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It was Stressful Wednesday, and I had been obsessing with the rolling news half the night (less than four hours’ sleep) and all day until lunchtime. It was gorgeous outside, and I hadn’t done my little there-and-back walk from my house for a very long time. I wondered if it was possible to distract myself for an hour or so.

It was. I can honestly say that I did not give the US presidential election a single thought all the time I was out.

Down to the end of my road,

through a small passageway to my left, up the lane to the main road where the prep school is situated, and back again. Views and details.

There were children, parents and a dog in the playground, to the left of this view.
Dog rose hips in among the ?privet.
Hogweed aka cow parsnip

I spent a few minutes trying to capture hedge reflections in the puddles at the side of the road. This is the only vaguely successful image.

So I raised my eyes to the lane ahead, and thought that they’d soon be flailing the hedges.

In theory there is a right of way up to Glastonbury Tor from this stile, but I’ve never seen anyone take it.
I’m always intrigued by this old tree. Has someone just put an old crate in its hollow trunk for stability, or has it some more interesting purpose? Sadly two other, much younger, trees have succumbed to the recent winds. And there is an apple trapped in the wire netting round the nearest tree!
Mixed feelings about convolvulus/bindweed, but here it’s pretty
Jackdaw in crabapple
Hooray. When last I passed by here, this right of way was completely overgrown and impassable. To be taken another time.
To my untutored eye none of the ash trees on this walk has yet been affected by ash die-back, but it’s a very serious threat in Somerset. The Somerset Wildlife Trust has asked people not even to visit four of its reserves in the east of the county, and at its online AGM this morning the CEO said that she thought that 90% of its woodland would be affected within 10 years.
Field maple supporting bryony fruit
Yup, ‘they’ have started trimming the hedges.
Still, it does mean that views like this are revealed.
An unprepossessing gate, softened by teasel.
Magpie in ash tree
I zoomed in to look at the top of the Tor. Quite a lot of people (and there were more on its sides).
Will the ponies be in the field?


I tried to catch a long-tailed tit on these twigs, but it flew off. But I thought I would include the picture as a sort of abstract – and found that, top left, I had indeed captured the long tail and a wing.
Good to see cars in the staff car park of the school,
and even better to hear the cries of small children playing, not, as they were in the spring and early summer, absent during this lockdown.
Will the Open Event happen?
Victorian postbox in the wall of the school at the junction with the main road. I wondered what a Priority postbox was, and found once I was home that it’s related to Covid testing – more info here.

Time to turn round.

The signs are presumably channelling parents as part of Covid-safe measures.

From now on, I was facing the low autumn sun.

Glastonbury Tor not zoomed. There are little human dots up there.
The sun highlights a flooded field – I am surprised there are not more, given the rainfall we have had recently – and some telephone wires.

I was intrigued by this very new fencing on either side of this track, which on first glance appeared to be creating two paths. A closer look made me realise that in fact it was protecting new hedging. I waited for the sheep to be ushered into the right-hand field, and for the ‘shepherd’ to come back to his van, to my left. From him I learned that in fact this was his project. Living in town, he owned nine acres, and was putting native hedging around the three fields, for the benefit of wildlife. 600 metres so far. Brilliant!

I stood and listened to these sheep tearing at the grass – quite soporific.
According to my Candide app, this is Hedge woundwort.
Common dogwood
It’s only 3pm, but shadows are long at this time of year.
For some reason, a toffee apple came to my mind as I looked at this tree.
I’m back at the bottom of my road again.
And the hornbeam in my own garden’s not bad!

I started this post early on Saturday afternoon. I broke off about three pictures ago to watch CNN, and caught the moment the result was announced. Stressful Wednesday was worth it!