We walked along the woods by the stream too dense to walk into. Animal tracks run under or over obstacles of fallen trees or bramble tangles steep above the stream. Dangerous for human walkers.
The days of sun, heat and no rain have crisped the heathland brown. Orchids stand like ornate daggers plunged deep into the thin grass, gradually shrinking back into the earth.
Poppies have appeared through the wheat, springing up and opening like bright wounds in the tender green, and great swathes, where the sangliers have trampled lying like dry ponds amid the yellowing waves.
The air shrills with insect song, and the birds struggling to pretend it is still spring. Pheasants crow, enjoying the heat. Already we sense the company of hounds, padding silently, ears pricked at the strangeness of it all.
Through all this ripening
this fruitful fecundity
of blossoming and littering
we watch from the shade
exulting in the richness
of the broad green world.