Wednesday 6th May 2020, 9.20am (day 3,177)
Another day celebrating green-ness, for there is not a great deal else to see at the moment. At least the sun is back out.
Day 10 of house arrest. Amongst the various ways in which this virus is causing trauma to the human world is the added strain it is putting on our communications infrastructure. WordPress seems to presently allow me to upload photos at around noon each day, but at no other times. And lower-resolution pictures are the only ones getting up there. Right now, it’s the way it is.
But at least there is no need to go out panic buying salad leaves at the moment. I have found the wild garlic motherlode a few hundred yards from home. All edible and delicious.
My last full day here: my journey home starts tomorrow. Finally, a chance to get out into the Indonesian landscape (at least, photographically) with a trip to Candi Gedong Songo, or “Nine Temples Park”, a very beautiful slice of woodland way up in the hills. Although whoever named the place wasn’t very good at counting, as we followed the paths faithfully yet definitely only found five temples. Nevertheless they were very attractive, Hindu shrines from way back.
When I was growing up in Sussex there were many of these ‘sunken lanes’ around the place and I guess I never really gave them much thought. But seeing a track like this, embedded between two earthen banks, is a sign that the way is of great antiquity. Their sunken nature is not natural, it is the result of erosion, taking place as people and livestock use the track over hundreds and, probably, thousands of years, over and over.
While on a walk in the South Downs today (bagging a County Top), I turned a corner and was suddenly confronted by this most magnificent example. Actually I’m surprised the shot ended up with so much light in it, because to my eyes this was a dark, enclosed tunnel through the landscape, exactly the kind of place where you can picture Frodo and his mates hiding from the Black Rider early on in Lord of the Rings. It’s called Tennyson’s Lane in tribute to the poet who had a house nearby, and in 1905 Arthur Paterson wrote the following about it, words that are still true today:
Trees meet overhead, copsewood surrounds it, and later, it is hedged by high sandy banks thickly overgrown with plant and scrub; squirrels and rabbits, and all other small woodland creatures, disport themselves over it. It twists and turns, and to the stranger appears to lead nowhere in particular.
Two milestones today. First, this is Clare’s 100th appearance on the blog: thus, an (easily enough calculated) average of once every 29.22 days, or over once per month. Well, I did marry the woman — and it seems to have been a good move.
Second; 8 x 365 = 2,920, plus two more for Feb 29th 2012 and 2016. Thus, 2,922 days marks the end of my eighth full year of doing this blog. Tomorrow is my birthday. I started the blog on my 42nd birthday…. so you do the maths.
As well as a profusion of fruit this year does seem to have produced larger-than-usual amounts of fungi. I don’t know what species is this butter-coloured toadstool, but I liked the way one of them had turned up its edges and thus allowed a little pool of water to gather at the top, that then glinted in what sunlight had managed to push through the trees above. Like a little bird-bath in a garden. The fairies gather…
After a horribly cold spell — we had snow last Friday, though it didn’t get depicted on here (too depressing) — spring seems to have re-installed successfully. This is good news.
Why ‘yoga tree’? Something about the way this one is stretching its whole body and two arms up to salute the sun?
The evenings are just so long at the moment, at this latitude — the sun still comfortably high enough in the sky to give the flare to the left, even at 7.30. Plenty of light, I like it. I wish it was like this all year but I guess the axial tilt problem will always remain insoluble.