I can smell the heat of the day – the temperature is rising but there’s the gentlest of breezes which is making everything quiver and shake in the morning light. There’s a gentleness to the morning and a quiet, peaceful serenity. It feels as though everything is trying to conserve its energy for the heat of the day to come.



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