Saturday, 25 June 2011

Out and About in Essex


OK, it's high Summer time now in the South East. Tomorrow is sunny skies and temperatures peaking at 27 Celsius. BBQ for lunch. Of course, lunch is late on a Sunday this time of the year when the sun only starts setting after 9 PM.

So lot's of time to practise my hobby in the early part of the day: Foraging and Exploring.

That's what I do most days here in summer time. Essex is plenty big with tons of space to explore.

So welcome to my neck 'o the Woods!

The Notleys, Rayne, Flitch Way, John Raye....Miles and miles of public walkways stretching, turning and curving all over the area, mostly rural farmland but interspersed all along by the ubiquitous hedge ways of old England and also of course, some pristine old woodlands such as Bushy Wood and Garnet Forest. I have barely begun to scratch the surface.

Of course, it's the foraging part that excites me the most (no, the austerity measures in the UK have not reduced me to scavenge for my food yet!) I'm talking about the abundance of wild plants, berries, fruits and mushrooms that will start occurring from now right through until the end of September...

It's a real garden of Eden, elderberries (my favourite), wild cherries, wild gooseberries, blackberries, wild apples, sloe berries, wild plums (to name a few) and at least a half dozen or so edible mushrooms such as the field mushroom, ink cap, parasol, puffball etc (sadly we missed the seasonal fruiting of morels and St George's mushrooms which only occur early in Spring. The Spring drought has all but obliterated the mycelium from fruiting. But, as we've had some rain the last two weeks, I'm hoping to catch a few lazy St Georges making a late appearances tomorrow morning!)

So, here are a few images from my "backyard"

Enjoy them and feel free to return over the next few months when I'll be posting more "as and when" discoveries from my explorations.

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