Its Thursday and I finally got into the Glen on a bright morning, it’s been some time coming, busyness presses in from all sides and it was Sunday when I last set foot in the Glen. So this posting is a bit of a mishmash crossing the weekend from Thursday to Thursday. The council gates were closing last Thursday as I passed, machines in motion regulating some sort of flow and screening off, squaring up the view into the depot.
Before the mechanical gate there is the pedestrian gate in the hedge, here closed, unlocked, useful only when the road gates are locked after office hours and unlocked and locked up by the dwellers of Sunview East at daybreak and nightfall.
Always a little puzzled by the long lobed leaf I find the hawthorn at the entrance is a Cockspur Hawthorn – Crataegus crus-galli – now bearing its ripe “hog apples” so much more apply plump than the regular hawthorn and beloved by robins and other small birds. I came looking for conkers and made my way to the horse chestnut on the other side. It shares a shady grove with the Y tree, a sycamore, which will feature as a clue in the bookmaking treasure hunt; the conkers are for pendants to initiate participants into the bookmaking ceremony and will also serve as clue-finding tokens. At ground level here are sheltering life forms in the leaf litter everywhere, the rich brown smelling of Samhain, fungus, decay and release. I rest a handful of hawthorn berries on the pedestal, I wonder will these crush to make a colour that will satisfy the curious in their inking endeavours in their bookmaking, for now they are jewels and bloodform droplets. Wednesday I had been talking to Bec about invasive species, in Tasmania the weeping willow is torn out and here we grapple with the Japanese knotweed, so pretty with its heart shaped seed heads and so resilient, we are not supposed to break off even a tiny part lest it get a grip in another spot elsewhere. The spiky sweet chestnuts I gather too, for decorations, and a trick flipside to the apple treats we will be dangling from the bridges… both provocations inviting response. I find only one chestnut shell with a plump and edible core, in the main they are for the birds. The dead elms throws their witchy arms to the blue sky and appear to be conjuring the other foliage, still green on the trees and hanging in, late this autumn. A solitary cola can leaves its wake in the pond, I feel this as an image for our next clean up on the 31st. The oak waves a goodbye fas I wander home, throwing her colours to the sky one last time before they fall.
There are Samhain colours in the river, reflections from the blazing orange of the dying bracken and the deep blue morning sky