Why do I love this time of the year so much? Well, when the sun shines, the stunning array of colour, blossoms and insects is just a riot worth joining, and that is exactly what I did this morning.
Waking up to a blanket of mist, there was a feeling of anticipation as I ate breakfast that it would just burn off - and sure enough, it did. Rather than just the usual walk around the park, I took off to one of my favourite local walks in the woods. On the way I passed along the chestnut avenue, the road verges lined with cow parsley (hopefully the council won't come and cut it all back!) Admittedly both the candles and cow parsley were not as big or blousy as I have seen them on previous years, but a stunning sight none the less.
The field where I had watched the hares in the snow earlier in the year, now a blanket of yellow, edged by more cow parsley and punctuated with bushes covered in May blossom. Wheat fields were lush after the generous helping of recent rain, tram-lines still visible and graphically criss-crossing from side to side.
Arriving at the woods, I was able to sit quietly on a log under fresh green leaves, still yet just a light canopy and allowing the sun to gently dapple the last few bluebells left under the trees. Mutt, on her lead and now used to being a photographers assistant, sat quietly beside me as I used her as an extra pair of ears. She would hear any movement from the deer before me but today, not a glimpse. They no doubt were glimpsing me as they protected this years off-spring nestled somewhere in the undergrowth.
Butterflies flitted from flower to flower, the orange tips not sitting still long enough for me to catch a shot, small whites and speckled wood butterflies being more willing subjects.
Slugs, however were still in abundance!
As I sat, listening to the bird song, (the chiff chaff and the chaffinch seemingly shouting the loudest) I thought of what really makes May the best. From beginning to end, it has to be the flowers. Starting with the smaller ground-dwelling flowers such as bluebells, wild garlic, buttercups, cow parsley, and campion, up to the hedgerows and blossoms of chestnut candles, hawthorn, lilac, wisteria and laburnam- to name a few.
Add to that a drop of sunshine, as today - perfect!