A whitebeam laden with fruit, its curled and crisp leaves rustling in the wind. On the edge of perception a fieldfare called. The first I've heard this autumn. A pair of wheatear on a sunny wall, soon to migrate. Arrivals and departures on Scout Scar. Yew arils await fieldfare and redwing and after two poor winters perhaps this year will see more winter thrush. Blackthorn straggled across a fragment of limestone pavement beneath the whitebeam, the only tree rich in berries. I came across a mass of blackthorn, with few sloes. The shrub walks, putting out suckers and striding out across the fell.
Whitebeam berries and patterned bark on the trunk of the tree. I thought I knew every whitebeam in this place but this lovely tree is a discovery.
Yew arils with sloe to the right.
I spent a long while beneath that fruitful whitebeam, listening to the tree, photographing its fruit, its leaves, its bark, and the backdrop of the fells. It is remarkable. For the last couple of weeks I've been seeking out whitebeam and found none like this. Along Scout Scar escarpment the wind has already blown leaves off some of the trees and there are few berries.
This summer has seen poor numbers of butterflies. I'm eager to watch Martha Kearney's The Great Butterfly Adventure: Africa to Britain with the painted lady.
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)