First of June now, and shading from Spring into Summer. Today we went on our regular ‘Shining Shore’ walk, six weeks since we last did it, and the first time we remember walking it in June.
And we found luxuriant change has happened in these six weeks. Hedges are fuller and lanes are narrower, as everything reaches towards the peak of its growth. Everything, that is, except the early spring likes of the bluebells which have now died back from their flowers and produced their seed pods ready for next year.
Next we turn downhill into The Dungeon. This is a wooded ravine, formed 250 million years ago in the triassic age, the first age of the dinosaurs. The light dips sharply and I have to change the exposure on my camera from the sunny lanes we’ve walked along so far. Because here in the woody ravine we are approaching Canopy Closure. The time of the year when the trees will reach full leaf, and the highest leaves will form a dense canopy over the whole ravine.
Here we stop for lunch, in the same place as we did six weeks ago. Then it was a sunny hillside with bluebells appearing around us. Now it’s a dappled glade filling up with ferns and grasses, plants that thrive in the shade, unlike the early Spring bluebells and snowdrops.
And next, we’re down on to the Shining Shore itself. Which gets me thinking about the ‘Queen’, this being her jubilee week-end and all that, here in Britain. As you’ll know if you’ve read my stuff for any amount of time, I despise the ‘royal’ family and all they stand for. I strongly object to being formally a ‘subject’ of someone who ‘rules over’ me. However gently it’s done, it’s done – and I would have done with it. And it’s not merely because we’re paying for that lot to all live off our backs you know? It’s the principal of the thing. If someone is in a position of power over my city or country I demand a choice in who they are. It’s called democracy and it matters deeply to me.
But anyway. Why have I gone into this particular ‘royal’ family rant now, I hear you wonder? Well because we’re about to walk onto a piece of their land. Yes, the Crown Estate owns much of Britain’s coastline and all of its sea beds. And we’re about to take some of their stuff, I’m delighted to tell you.