August bank holiday weekend is bittersweet for me. Whilst other holiday Mondays in spring seem like markers, milestones toward a summer full of promise, warm days, green leaves and long rides, this one always seems to mark the closing of the season. The nights are already drawing in, the fields have gone from the lush bright greens and golds of growth to the dusty raffia browns of stubble. The leaves start to age and turn, and the hedgerows, field margins and scrubs are loaded with a rich natural bounty of ripening fruits, seeds and nuts.
Of course, the warm sunny days have not gone, they will still hover for a while, then autumn will surprise and delight with it’s foliage coat of many colours. The weather has been variable this weekend, but at least it was better than last year.
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Beautiful english apple, ripening by the roadside in Hilton, Staffordshire. 3:21pm, Sunday, 22nd August 2010.
The hips of the dog rose, near Kingsbury Water Park, Warwickshire. 4:15pm, Saturday 28th August 2010.
Ripening sycamore seeds ('Helicopters') with tenant, Fazeley, Staffordshire. 4:37pm, Saturday 28th August 2010.
Dewberries - looser and less structured than blackberries with a more tart taste, near Middleton, Warwickshire. 4:09pm, Saturday 28th August 2010.
Elderberries. Memories of home-brew wine abound. Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire. 4:09pm, Saturday 28th August 2010.
Jam anyone? Gorgeously shiny crab apples, Hopwas, Staffordshire. 5:09pm, Saturday 28th August 2010.
Hedgerow haws slowly turn red, bringing on the autumn near Whitemore Haye, Staffordshire. 4:33pm, Sunday, 8th August 2010.
Conkers - fruiting on a tree clearly enduring attack by the horse chestnut leaf miner. Middleton Hall, Warwickshire. 3:39pm, Saturday 28th August 2010.
Blackberries ripening, soon be enough for a crumble. Near Drayton Manor Park, Staffordshire. 4:32pm, Saturday 28th August 2010.
Rowan berries, which make a pleasant jam, near Hilton, Staffordshire. 3:28pm, Sunday, 22nd August 2010..