I’m still hoping to pick some wild blackberries before Michaelmas Day arrives – the legend about their not being edible after that date sticks in my mind, though I note that before the Calendar was changed in the 18th Century, Michaelmas fell on some day in October.
The blackberries were out of my reach as I pedalled over the brook to the next village today.
They were plentiful in the hedges on both sides of the empty road but a ditch divided me from them where they clustered amidst hawthorn and wild rose and elderberries, and sloe and tall, drying nettles.
And thorns, and grass grew dense and high in the very serious obstacle that was the ditch. My legs don’t cope with clambering over ditches any more. And I would have needed a stick to make a path through the lovely wildness.
So I pottered on, in warm September sun which lit the grey walls of the old vicarage and the whole western side, from top to bottom, of the tower of the 13th century village church, which invited visitors to its Harvest Festival – on Michaelmas Day, next Sunday.
Home via the old railway. In the fields on either side, silent cattle, in single file, grazed in the direction of the sun.