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Leaves that are Green turn to Brown

5th October 2020 @ 6:06am – by Adrian Leighton
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Leaves that are Green turn to Brown

Some of you of a certain generation might remember the title as a name of song by Simon and Garfunkel. It always comes to my remembrance at this time of year and seems to fit the more melancholy feel of the natural world. But a walk round Turnpike Fields the other day informed me that this year it has been delayed.

A quick look at the trees told me that the the leaves that are green had not yet turned brown. Other signs of a changing season were apparent for instead of a glorious display of vibrant coloured flowers we are seeing the browned remains. Not that the seed heads we are left with do not have a real interest and beauty in themselves, if we care to stop and look. Also we have lost the multitude of bees and butterflies which already are well hunkered down for the winter or in the natural cycle returned to the earth. Again to tell that we shouldn't close the curtains on summer too soon I saw a flourish of Small White Butterflies around the Fields and a lone Red Tailed Damselfly plying the ponds. Most of the Bumblebees have taken their leave but there are still Honey Bees drawing sustenance for themselves and their hive from the last flowering plants – Greater Willowherb, the Dandelion lookalikes Catsear, Hawkweed and Nipplewort and the remainder of the Ragwort flowers and a few rogue Himalayan Balsam.

And now as I sit down to pen these words, the rain fills the air forbidding me step outside and take a walk through the fields that speak of the turning of the year. Yet while much has apparently closed down for the winter, like seaside cafes, the yearning to be alive is still here. Already the fields which had been tall with noble grasses having been shorn. But what was but shiveringly naked ground, has already begun to grow a new green covering of life.

After the wonderfully sustaining and inspiring energy that the wildness of the Turnpike Fields has given to us over the past few months we may feel that they has run out of steam. Yet even in this time of transition there is an energising connectedness there for us to appreciate and enjoy.

High above the fields young Buzzards have been bleating their call like abandoned lambs. Time to start to find their own territory. In the hedgerow the click click of Wrens fills the silence of the summer visitors now gone. Soon they will be joined by own winter Blackbirds from Scandinavia, our summer Blackbirds have gone south. Their frantic alarm calls will fill the hedges as they settle in their winter accommodation.
Maybe its the time to let our ears become our eyes and as the wild world sings its winter song "Come walk with me", allow our Fields embrace us still in their grace filled presence.

Adrian Leighton

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