Towards the end of summer, from late August on, hedgerows grow weary. Leaves hang limp and dusty from sycamore trees; grass wilts, pales and yellows; the air hangs heavy. Everything longs for the freshening winds of autumn, for showers and release.
It's generally a time of excitement. We'll miss the old but welcome the new.
It's the middle of June - and summer is already tired, even before it's properly begun.
Buddleia stutters open
from thin buds.
is small and weak and falls over easily if knocked.
Sloes seem to have stopped swelling
and haws are reddening before they have got to any size.
It seems rainlessness has propelled the season forward and some plants are suffering for it
. . . but blackberry blossom reminds us autumn is a long way off because little of it has yet opened.
Gorse is gorse.
It flowers all year and smells of coconuts when the weather is hot. There are always seed pods. When the sun comes out they pop - you can hear them. It burns easily too. Its volatility may make us extra glad for late rain. Meanwhile, it's a good symbol for autumn in the middle of summer.