15th August (1917)

A portion of every day seems at this season to be wet.  A shower is followed by an hour’s sunshine and the cloud effects are magnificent.  In travelling about England I have been surprised to find a great deal of standing timber.  There may be a few large forests, but every field in the clean counties is dotted with trees.  They are now one heavy mass of verdure and I am hoping to see them in autumn.

8.30. p.m.  Walked through the pretty hillside village of Ewshot from which the camp gets its name, and on about 3 miles further along a ridge, through magnificent vistas of oaks, beeches and pines, interspersed with mountain ashes which are a mass of bright scarlet berries, a lovely sight and quite antipodean; like some Australian flower.

In the meadows, which are the richest green contrasting with the brown and yellow harvest-fields, are plenty of purple heather and penny-royal.  All the ways are thick with stinging nettles which give us gyp when we touch them.  Many cottages are covered with ivy, or viginian creeper, looking olden and homey.  In places we saw plantations of young larches.  Too late for a beer as the pubs here close at 9, but consoled by finding unusually large, speckly and deliberate toad crawling across the road.  I lit a match to see him better and stroked his horny back – he disdained to croak – do toads croak?  Got back to find many men in receipt of N.Z. letters, but none for poor me.  Eheu! Helas! Ai! Ai! Waly! Waly! Miserere! Wae’s me!  What can have happened to them?

[Lincoln Lee, sketch of heather, Ewshot, 1917]

Lincoln Lee - Ewshot heather (August 1917)

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