September 6, 2010

a rather beautiful part of the herd of Aberdeen Angus on the Firehills at Fairlight .

. . very long fringe . . . and the rest of the cast  . . . they graze a semi -natural grassland managed to encourage clover for the bumble and long horned bee colonies . . .

. . the elder berries in the hedgerows look sumptuous in late summer . . .

 . .  looking west to Hastings the slithers of liquorice black seaweed are obvious –  laid out on the shore by the waves . . .

 . . from Sue’s seat  the view is wonderful . . .

 . . . across the glens –  Warren, Ecclestone and Fairlight –  where ferns grow in the valleys of sandstone rock carved by the trickling streams on their way to the sea. The name Fairlight comes from Fernlye meaning the place of bracken, or it could have come from Pharos Light the Roman for lighthouse. Anyway, it seems that the locals call the place Firehills due to the number of gorse fires that happen in full summer. It’s a gorse and tree covered glen landscape with cliffs tumbling down to the shore. Once upon a time 70 Martello towers, 66 churches, 40 windmills, 5 castles and 3 bays could be seen from here!  To the east, Dungeness and Folkestone beyond and to the east,  Beachy Head and, maybe France to the south . . . the gentle humming of the mast . . .

. . . and the lines of the footpaths through the vegetation . . .

Exultation is the going

Of an inland soul to sea,

Past the houses — past the headlands —

Into deep Eternity —

Bred as we, among the mountains,

Can the sailor understand

The divine intoxication

Of the first league out from land?   Emily Dickinson


 . . and post script to the graffiti pantomime – everyone loves Banksy now  . . .

You are no more, but sunken in a sea
Sheer into dream, ten thousand leagues, you fell;
And now you lie green-golden, while a bell
Swings with the tide, my heart: and all is well
Till I look down, and wavering, the spell–
Your loveliness–returns. There in the sea,
Where you lie amber-pale and coral-cool,
You are most loved, most lost, most beautiful.

Genevieve Taggard

3 Responses to “firehills”

  1. Cloudier Says:

    Beautiful shaggy ginger hair and careless fringes those Aberdeen Angus have.

    ‘Once upon a time 70 Martello towers, 66 churches, 40 windmills, 5 castles and 3 bays could be seen from here!’ – Incredible!

    Graffiti thank-you notes are unusual…

  2. Kathryn Says:

    Beautiful smattering of purple elderberries against all that green. It has been very hot here in the midwest of the U.S., and I’m more than ready than fall, but the elderberry photo made me think I’ll still miss summer.

  3. julia fogg Says:

    I went back agin this weekend Kathryn, and found blackberries – a very long and juicy season this year – and also sloes in the hedgerows. Peolpe picking away avidly!

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