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A Midsummer’s Wind

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary Sunday, 22nd June 2008

AS SO OFTEN happens on the weekend of Horbury Street Fair, the midsummer weather is less than ideal: rain yesterday and today record winds for June with gusts up to 50 mph.


It’s like a green version of autumn, with leaves stripped from the trees and boughs torn off in the restless wind. Despite the wild afternoon, there’s a good turn out for the Ramblers’ Association circular walk I’m leading from St Peters Church, Horbury, to Ossett Spa via Lupset. There’s a lot of green space tucked away in this area, which you normally see only when you’re driving along the M1 motorway which cuts between the communities, north to south. There was shelter from the wind thanks to copses of trees planted on the hillside at Lupset. Some of the strongest winds we encountered were down at the foot of the ridge, as we made our way along Queens Drive under the motorway. It was like a wind tunnel under the concrete bridge.


This walk features in my booklet of Walks Around Horbury. One of the ramblers has walked all but one of the walks in the booklet:


‘We got lost only once, crossing the park,’ she tells me cheerfully, ‘but it was our fault, we went in at the wrong entrance, nothing to do with book!’


I guess that’s kind of reassuring.


*Actually at the moment they’re helicopter flower buds. The botanical term for the helicopter seeds is a dichasial cyme. The cyme is a type of flower-head and dichasial refers to its arrangement.


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The heart-shaped leaves of a lime with helicopter fruits*.

This honey fungus was growing close to an ash stump.