June 7, 2002
A vast field of broad beans neighbouring the old railway track was in flower; a delightful scent came from it. Some of the plants were about four feet tall. I examined one: quite a lot of blackfly in evidence. I remember the furrows of dark earth there last winter. The field lies beneath the Chilterns and the church bells of Chinnor were practising while I was out this evening, the first dry moment after two days of often torrential rain. Tall grass in natural meadows, buttercup-cloaked and grazed by cattle. Fields of tall wet coarse rye grass I think it’s called, waiting for harvesting. I have seen a complaint in the press about such uniform fields, which are flower free but if they keep the farms going and the cattle fed I think I don’t complain. Green is green anyway. The scents and sights of summer were everywhere: elderflower, wild roses, horse daisies, comfrey, meadowsweet with the first hints of its feathery, creamy, almondy blossoms; a lingering sweetness on the rainwashed air, from the cowfields. Scarlet corn poppies on the side of the track, yellow iris around a farmhouse garden pond. How lucky is Towersey still to have its village pub, focus of the recent Jubilee night celebrations. Rabbits and their young everywhere. One baby nearly had me off my bike as it scuttled beneath my front wheel. Overhead tonight, where on clear days small aircraft and gliders sometimes fly, the rainclouds were still about. The clouds of cow parsley, which lined the verges of the lanes are fading now. Red campion here and there.