Happy Independence Day American cousins: we had a different sort of emancipation going on here today :-)
We walk the hill from crest to trough, then swing left to follow the fertile edges of the drainage ditch. Along here stands a cluster of elder trees. In the summer the trees flower behind a thicket of weeds that grows over boggy ground, weeds that sting, scratch, wrap around limbs.
Mr frowns like Ahab at those foam white blossoms.
Sometimes the boggish earth will swallow your legs, even before the greenery bites.
It's my folly to strike out first, wedging each wellied foot into rootballs of reed. No machete: though we carry a hook pole in a harpoonish manner: a pair of craft scissors snips out the worst of the thorn attackers. We use the pole to slide ourselves off the drainage bank, and sneak along the water path till we can climb up right inside the elusive bounty.
Three carrier bags of blossom carried up the hill, from trough to crest, triumphant.