Sunday October 4th 1998, Calder valley near Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Three or four Mistle Thrushes make their dry, rattley, calls in willows between the canal and river. Soon we'll be expecting migrant thrushes to arrive, the Fieldfares and Redwings from Scandinavia.
It is a good year for hawthorn berries the canal-side hedges are awash with crimson.
Around 30 wasps are feasting on the ivy flowers on the causey stone path hedge.
Fly Agaric, under birch, and Lawyer's Wig, on a grassy patch have appeared since the rain.
Eighteen little tomato plants are growing on the canal bank around a manhole cover where sewage spills out during storms. I was once told that the tomatoes that grew on sewage works' filter beds were the best tasting of all.
By a patch of Red Campion, still in flower, an orb spider gives up her prey, a fly, to a smaller spider - perhaps the male hanging around by her web. Both were rather elongated in the body with two greenish stripes on the abdomen, the female about a centimetre long in the body.
In the wood we meet Pebbles the Shetland pony who is not a great deal bigger than some of the hounds we meet.
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