Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Knapp and Papermill Nature Reserve

The Knapp and Papermill is a nature reserve owned by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and I walked around it a few days ago. The visitor centre had an interesting notice board upon which visitors and the Warden could note down the wildlife that had recently been seen on the reserve. What inspired me though was what may have been quite mundane to many people but which, to me, was a beautiful work of nature and creation.

The reserve has an old apple orchard which you approach as you walk down to the stream from the entrance. The huge old apple trees are on a gentle hillside bordered by the river and trees at the bottom and woodland on the other sides, forming a small enclosed orchard in a small valley. I love meadowsweet, but here were clouds of the beautiful cream flowers, red stems and almost turquoise leaves carpeting the orchard. There were also docks, greater willowherb, umbellifers (may have just been Cow Parsley), convolvulous, tall grasses and brambles all intertwining over each other between the trees. There was a beautiful assemblage of creams, greens and pale browns. Occasional white butterflies speckled and danced in the dappled sunlight. The stream murmured in the background, the air was still, very warm and it was mainly sunny. The tall apple trees towered upwards, already laden with small fruits and their high canopies umbrellering outwards. The grasses gently swayed in the breeze and mistletoe clung to many trees.

Why describe it? A lesson in observation. It was a beautiful place, an ideal place to be after a long walk in hot sunshine over the nearby Suckley Hills. Sometimes a place just reaches out to me and almost asks me to join with it in appreciating creation.

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