A Year in the Woods: May 2021

I know that May is supposed to be the beginning of summer but to me it is the pinnacle of spring. This is the month where the trees don their gowns of blossom to dance with the breeze and the meadows fill with flowers. It is the month of bees, birdsong, and the bright joy of having made it through the winter and into the latest flourishment of the world.

The sun rushes to rise each morning, moving us swiftly towards the longest day, and the birds sing more brilliantly with each dawn. Their fledglings start to appear in the hedges (and on the garden bird feeders) and the young of the other denizens of the wood grow bold as swiftly as they grow bigger. Everywhere is lush and green and full of promise and the hope rises in my blood as the sap rises in the trees.

Even this May, with so much rain and the lack of warmth, has not failed to raise my spirits and rouse my will to wander. So here are my photographic offerings for the month, in roughly the order they appear on my favoured route through the wood:

  • Woodland Stream
  • Yellow Archangel patch
  • Yellow Archangel and Bluebells
  • Bugleweed flowering (dusky blue flowers in tiers up a tall dark navy stalk)
  • Close up White Deadnettle
  • Close up of Pontic Rhododendron flower
  • Rhododendron Patch
  • Close up of Horse Chestnut Candle
  • Close up of cow parsley
  • A fallen tree makes a door way with two other trees over the path that leads into the glade of wild garlic.
  • Middle of Wild Garlic Glade
  • Close up of Wild Garlic Flowers
  • West side of Wild Garlic Glade
  • Chicken of the Woods fungus
  • Elderflowers
  • Vivid pink Judas tree blossoms
  • Close up of bright yellow buttercup
  • Hawthorn Blossoms
  • Close up of Wild Mustard Flower
  • Wood Aven
  • More Hawthorn Blossoms
  • Milkweed
  • Close up of Wild Radish Flower

And, as usual, I have videos too, all taken just after dawn at some point in the month and again in the order I come upon them as I walk:

The stream that flows into the mill pond
The mill pond
The lowest part of the wood with wild garlic and birdsong
The highest point of the wood with birdsong
Swathes of cow parsley on the southern edge of the wood
The Wild Garlic glade in full bloom

Sadly I have neither photos nor videos of the ducklings, young rabbits, foxes and badgers which I have glimpsed at various points in the month. Their parents are just too wary and alert and the little ones too fast to respond for me to do much more than revel in the glimpses I do get. I’m grateful for those snatched moments despite not being able to share them with you.

I also wish that smell-o-vision were a thing as if I were able to share the scent of the woods, as well as the sights and sounds, that last video would have cleared your sinuses marvellously!


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