Connecting with nature via the barley beautiful...
It's not fancy nature - it's not rare, it's not even wild - but one of the most awesome things about where I live are the fields of barley. I love it!
Walk through a field of barley and you can really connect with the natural world and take some time to come to that quiet inner place in yourself...
I love that amazing, lime-green colour and the little red tips on the ends of the fronds - the way the colour gradually changes from fresh green to a pale gold over the summer.
I love to walk and touch the barley when it's this colour - splay out my fingers and let my fingertips drift softly through the slightly sticky fronds as I walk.
My greyhound also adored to walk through barley with the fronds tickling his sides - oh, to immerse yourself in life like a dog!
Swifts and swallows swoop and glide, catching flies that buzz just above the surface of the barley - and the skies high above are filled with the trilling song of the skylark.
When it's windy, the barley turns into a heaving ocean - fantastic to watch the surface of the field dip, twist, and rear up, and to hear the wind rushing through the stems.
As it ripens and dries, the barley turns to pale gold and crackles and cracks...
It means it's time to harvest - and then we get to walk through the tossed stems as they dry on the field, then are bound up into huge bales which appear suddenly in the field, like sentinels standing watch.
Then the field is spiky, stubbly, and cracks as you walk through, snapping at your ankles with each step.
A whole season's worth of awesomeness from a field of barley - and a connection to nature and the seasons of life.
Taking time to stop and absorb the sights, sounds, and even the touch of the world around us allows us to feel more connected with our world, and in turn more connected with our own inner self.
It's also the way that artists notice the world around them...