Sweet Summer Meadows

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The eye of the Native allows one to see the environment in a way that allows us to travel in time. At this time of year I look at the beautiful blooms of the fire weed, thistles and wild clematis and know that I can come back later in the year and use their seeds as tinder. I also can see the flurry of bramble flowers and know that there will be a great harvest of blackberry to be gathered. Also  a source of hand drill stalks can be collected in the autumn and winter, when they are more easily accessed.  

July marks the start of the summer migrants returning to far off places, one being the adult cuckoo. Their offspring will follow the parents, later in the year, back to Africa. The meadows and grassland are abundant with butterflies this month, but we do not have to stray far into the wild places to witness the beautiful colours of the peacock, red admiral and small tortoiseshell. In our gardens the blooms of buddleia attract them and many other insects.

The long hot days of July really do allow us to slow down and study the magnificence of nature.  During the summer I’m fond of journaling about the array of plants that can be found in the woods and meadows. I not only like to focus on the well known useful plants, such as meadowsweet, that can be found in our wet ditches and water courses at this time of the year but also the less well known for their uses.  The act of journaling really allows us to connect deeper to the plant or animal that we are studying.  So many of us can go on a walk and point out and name various wild flowers, but how many of us can actually describe the plant in detail, when at home?

James is a humorous and enthusiastic instructor with a strong passion for his calling. 

Zoe, Musician