I've come to understand there are ups and downs when observing the natural world. So today I take with me a different mindset: curiosity without judgement -- a hard balance to strike.
The weather's cooler, and windy which I know will add an extra challenge to my list of jobs. The first thing I notice is compressed long grass and weeds and poppies; a tractor has been in the field again. Following the tracks up the tiny rise I see that the field has been harrowed. The ground is churned up and turned over, and lying scattered on the surface a what looks like dry stalks. The contrast between prolific growth on the field margins and the plot in the middle could not be greater. I wonder what will be planted there.
I carry out my list of jobs: observations first, as usual, the folding and scrumpling of two metres of paper strips prepared at home, and then sketches of various wildflowers and grasses using walnut ink.
All through this time I'm noticing a range of bees, butterflies and other insects; the fact that convolvulus, sandwort and hairy tare are twisting their ways round the other plants, slowly choking them while the poppies bravely continue flowering. The hedgerow plants stretch out their arms towards the sun, but there's no bird song today.
Another week and it's now July, a day of sunshine and shadows, a breeze moving the grass and rain threatening. The full hedgerow has seed heads: dog rose hips and haws, hard and green. Plants everywhere continue to grow energetically:docks in majestically tall clumps, Queen Anne's lace higher still and the spikiness of dandelion and thistle leaves is more pronounced: the green of everything is deepening. These observations are a sharp contrast with the harrowed area which is delineated and waiting.
Since talking to Sian I've bought a lovely rolled up sketchpad; the papers are made of rag. Today I plan another walking record and to do some sketching.