As autumn suddenly arrived last week bringing fog, rain, chill winds and giant house spiders, I reflected on one of the best summers in recent years. The sun shone on May’s bank holidays, a heat wave followed in July, and my winter coat and boots were kept in the wardrobe from early June to late August.
This summer I also rediscovered my own country with two visits to beautiful Hereford, the hometown of my boyfriend John. Herefordshire and The Wye Valley are sometimes called ‘the undiscovered country’ with scenic rural views of quiet farms, wooded hills, and tranquil rivers. The historic cathedral city of Hereford is peaceful and picturesque and provides pleasant walks along the River Wye. ‘Herefordshire Cathedral,’ John told me ‘is home to the 13th Century Mappa Mundi – the largest medieval map of the world.’
We were lucky with the weather in May and had sunny days to explore the English countryside.
John grew up on a beautiful farm in Hereford and in late August we enjoyed the warm days of harvest, walking through fields of maize corn and picking ripe plums from trees.
Wherever I go bees are never far! A walk through Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum revealed a ‘Bees in the trees trail’ that we tried to follow…
While a visit to a country fair and falconry display at Oakchurch unexpectedly fulfilled a life-long dream… an encounter with my favourite bird – the owl! John captured all the action.
The last days of summer passed almost unnoticed as we walked The Rhea, spied on sheep and herded cattle.
And as we drove back to London, the first day of autumn ended with a spectacular sunset.
Next week: autumn bees, mushrooms and raspberry cake at the apiary (although you may first read a preview on Emily’s blog!)