Past their best

A beautiful day! We’re wandering around Benthall Hall and Edge – it’s warm and sunny in the fields, while the woodlands are pleasantly cool. A couple of weeks ago, the bluebells were at their best, but they’re past it now – as is the oilseed rape, and the tatty peacock on the brambles. Perhaps we’re past our best too? Who cares! Maybe, like the emerging orchids in the scrubland, the best is yet to come…

Blue Clee

The bluebells are out with a vengeance on the lower slopes. The sky’s blue (with puffy white clouds, and the distant hills are blue (remembered…). And there’s hardly anyone else out (were there a couple of matches going on today?). A cuckoo makes its presence felt, and just off the north end of the hill, there’s a pair of red kites wheeling and diving. It’s good up here – shame to have to come down again.

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Battles in vain…

There’s plenty of colour on the Wenlock Edge now, much of it from the far end of the spectrum – blue, indigo and violet*, in other words. There are plenty of bluebells, and violets here and there – and the early purple orchids are out. There are yellows and whites too, and of course there’s green everywhere. It must be spring!

*Richard of York gained battles in vain = the rainbow… Does everyone know that?

Mid-May in Bannister’s Coppice

We’re following what has become a favourite route – from Much Wenlock, down through Homer to Bannister’s Coppice, and back along the old waggonway route. There may be some deer about, and perhaps some early purple orchids? Down beside the brook, there was a group of perhaps a dozen deer, well-camouflaged amongst the trees, and only visible when they moved (away, of course). There were a few more in the field when we left the coppice – they didn’t hang around either.

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Brown Clee in May

…via the Burwarton estate road and Boyne Water. On a day like this, it’s against the law to stay in, apparently. Everywhere will be busy; Brown Clee might be quieter than places with ice cream vans and tea rooms? It probably was, though there were lots of cars parked where usually there might be one or two others. We didn’t see many of their occupants – perhaps ten in total. It’s quiet here – just the odd lark (ascending), hardly a breach of the peace. It’s warm too (jackets and jumpers not required – at last!), with a pleasant light breeze, and though the sky is clear the air isn’t – this is not a day for extensive views. Nevertheless, it’s a great place to be on such an afternoon.

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