The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.
This particular Golden Valley is in Herefordshire, right on the Welsh borders. The name comes from the river Dore ( from the Welsh dwr meaning water) but the Norman invaders interpreted it as d'or and the name stuck. Personally I think the Welsh had it right. This was a very wet and muddy valley indeed.
The day started misty but with a promise of clear skies to follow so we parked the car at Peterchurch, popped into the local shops for emergency lunch supplies, ( it was further away than we'd anticipated) and headed off to see what we could find....
Although it has been a poor year for us for garden fruit the hedgerows in this part of England were loaded with berries
Wild Clematis winds its way through a hawthorn tree. A messy plant for most of the summer it is generous with its fruit in the autumn.
The dog roses of early summer have given way to the scarlet hips.
This of course is blackthorn with few sloes. They are much fewer this year and as we still have sloe gin from last year's bountiful crop we don't need to gather any this year.
Finally hawthorn. The trees are laden with berries this year. They make good jelly to eat with game I'm told. I have yet to try.
Being October and a wet one at that I was hoping for a good display of fungi but I was to be disappointed. This was the only specimen I actually saw. Still hoping to find the classic red and white spotted toadstool (Amanita Muscaria)....
And finally a few shots of the church in Peterschurch. A lovely old Norman church with some of the original Saxon stone work visible, externally it has been defaced with a huge fibre glass spire.
The interior has also been brutally modernised to allow it to be used as a general village hall, cafe and library as well as a church.
The fabulous original Saxon altar inscribed with 5 crude crosses sits incongruously amongst this modernity.
It has the Norman font to keep it company but otherwise the whole impression is of a church hall with the blond wood storage cabinets, the stackable aluminium chairs and even a lift to the library in the bell tower.