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#2 - Jamal Khashoggi case

Country Diary Est. 1906, Wenlock Edge : Shropshire

Par Paul Evans - 1 mn

Out 057 268

On the brightest of days, the road into autumn is a frenetic gyratory for wasps, bees and hoverflies around outcrops of ivy. The yellows and browns of their bodies are the colours of changing leaves, the blur of their wings is mist over rivers, the sound of their flight is of the last crazy dance of the year fuelled by an intoxicant that makes them invulnerable.
Whether the insects sense that this is the last of the fine weather, they are joining the dots between ivy flowers that open in the final fling of warm sunshine. Arranged in five or more umbels on each stem, there are 20 or so flowers in each. The individual flower is a green knob enclosed by five sepals that roll back to cup an inner orb. Between the sepals, five yellow stamens spring out above the central stigma, and the orb is sticky with nectar.

I put a flowering umbel in my mouth and it has a strange, sweet, musty taste. Many insects must have visited those flowers, and I can only imagine how powerful their sweetness ...