Dear Readers, it was extremely quiet in the cemetery today. I’m guessing that lots of people are away, what with it being the August Bank Holiday and all, but it meant that I spotted two handsome foxes (though they dashed away too quickly for me to get a photograph), and also saw two buzzards circling overhead, mewing to one another. I expected the crows to rise up in umbrage, but they didn’t for once – maybe they’re all on holiday too.
Some Japanese anemones are just coming into flower in the woodland grave area, along with some most unlikely-looking plants – they remind me of one of my house plants. Let’s hope they survive.
Look at the swamp cypress, people! I am waiting for the first hints of rust to appear. There is a definite increase in tempo this week, with the coal tits and blue tits cheeping and the robins starting to announce their winter territories. I love autumn though, it’s probably my favourite season – there is strangely more of a sense of possibility and new beginnings for me at this time of year than in the spring. Maybe it’s all those years of education, when the school year started in September, but it’s always been pivotal for me – I got married in September, as did my mother and father, and I started my most recent job in September too.
Anyhow, I’m starting to see a lot of wasps drifting about. I wonder what this one was after on this conifer? Maybe there’s something sweet and resinous being produced.
The Cedars of Lebanon are looking particularly magnificent, and several of them are producing their female flowers, which will be shedding pollen and irritating the noses of hay fever sufferers for the next few months.
The conkers are filling out nicely, and there are plenty of berries on the holly.
And here’s a holly-blue butterfly, sunning itself. This one is a female (you can tell by the black edges to the wings).
I always stop and give the Tibetan Cherry trunk a little rub as well, to keep it nice and shiny.
There is a definite meadow-ish feel to some parts of the cemetery at the moment – the gardeners are out with their strimmers and, I regret to say, their leaf-blowers, but it’s been such a wet summer that everything is springing up as fast as it’s trimmed. Some grave-visitors have taken to bringing in their own strimmers. Still, I thought I’d try to take a couple of grasshopper-eye views of the plants while they’re still around.
Other notables today were the hedgerow geranium, with its intensely mauve flowers..
…the common toadflax…
…the bristly oxtongue…
…and the Japanese Knotweed in full flower. Just as well it doesn’t spread by seed in this country, there’s quite enough of it in the cemetery as it is.
And in other signs of autumn, there’s the tarspot fungus in all its glory on the sycamore leaves…
and the hogweed seeds, which are rather pretty close up. I’m sure someone on Masterchef actually used these in a dish recently, I shall have to check (though the umbellifers are a tricky family with several, such as hemlock, being extremely poisonous).
And finally, it’s funny what you don’t notice, until you do. I walk this way every week, but never saw that the ivy had covered a whole row of graves just by one of the woodier parts of the cemetery. It’s amazing the way that ivy just reclaims things. Was this part of the cemetery once pristine and neat, I wonder? I know that I prefer it the way it is now. Although a lot of the wilder parts of the cemetery are being dug over for new graves, I imagine that there will always be older parts where it’s just not economical to cut down the trees. I hope so, anyway.
Your cemeteries are so very different from ours. Here they are situated on the fringes of towns. Very few trees are planted and the paths between graves usually remain dirt – mainly because of the general lack of water. Those in larger towns might have grassy areas and trees around the perimeter. None would be considered – or are suitable – as the kind of walking areas you regularly show yours to be.
I’m always fascinated by the different styles of cemetery in different countries. In Madagascar they have tombs painted with scenes from the dead person’s life. There was a big karate craze in the country in the 70s and 80s, so you have many scenes of people making gravity-defying leaps and kicks.