High pressure during the last week of August, still and hazy sunlit days. So warm the colour of sloes deepens each day, from green to blue- the bloom fresh on them.
There are pockets of heather, trailing strands of bramble leaves and ripening fruit. With bramble late to flower, then a heat-wave, flowering was over quickly so the crop is poor. Sloes are abundant although, down in the Lyth Valley a cold snap hit the damsons and there are none to be had.
On radio 4 this evening, the poet laureate Simon Armitage was in a barn in Llandovery with HRH the Prince of Wales. Prince Charles spoke eloquently of his profound love of nature. He spoke of the art of hedge-laying and Simon Armitage relished the special vocabulary it brings. Prince Charles spoke of his work encouraging young people to learn such skill, like the work of Lee Bassett at Smardale and in Cumbria. We learnt that the Queen Mother would invite Ted Hughes, a former laureate, to stay with her and of their mutual respect and affection, of their fishing together in the River Dee. The Prince and the poet explore the wild flower meadows, describing one they can't identify. We need Ted, they said. Too late, but I could help on that one- it's eyebright, pictured above with autumn gentian.
Next day, a couple I meet by chance tell me what brings them here. It's a recurring theme: peace, solitude, natural beauty. He couldn't name the flowers, his wife tells me, but he loves sky-watch, silence and the flow of light in a landscape. He feels the enchantment. In visiting and revisiting landscapes we have long known and loved we affirm our own story, our personal history and experience shared.