Few people, even in the UK, know about the beauties of the English Border County of Shropshire; I feel privileged to live here and have decided to sing its praises in these pages. South Shropshire is a particularly quiet, very rural part of the world, far from busy crowds and the hustle and bustle of modern cities. The Shropshire Hills have been granted the status of AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) as well as Area of Tranquility.
Today I shall take you on a walk starting from my doorstep, it doesn't take me two minutes to get out into the fields. Although this is mainly sheep farming country there are also a few arable fields.
At this time of year hedgerows, meadows and pastures are bursting with wild flowers, there isn't a path or lane whose edges are not embroidered with frothy Queen Anne's Lace, also known as cow parsley;
Here and there patches of stitchwort insist on putting the cow parsley in its place and show off their white stars.
White and yellow are the dominant colours at the moment. A field of buttercups is a wondrous sight, particularly when interspersed with the red seedheads of grasses.
At this time of year rape fields predominate, the colour is almost fluorescent seen from a distance.. On a sunny day the smell is quite overpowering, not very pleasant.
Even our narrow tarmac-ed lanes are edged with flowers. Here we have golden spurge, Welsh poppies and wallflowers. There are also ladies' mantle and purple columbines, all of them self-sown. Once you have them, they will quickly spread
Whenever I leave the house or return to it, this is the first sight I see: the castle ruins. We have a gate leading directly into the castle meadow and Benno regards the castle grounds as an extension to his garden.
Hawthorn, or thorn apple, is used extensively as a hedging shrub or tree round here; the flowers are fully out now, framing fields and country roads in billowing white clouds. I like the sweet smell of hawthorn,
so I snapped off a few twigs to take home and put them in a vase. They won't last long, but I find them no less beautiful for being ephemeral.
My walk today says hello to the people at That's My World who all show off places and photos they are particularly proud of and which they want to share with others.