This Green and Pleasant Land ...

 Returning home from a shopping trip in the next village I stopped the car.

 
I stood on the roadside verge and looked at my surroundings, breathed it all in; and saw the splendour of it all.

 
This land, ancient and unchanging, worked by generations of farmers, grazed by untold numbers of sheep and cattle.

 
Boundary hedgerows providing food for birds and shelter for wild animals; home for fox, badger and rabbit who dig beneath its roots.

 
Hawks and buzzards cruising the skies, rising and circling high in the thermals, with one eye looking for their next meal.

 
Centuries old trees, oak and ash, in full leaf, where birds nest and home to a myriad of insects who tunnel and bore.

 
The patchwork of fields providing hay for winter feed; wild flowers and seeding grasses, food for  bee and butterfly.

 
Each element  an essential part of this green and pleasant land -  part of the whole picture.  Each one needs the other to thrive and complete the circle of life. I feel privileged to be surrounded by such beauty.

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. ~ Wm. Shakespeare.

Elaine
 

Comments

  1. Lovely, you have summed it up very well, I too stopped the car the other day, got out and just took in what was around me, it's the most loveliest time of the year..
    Amanda xx

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Amanda. Sometimes I think we just need to stop and stare - and I'm glad I did it yesterday - it is pouring with rain today and the pictures wouldn't have looked quite so good.

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  2. So beautiful & green!! I would love to stop the car for that view.

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    1. Everything is very lush at the moment - a bit of sun and a bit of rain works wonders.

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  3. What beautiful images of the countryside at this time of the year! I love all the shots with the Cow Parsley!

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    1. Cow parsley seems to be everywhere and manages to get into most of my photos - kind of like a 'selfie-bomber'. LOL

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  4. I should have stopped too, the countryside is wonderful, especially in this time of year. I feel privileged to live in lovely surroundings but it's not for nothing that England is our favorite holiday country, we love your countryside. And you are the first after my husband to tell, I saw a young fox this early morning crossing the road and looking at me (and Snarf) at the roadside, so cute, but of course no camera with me.
    Nice words: 'each element an essential part of this green and pleasant land.
    It does me remember to the book 'Green and Pleasant Land', poetry of the English countryside by G. Beningfield.
    I found this book in a secondhand bookshop on our travels in England.

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    1. We don't see as many foxes around as we used to - a few years ago we were inundated and I lost many a chicken - but it is still good to see one innocently crossing the road. On my way home from town the other day I spotted a Muntjac deer at the side of the road - spotting wildlife still gives me a thrill. I have ordered that book Janneke - it sounds just the thing I would enjoy.

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  5. We always used to moan in England that it was bumper to bumper with cars, and any greenery was soon concreted over. But of course it's not all like that, as your beautiful pictures demonstrate.

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    1. We, like you, are in the middle of nowhere, but obviously the nearer to towns you get the less green it becomes. I won't be moving to a town any time soon!

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  6. Views well worth stopping the car for! I feel very privileged too to be living in similar surroundings and being able to watch it all changing daily.

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    1. That's one of the joys - seeing the daily changes that every season brings.

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  7. Everything is so gorgeous at this time of year and it all fits together so well in the unending rotation of the seasons that dictate our daily life. How wonderful to take the time to stop, stare and enjoy such beauty:)

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    1. Luckily I had my camera with me to record it all.

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  8. A lovely post and wonderful pictures. Flighty xx

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  9. You are indeed a girl after my own heart.
    The hillsides and pastures are breathtaking. It is a privilege to be able to see the beauty that Nature offers endlessly over years, generations and centuries.
    It never fails to appease my very soul...
    Susan x

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    1. Absolutely. They provide an ever-changing vista throughout the year which never fails to please.

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  10. Do you ever imagine what life was like in England say in the 15 century as you gaze at your beautiful countryside? Or what it was like for the Saxons or the Romans as they wandered the land? Here were I am out on the plains when we go for a drive to the east to the Pawnee Grasslands, I always think what it looked like when the first settlers came across in their oxen pulled wagons, all of their worldly possessions loaded up, headed for an unknow new life. Or the Plains Indians who hunted the lands for buffalo. The wild west. I treasure the days I spent riding a tour bus across sthe Enlgish countryside, wanting to do as you did, to stop and take a moment, but I was on a bus on a mission. No stopping to gaze and ponder. I am quite glad that you shared your quiet moment with us. Oh to be in England. Enjoy your week.

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    1. I should imagine that not much has changed round here - it has always been farmland. I know a lot about the history of the area as a man in the village has produced books about it - fascinating stuff. Of course your history is so different to ours but equally as fascinating with the hardships the early pioneers had to go through. I am glad you enjoyed a quiet moment with me. Have a good week and may the sun shine for you.

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  11. It's good to see places where hedgerows still flourish

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    1. Yes, thank goodness - they do look lovely at this time of year.

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  12. as I don't drive and therefore walk or cycle everywhere I do, perhaps, notice the beauty around me more than most, but I try never to take it for granted. Have a lovely week, Elaine!

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    1. We live in the back of beyond too far from anywhere to walk or cycle so a car is necessary but it is surprising what you can see when you are on foot that you miss when in a car. Have a good week yourself Ann.

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  13. Oh how fortunate you are Elaine to have such views on your doorstep. May is such a beautiful month in our gardens and in the countryside. I think that Mother Nature does it best though :)

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    1. Yes, I do realise how lucky we are living where we do. Mother Nature seems to have the touch that we try to emulate, not always successfully but we keep on trying.

