Yesterday picking photos for May Day, I came across some of these on my Flickr, though not the one at the top, which I love for its smooth sage green landscape and the feel of the dusty downs in hot summer.
Early morning walking all those years ago, gave me an insight into the animals, foxes, deer and hares that lived up on the downs, the golden plovers that rested in the grass up there. Creeping up one morning on my knees to them to take a photo, with Moss standing quietly behind me, obedient to not disturbing them. The rutted stone lane of the sheep photo reminds me that this path has probably been used since prehistoric times to go down to the River Avon, from Solsbury Hill several miles away, further along the path are the remains of an old cottage and stone building, which probably were part of the quarrying that took place in the 18th/19th century.
The blue of cat's mint against the grey of its leaf is a good garden colour, the sharp astringent scent one of the memories of the garden; the Penstemon 'red garnet' was a cutting taken from many years of owning this plant, which came from a Devon nursery.
What can you say about Carew Castle, elegant Norman castle transformed at a later date built for keeping the Welsh in order by the wicked English, romantic ruin now, but very elegant and quietly situated by the small lake that keeps the water in for the tall, rather graceless mill. On the other side the Milford Haven tidal estuary, some would say where the bluestones for Stonehenge were floated down, but who knows?
James Russell, short extract from his book on the painting of Chalk Roads on the South Downs
|This is an Eric Ravilious, 'Chalk roads on the South Down', seen on F/B this morning via James Russell,|
|This is Carew Castle next to the great tidal mill at Carew|
|Golden plovers in flight on the Bath downs|
|Favourite walk and lazy sheep under Littledown Hillfort|
|Cat's mint and penstemons|
|This was a 'secret path' turn right and you went into one of the high fields bounded by old woods, turn left and you could find where the deer lay at night.|