I walked with Janey (Cullen) this morning at Fromus. My aim, as a Guardian, was to reconnect with Fromus, as I've been unable to visit all year. I also wanted to become inspired to write poetry for the next publication, specifically responding to the Chairman's Challenge. Janey's kind invitation to accompany me was made knowing that I have a bit of a fear of cows, especially if they are being accompanied by a bull, as indeed the white cattle were — Horatio Harvey was in full sight, and very curious of us.
The reserve, like all the land around, was extremely dry. No rain here for months and months. The cows looked on hopefully when we arrived. Our pathway around them took us along the river and ditch to the Round Pond. However there was no pond, no river and no ditch water. We found only a small amount of water in the pond near the gate, which is under the shade of a number of Sloe and Crab Apple trees. These trees were abundant with fruit with evidence of cattle coming to the water to drink.
Despite the arid landscape there were some plants in flower — apart from rather a lot of Rag-wort, there were Teasel and Knapweed aplenty. Many insects were disturbed as we walked through the grass. Janey commented on how they were mostly in camouflage and this was true. One moth so pale and curled up on a blade, you really wouldn't know it was there. I later identified this as a Grass-veneer Moth. We also saw Crickets — clouds of them as we walked towards the Great Bank but, if undisturbed, they were impossible to spot in the grass.
We saw only one Dragonfly — a smallish red one, maybe Darter, and two butterflies. One a Speckled Wood, the other a dark butterfly with a line of blue spots on its upper wing. It was too quick to photo or identify any other features. A lone Buzzard stood in the cornfield adjacent and north of the round pond field. The cornfield had recently been cut, leaving exposed a variety of nourishing food for the young hunter.
I wanted to look at the Great Bank, and Janey wanted to stop and paint, so we enjoyed going our separate ways at the top gate, each to explore our imaginations in the special peace and silence of the far field. A hot, humid walk, but extremely memorable and pleasant, especially for me in sharing the stories and history of Francis Simpson with connections down the generations to our families. A special heartfelt thank you to Janey for your company.
16th August, 2022