Long live the hedgerow!
Driving back from West Wales today, through the long and winding country lanes, reminded me of my school day rambles.
The sudden burst of flowers, with colours to send an artist running for his brushes, vied for the suns attention and its warmth.
Wild fennel and parsley mixed in with the dog daisies and foxgloves, honeysuckle and elderflower, sent a heady mix of aromas through my car window. I slowed the pace right down, wanting the moment to last; wanting to remember the images of my childhood once again.
My father called the hedges mini nature reserves, which they are, in their own right. This vibrant ecosystem is home to insects, field mice, butterflies and birds. Slowworms hide in the tall grass and hedgehogs hibernate there when there is nowhere else to go.
Birds nest in the brambles, embroidered around the dead wood which is home to invertebrates and food for the bats. The great crested newts scurry through the stems upon which you will find the stag beetle and the scorpion fly.
As a child I imagined fairies living in the granny’s bonnets and could never understand how some people say they resemble an eagle’s claw. And the bees that buzz up inside them, a perfect setting for a child’s imagination. It’s no wonder I grew up the way I did.
And let us not forget the road on which I travelled, the same road that was once a dirt track winding its way between these hedgerows and used by our ancestors down through the years.
Oh if only hedges could talk! But then again they don’t need too; it is all there for everyone to see, hear, feel, taste, and touch. It is a world within a world, a commune of creatures and plants all depending on this natural habitat in order to survive. Long live the hedges!