Slowly but surely the signs of change are here…..



Summer is yet to happen, it is only mid August, yet the first signs of autumn are with us.  Rosebay Willow Herb flowers are turning to seed (and the seed pods look as good as the flowers), Bind Wind is in flower along the hedges where summers grasses are drying, turning colour and looking really autumnal,  Cow Parsley crowns have dried and the seed pods bursting spreading next years crop all about.  The Crab Apple tree is loaded with its tiny green apples not yet ripe enough to pick and make jam but they are on the way.  Rowan trees are in berry and the forest floor is littered with shed seed pods.

The Himalayan Balsam is in full flower.  True this is now classed as a weed….but for me it still is a spectacular wild flower.

I am afraid I am on a collision course with my Conservation friends.  I know it is an invasive specie but two facts really annoy me.  As justification for their dislike they say that it is of no value to insects….well my observations and images prove otherwise…bees delve deep into the flower heads for pollen and various Butterflies lay eggs on the plants on which their caterpillars feed and new a new generation comes to life.

The second fact is that they organise ‘Balsam Bashing’ events to try an eradicate the plant….but this is being done now whilst the plant is in flower.  So all those seeds that have been forming through the summer are spread!  Then they leave the plants to die in clumps where they are pulled,  as the plant is tubular and holds moisture the flower seeds continue to develop and so spread again by the winds or more likely the local birds.

Yep…autumn may well be a little way off but the first signs are here…..take a look…


and if that doesn’t convince you that autumn is on the way…there is now even a covering of Dew in the mornings.

13th August
(C) David Oakes 2015


16 thoughts on “Slowly but surely the signs of change are here…..

  1. The coming of Autumn my goodness already! And on the upside down side of the world we are having bushfires and it’s not Spring yet 🙂

  2. Although a summer child (July), I am always pleased to welcome Autumn. Fresh nights, warm days and a subtle change of colour everywhere. The air seems to have much more oxygen in it. Seeing the apples ripening and close to here, the cooking pears making a bumber crop by the end of September, beginning of October my heart seems to make a little jump of joy. Teasels have a Dutch name that tells what they were used for carding the wool. They have a medicinal use as well: roots, leaves and stalks can be used for many things.

    Besides all that I find it a splendid plant. Beautiful.

    By the way… is that Japanese knotweed in one of the photos? It’s lovely!

  3. I understand your observations of the harbingers of autumn, but I’m puzzled by your opening statement that “summer is yet to happen.” You’ve had some lovely summer posts!

    • True…it seems an odd statement. But we still feel that apart from an occasional day we have yet to ‘enjoy summer’. The weather has drifted from day to day and the plants have been equally as vague in there appearance and sequence of blooming. Some haven’t bothered, others have flowered twice (one three times) instead of the usual one time splash. Overall I would say we have a lush green summer and less colour than usual. As I say we still live in hope that summer proper will arrive.

  4. You are right, David. This year’s summer was quite different overhere. We did get longer spells of real warm and hazy days, interrupted by one of two days of around 30º and some days with rain. But mostly a stiff wind from the Northern quarters. I am following the British weather as well… thanks to Country File 😀 so I see our summers were quite different from one another.

    As for the weed… Calstegia sepium … is most defintely a horror weed…. in spite of it’s lovely flowers. Our common name for it is a pisspot (flowers). The Belgians (Flemish have a lovely story about this plant. An angel helped an old lady and to celebrate they wanted a drink. Having no glasses the old lady suggested they use the white flowerd for that and when the liquid came into the flowers they changed into champagne glasses. They call it the glasses of ‘our Dear Lady’. 🙂

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