I spent forty minutes here picking blackberries, to the rear of this view. I felt increasingly tense. I reflected on foraging, the fact that I didn’t live here at Clayton, and how I might encounter unpleasantness. No one was around, I thought no one was coming here to pick this fruit, and that would make me a target. The more berries I had, the more I imagined idiots seeing me and reacting with territorial nastiness the result of boredom, confusion, and stupidity. This looks odd I thought: not for me but for them. Then I thought of people nearby who have neither jobs nor cash, how nutritious the berries were and what a fine pie they would make for a family.

Once again nature in Britain has been thoroughly disrupted with the winter flooding, good mild spring, then frequently warm summer. A good drink, followed by sunshine, has encouraged a bounteous and early autumn crop. It’s the same with farming crops. The birds will like it, but they may need food in autumn to prepare for winter, and it may have gone. The winter itself could be severe as it has been recently, or it could be mild, wet or not, as last year. I know birds are monitored but I doubt if even the experts have identified what’s occurring.

Rosebay Willowherb is a delightful flower. You overlook it because it’s so common but imagine, expanding the point, how deprived we would be without wild flowers. That’s the city skyline in the distance.


Manchester Wild Flowers: Wild Fruit and Willowherb

Friday August 22, 2014