Plus ca change…

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Some things are timeless: swans at the Bird Sanctuary at Minsmere

Change can be good or it can be frightening. Change can be stimulating or depressing. Sometimes we expect to find changes and are surprised, pleasantly or otherwise, when we don’t.

I went for a walk this last weekend. Five years ago, give or take a day I made the same walk, around Dunwich Heath on the Suffolk coast. The repeat was aimed to discern if the fabulous fungi we saw that day still existed.

Down the years I’ve seen some spectacular fungi, not least in the student flats I inhabited. But that late September day in 2010 provided me with some glorious images.

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Those pictures stayed with me and when one appeared in a Timehop of five years ago last week I wondered: will their ancestral spores still survive to today? Well time to go and find out.

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The old sea defences near the Coastguard’s cottage

We left the car at the National Trust car park by the Dunwich Coastguard cottages and headed north across the heath. The heather is past its best and the gorse flowers almost gone. Blackberries, usually in profusion, are late this year, if the sour tasting berries I sampled are anything to go by.

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My trusty companion, between sniffs

But lots of people were enjoying the late summer sunshine, a hang glider swooped impossibly close above our heads and Dog’s nose did many a twitch enjoying the novelty of fresh air and nature of which he is normally deprived within his urban routine.

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The Leiston Abbey Chapel, a ruin in the middle of nowhere. No signs today from whence its congregation came.

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some hardy stock enjoying the warmth

The soil is poor, the countryside sparse of population and the skies, for England, monumental.

So it was that we finally turned left onto the path that, those few years ago contained the fungoid jewels. In my memory the day felt very similar, the path an easy sandy track, the trees mostly birch, in clumps amongst the heather.

I’ve never minded change – I’ve changed over time: physically not necessarily for the better – I lack a head of hair but I can grow a decent beard in less time than it takes man to travel to Mars these days, or circumnavigate the M25 which is much the same; emotionally I am more robust except when watching sport; financially, I don’t trust to luck quite as much as I did; socially I’m still a mix of the adept and inept.

But the natural world’s changes tend to focus on what is no longer there – birds and butterflies of my youth; green spaces reinvented as urban incursions; roads where previously access was impossible; a lot more people where before solitude was a given not the exception; a climate that no longer gives us the cleansing of harsh winters and the excitement of snow.

For once, nature had maintained her poise and dignity.

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The orange is fiery

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This purple joy tuns a raspberry as the fungi decays

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These are so spectacular it was difficult not to capture only these

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twins!

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easily the best skirt…

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… and as wide as my hand span

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truly it looks like a sweet but I’m pretty sure it is poisonous

I took a shadow selfie to celebrate

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me!

I will leave you with my favourite, that captures both the glory of nature and the smut that informs my humour…

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How to explain this?

Some things, I’m glad to report, do not change.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in miscellany, suffolk, walking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Plus ca change…

  1. Jools says:

    I’ve swept past (as fast as one can, gridlocked behind a chain of caravans) on many occasions, en route to Blythburgh and beyond. Your pictures are glorious; your fungi very, very toxic. Definitely ‘look but don’t touch’ territory. Priceless, that last pic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anabel Marsh says:

    I find fungi fascinating in their variety – you’re about the third or fourth blogger I’ve read recently who shares that. Funnily enough, we have pictures of the phallic variety too. Though I’m not sure I’ve actually posted them……

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ali Isaac says:

    What a wonderful post, Geoff! And that last image and line made me Laugh. Out. Loud. Really did! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Geoff, these are cool photos right to the end!
    and yes the red ones are poisonous unless handled correctly and hallucinogenic – fly agaric.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. noelleg44 says:

    Spectacular fungi!! Are any of them edible? They’d make an incredible meal.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. beautiful images – and something about those magic mushrooms!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. julitownsend says:

    I love those white spotted red ones. I don’t think they are found in Australia – I’ve certainly never seen one here. They are the stuff of fairy tales.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Last weekend we stopped and took pictures of all the different kinds of mushroom we saw. There were so many in a small area. Unbelievable. I totally believe you posted that last one, though. Otherwise I might think I was reading the wrong blog. Oh, I LOVE the toadstools! They are fairy houses. (Thank you, Gordon, for raining on my little fairy parade.) πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Norah says:

    Beautiful fungi photos, dare I say, by a fun guy!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Autism Mom says:

    Such interesting mushrooms! I am astonished at the bright, beautiful colors. I am glad they were still there for you when you looked again.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. willowdot21 says:

    Spectacular photos and nothing really changes….. does it ?

    Like

  12. Charli Mills says:

    What a wonderfully reflective walk. I was holding my breath to find out if the fungi spawned more spores — and they did! Those horses, what are they? The look like cave painting come to life with their thickly arched necks!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Helen Jones says:

    Gorgeous! Love the photos, and the fact that they remained πŸ™‚ And the final image made me laugh…

    Liked by 1 person

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