Young swallows in chattering groups on the telephone wires. The barley field cut and golden, gleaned by the rooks that give the farm its name. Dragonflies like gleaming biplanes skimming the pools in the rutted track. Fat brown velvet bulrushes in the shallows at the pond margin. The common tern chicks are nearly as big as their parents - though they still beg for wriggling silver fish - and have exchanged their speckled down for mottled brown-grey feathers and rakish charcoal caps above white foreheads. Blackberries swelling in the hedgerows.
Summer reaches its zenith and turns towards autumn.
A field of ripe barley. You can tell it's barley and not wheat (the other big cereal crop in East Anglia) because it has long whiskers. John Barleycorn had a beard, remember. This will probably be destined to be turned into malt and thence into beer.
Close-up of barley showing the whiskers.
"....fireweed seeding into fluffy ashes...."
--JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring.
Otherwise known as rosebay willowherb. Here's what it looks like before the seeds form. It's quick to colonise waste ground, hence the name "fireweed" because it's among the first plants to spring up after a fire.
Bulrush. The flower has this smooth velvet appearance when it first forms. During the autumn it will fall apart like a motheaten cushion to release thousands and thousands of fluffy seeds. Trivia note of the week: apparently this plant used to be called reedmace, and became known as 'bulrush' because of an erroneously named but popular painting.