Then can I walk beside you I have come here to lose the smog. And I feel to be a cog in something turning. Well, maybe it is just the time of year Or maybe it's the time of man. I don't know who I am. But you know, life is for learning We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves, back to the garden.... October 22, 1969 Written by Joni Mitchell, born November 7, 1943 and is a Canadian singer-songwriter.
On Tuesday morning I met up with Ana. It was a chilly, damp start to the day but it soon warmed up. Ana made the choice for us to walk to Cressing Church. After looking around the churchyard, we followed the road round until it met up with Boar’s Tye Road. The traffic here was beginning to pick up and we had to be careful crossing over. We carried on walking along Links Road to Perry Green before turning right on to Five Ashes Lane. We then took the footpath on the right, which went across the fields after I spotted a hare and started to film it. This footpath took us back to Silver End. The walk took in total 132 minutes and covered 5 miles (8.4 km)
As usual there was plenty to see and I had my camera ready. I’m finding my phone is okay for making short videos for my Instagram account, but not for recording or photographing the natural world.
The landscape around us has a dark beauty. As humans we don’t see the battle for survival that rages everyday as creatures and even plants fight for their lives, though the pandemic has brought this battle to our own front doors. For all of us whether we are birds, plants, animals or human we are aware our time on earth is short and nothing is permanent. In the past even being dead and buried didn’t mean you got to rest in peace. You can still see signs in your local graveyard where cages were put around the dead because of fears that corpses might be stolen or graves looted for personal belongings buried with loved ones. These were known as mort-safes. A metal cage in many shapes and form were added to make it difficult to dig up the grave.
The word Mort (from middle English derived from the Latin Mor or Mort) meaning death. Mort has been around since 1500’s and originally referred to the sound emitted from a hunting horn. The horn is sounded when the quarry is brought down and killed. It’s also where the word ‘Mortician’ comes from too.
A little about the plants I found on this walk.
The relationship between humans and the common hazel dates back to prehistoric times when it was used for all manner of things, many of these we still use it for today, from fence panels, hurdles, to basket-work. Panels of interwoven hazel rods were used in the building technique known as ‘wattle and daub’. The hazel panels or wattles, were placed between the wooden posts forming the frame of the house and then daubed with a mixture of mud and straw. The name “Hazel” is derived from ‘Haesel,’ an ancient Anglo-Saxon word for Hood, which describes the appearance of the nutshells. People have made hazelnut milk for years and also ground the nuts into flour to make hazelnut bread. They used twigs of the hazel to protect a house from thunder and lightning. Hazel has long been associated with fertility and childbirth too.
In 1871 this plant was introduced from Oregon, America and spread quickly becoming a weed of waysides and wastelands. It gets its name from the smell of its leaves when crushed. The flowers and leaves are a tasty finger food while walking, or can be tossed in salads. As with chamomile, pineapple weed makes a great herbal tea too.
This plant grows along the ditches and water ways. The name is a corruption of its Anglo-Saxon’s name medesweete given because it was once used to flavour mead. In the medieval times householders strewed this plant among the rushes that covered their floor because of its sweet scent. It was once used to treat fevers, blood disorders, high blood pressure and diabetes.
I hope you enjoy watching my video.