|Illustration by Hilary Jean Gibson – Visit her website for more beautiful paintings|
I just love the ‘free food’ available here in England. There is something so special about being able to visit the woodlands and pick natures fruits! You must understand that these are things we have only ever read about in books written my English authors. In South Africa there are not wild blue berry bushes, blackberry brambles etc for us to glean from. Woodlands and hedgerows are quintessentially English and have fed the people for hundreds of years.
If you read up on hedgerows, it is just fascinating the art that goes into creating and maintaining them, the amount of food the provided for the wildlife and human life, and the host of small critters that make their homes in their leafy rows.
When a friend told us of the ripe blueberries in a woodland nearby, we couldn’t resist a trip in mid-July to fill our baskets.
As we picked our blueberries, some ponies wondered by and stopped to watch us for a while – much to the delight of the girls. I wonder if they too were coming for the fruits offered up by the woodland? As you can see they had no riders, they seemed to be roaming free. Are there any wild ponies in the English Midlands? Hmmmm.
Of course, one of the most heart stopping things that always stops me in my tracks are the sweeping views where every you are in the countryside! I am constantly just over awed by the beauty of this country!
Once home, we washed our berries, used some to make fresh blueberry muffins – which were delicious! And managed to put enough in the freezer for two more muffin batches – which we shall reserve for deep winter ;o)