Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire Lime-green bunches clustered heavy on each branch, spinning down with the equinoctial gales or hanging as grim, dry, umber swags

Even before the first frost, ash trees along the Teifi gorge are taking on the pale autumn tints that are prelude to their fall. The river here roils darkly down to salt-marshes round Cardigan, its depths brown and turbid with slurry run-off, tide-lines blanched by agrochemical pollutant along each bank, dippers and wagtails gone, birds silent in the woods, the life departed. Salmon, sewin (sea trout) and brown trout, which once drew anglers and coracle-fishers to this place, raise scarcely a ripple now on the smooth and dying flow.

I’ve come to look for ash-keys, which vary so much from year to year. I think back to my childhood, when bright lime-green bunches clustered heavy on each branch, spinning down with the equinoctial gales or hanging as grim, dry, umber swags throughout the winter until late black buds of spring opened into leaf to hide them from view.

Continue reading…
Source: Guardian Environment