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  14. Dear Elaine,
    What a perfectly beautiful post. Thank you for bringing together the beauty of the English countryside I know and love so well, and sharing it today. You have managed to make me extremely homesick!

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    1. Thank you Jane. Glad you enjoyed the post - sorry about the homesickness - I would feel the same.

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  15. Ahhhh.....I was nodding away and sighing, a green and pleasant land for sure! I love all the pics, especially the second one, how beautiful is that! How wonderful it must be to have such scenes so close by....I am a little green-eyed! But happy you get to live there and share such lovely, lovely images!xxx

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    1. Thanks Snowbird. I just hope my pics did it justice - sometimes it is hard to capture with a camera what you see better with the eye.

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  16. Elaine I just love the quote you used " This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. ~ Wm. Shakespeare."

    We are truly blessed, and it is ever more important to take time to appreciate this.

    I have recently spent time in Hampshire and Dorset two beautiful counties ... but wherever you are in the UK I would ask everyone to enjoy their surroundings - even if it's a walk to the local park.

    Have a good week, can't believe it will be June tomorrow !

    All the best Jan

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    1. I have never been to those parts of the country but read blogs of people who live there and it is beautiful if very different from where I live. June has come roaring in like a lion - I do hope this wind drops soon.

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  18. It gladdens my heart to see England's green and pleasant land is still that, green and pleasant. With so much urban spread all over the world these pockets of paradise are soothing to the soul. I used to live in Kent and would enjoy nothing more than a ramble through the nature reserves surrounding my house.

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    1. The English countryside is lovely and much appreciated by me - I have never been to Kent, too long a journey from where I live, but I think it is called the garden of England so I expect it is just as beautiful.

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  19. What a beautiful breath of fresh air ~ thank you for sharing your gratitude and glorious vistas!

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  20. What a beautiful spot! I can see why you stopped to enjoy it!! xx

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    1. Luckily I had my camera with me to capture it all.

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  21. Beautifully written Elaine, you sum it up so well. Some lovely images, being in the moment with all that is around us, is so calming. I love England and could not live anywhere else :)

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    1. Thank you Cheryl. I stopped on the spur of the moment to take it all in, the sun was shining and it all just took my breath away.

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  22. Elaine not only your photos but your words made this post beautiful. Never tire of seeing your lovely countryside. It is so green and lush. Hope you have a super day.

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    1. Thank you dear Debbie. It is a wonderful time of year in the countryside. Glad you enjoyed seeing it through my eyes.

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  23. You have struck a chord with your lovely appreciative post Elaine. Beautiful.

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  24. My goodness Elaine! I just had to stop and stare at the screen as your shots look so surreal!!! Have they ever filmed a movie in your area?!?! I just cannot get over how stunning the countryside is!! Thank you for making the world a little smaller tonight by letting us experience your landscape! Happy week to you! Nicole xo

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the photographs Nicole - the countryside around here is spectacular, soft and gentle and rolling. Enjoy your week too.

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  25. So glad you stopped the car. Is there road noise or is it very remote? I sometimes see similar views but there is often a siren wailing in the distance.

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  26. Quite remote Lucille - although the road through the village is used as a rat-run through to the main road. The worst problem we have is the Hunt and the Hunt Followers who are a blessed nuisance but thankfully that is only for part of the year. No sirens though.

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  27. I dont remember the countryside looking so beautiful as it does this year except in my childhood memory. The roadside verges are like herbaceous borders filled with white, pink, yellow and blue flowers, and the hedgerows are just as you have magically captured them.

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    1. It is the buttercups that are amazing this year - I have seen the fields so full of them.

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  28. My goodness, cold or not it's gorgeous as nothing else is anywhere in the world. What a stunning vista....and what a treat to see it through your eyes. It's so alike our part of the world, and yet so different.

    Jen

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    1. I agree the countryside does look magnificent at the moment - so glad you enjoyed this post.

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  30. So much like a painting, many of these photos of yours. What a sight to make one want to breathe in deeply and relax!

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    1. I certainly enjoyed being out there - it did make me realise how beautiful it all is.

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  31. Morning Elaine,

    I sent out a batch of auricula on Wednesday.........most have received them. I hope that you have. I do not know how long they will last in the package. Hope you get them soon.

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    1. Morning Cheryl
      Yes, they did arrive - safe and sound. I sent you a thank you note by snail mail. They are all potted up and ready to go. Looking forward to seeing what colours they are. Thanks once again.
      Elaine

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    2. Just seen the postman Elaine.....thank you so much for the gift, unnecessary but extremely kine.
      I love it.

      The auricula are varying colours of lilac/purple.
      My double reds are still flowering.....when they finish I will divide and send you a couple.

      Have a lovely weekend..............very humid here and 25C Thunder and rain on and off during the morning.

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    3. Glad you liked it Cheryl. We have had a really hot muggy day but now it has clouded over and rain threatens - the sun was nice while it lasted eh!

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  32. Such lovely images - so good for the soul to be amongst nature.

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  33. This time of year shows our country off to its best doesn't it! The cow parsley is out in abundance everywhere bringing the insects, birds and bees and it is just divine! Everything is so beautiful during this month xx

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    1. Yes it does Chel - everywhere you look this year there seems to be cow parsley it manages to get into practically every photo - which is fine with me.

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  34. What a beautiful webspace you have here. I'm so glad I found you :-)

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    1. Hello Sarah
      That is very kind of you to say so - and the same goes for me with finding your blog too.

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  35. It's nice that you stopped to take it all in. We need to do more of that.

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