Friday, 21 September 2012

The Turning of the Season - Nature's Bounty

Although each season has its merits, and I look forward to them all, September is one of my favourite months for observing the turning of the season.  Being fortunate enough to live in the countryside I become aware of the gradual changes.  As yet, the leaves haven't changed colour - but the hedgerows are becoming full of wonderful things to admire and gather.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
Albert Einstein
On the way back from the plot this morning, I stopped off at one or two places where I knew (or hoped) that there would be plenty of pickings.  I wasn't disappointed.

Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth
are never alone or weary of life
Rachel Carson
I go to nature to be soothed and healed
and to have mny senses put in order
John Burroughs
I love seeing the elder bushes dripping with fruit. The hedgerows are studded with purple berries - making foragers of us all.
Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.
It will never fail you.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Blackberries are eminently photographable aren't they - the greens, reds and purples of the berries make a great subject.
Who can resist blackberry-picking - whilst we were on holiday, early one morning,  we saw two ladies doing just that behind the shore-line at Snettisham where there is a wild area.  The blackberries were smaller than we see inland - but they do have a lot of rough weather to put up with.  I will freeze those that I pick and wait till the Bramleys are ready - and make some blackberry and apple jam.

Or maybe I will collect some crab apples
If you know where to look there are plenty of apples to be had. 

Come forth into the light of things
let nature be your teacher
Wm. Wordsworth
The sloes are also ripening quite nicely - I know of some bushes where the sloes grow almost as big as damsons - unfortunately last year the council cut them back as they were threatening to grow too far on to the road.  So maybe this year there won't be as many - I'll have to and check.

And finally, there are the rosehips
Happiness is looking out across fresh fields
gazing at a distant tree
feeling the sun on your back
and the wind brushing your skin
I am hoping to be able to collect enough rosehips to make some jelly this year - a kilo should be enough, but that requires a lot of picking.  I drive slowly along the lanes when I am on a journey ready to slam on the brakes if I see some edibles calling out to be collected.  When out walking I always have plastic bags in my pockets - just in case.  You never know when you are going to come across a field of mushrooms or a stray plum tree.

It is definitely the best time of year for making the most of what nature has to offer.


  1. So what`s it to be then Elaine elderflower cordial, or wine?

  2. I have my own favourite ("secret") place for foraging sloes - a place where they grow high up out of the reach of most people, except those with big long sticks like me!

  3. I have never seen any sloes, I would love to find some though, my friend Sally makes lovely sloe gin from them and I wouldnt mind a bash at it myself!

  4. I've never had rosehip jelly but it looks so nice. The great thing about hedgerow foraging is that you can fill your pantry up with things that the supermarkets don't stock. They make great gifts too!

  5. The Elderberries look so pretty Elaine. The deer always get them here. The Blackberries look so yummy. They would make a wonderful cobbler. Yummy. LOL!

  6. I wish we had all this stuff to forage from but Georgia is so dry that there really isn't much. One year there were some nice blackberries growing by the road but the county came and cut them on me before they were ripe :(

  7. I love the shine on your photos Elaine - did you add an effect or is this just the way they turned out?

  8. Oooh...lovely effect on your photography and how lucky you are to have a free fruit stall so nearby!

  9. I like this time of year with the changing colours and mellow feel to the season.
    Thanks for a lovely post, and terrific photos. Flighty xx

  10. I like the new clean look of your blog. September is a marvellous month, the memory of summer is still warm, the light is clear and there is rich bounty. Sadly, the crab tree we regularly forage from had few fruits this year, not enough jelly to see us through the winter this year alas!

  11. The colours of those elder berries is so sumptuous. Some leaves round here are just starting to turn now.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog, in answer to your question, no I don't sell them as I've never thoguht they were good enough, but several people have asked me/mentioned it now, so maybe I will, at some point, maybe :-)

  12. I had tons, well a lot, of blackberries hanging over my neighbour's hedge. Unfortunately, my neighbour tidied up his garden recently, and cut down all the blackberries. The plants were growing in his garden. Fortunately, I had picked all the ripened fruit, but I feel sorry for the blackbirds who were looking forward to the rest ripening.

  13. So envious of those elderberries - they're not so common around me, and I do like to make elderberry cordial every year (very good for colds, though that could be the half litre of rum it also contains). In fact, I'm envious of everything - my foraging this year is hopeless. Congratulations on yours!

  14. Indeed, in these months we can collect all kind of things in the hedgerows.
    In the norning on my walk with the dog I always have plastic bags with me for blackberries. I sometimes cut branches with berries for flower arrangements and now I was out for elderberries but most were picked by starlings. I want to make elderberry liqueur.

  15. Oh my Lordy, what a talent you have for photography! I'm dead jealous of your blackberries too, our are no where near that size, humph!

    I too carry bags in pockets and have been known to have tiny brown envelopes in my handbag, perfect for seed stealing!

    Thanks for joining my blog. xx


  16. Love your photos, Elaine - you've really captured that lovely autumn colour! Hampstead Heath is a bit ahead of your country lanes; i've picked my sloes (plenty to be had) and had them soaking in vodka for the past month. Rosehips were made into cordial, sadly now all used up (so delicious) so will have to venture out for more hips, luckily they seem to be in plentiful supply this year (unless other foragers have got there before me!).

  17. It really is a good time of year. We have the elderberry wine on the go and I'm ready to collect the blackberries this week. Blackberry and apple jam .... the best! Never collected rosehips but that jelly sounds good.
    Enjoy your foraging.