Last weekend was a trip to the Quantocks in the South West of England. A wild natural space running to the sea in the North and Devon in the South. The seasons are changing, the air is cooler, damper and the plants seem to know what’s coming. I had company this trip, Mike and Lisa joined me and the social aspect made a pleasant change. Although it does mean your pace is changed and stopping for pictures or just to stare at the scenery becomes less possible, the day was fine, warm with a breeze to stir the leaves and we wandered the Combes, woods and tracks of this open landscape.
These are the paths that Coleridge and Wordsworth walked together, Coleridge’s cottage is just down the road in Nether Stowey, now owned and run by the National Trust as a museum. I love this short piece by Wordsworth
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there where none to praise
And very few to love;
A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
-Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
the difference to me!
In the woods you are surrounded by Rowan and Impoverished Oak, Light and wind stalled at the extremities as you climb through to reach the outer ditches and defensive mound of the fort. The wild life is well hidden in ferns, heather and stands of gorse.
We found this Slow Worm hurrying across the track, our clumping probably woke him from basking in the morning sun. Not a snake or a worm really but a legless lizard.
Gustav Klimt painted a picture called Forest of Birch Trees, and walking in the woods like this always reminds me of it. A copy can be seen here.
I love this time of year, as the scenes change so quickly no visit will offer the same pictures. The changing weather, the people you are with and the idea in mind as you walk, all come together to bring something new to the experience.