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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Britain is in Bloom!

Magnolia and Daffodils
Britain is in Bloom! Mid April has to be the very best time of year to appreciate our countryside and colour. Any later than this and the trees, bushes and other plants have come into full matronly leaf, but now daffodils and primroses are still in flower, bright yellow forsythia bushes and many trees are in full blossom, most notably the large white or pink flowers on the magnolias in many gardens. In the fields, new spring lambs are playing, testing their young legs and their mothers’ patience and the dawn chorus from many small birds courting and defending their territories makes a welcome return to my ears.
Yesterday afternoon I drove from Bristol to Banbury which is a town a few miles north of Oxford. The route took me through some of southern England’s best small towns and villages with picturesque names like Adlestrop, Bourton on the Water, Stow on the Wold, the Rollrights, Upper and Lower Slaughter, Hook Norton, famous for its brewery and Slad, famous for having been the haunt of Laurie Lee who wrote Cider With Rosie.
The landscape away from the built-up areas is mixed farmland and scattered woodland, with rolling hills and small river valleys. Almost fully in flower are many fields of Oil-seed Rape – Canola, making whole hillsides of brilliant yellow. I am not usually allergic to flower pollen but Canola seems to make me sneeze and so for the next few weeks I will try to avoid it.
Any variation in my route would not have mattered with great views nearly all the way, and today I did just that for my return this morning. The only sad sight to report at this time of year is to see all the young badgers lying dead at the side of roads, I must have seen six at least. I understand that the young males are ejected by their parents and begin to roam farther afield and so, inevitably some get caught in the glare of vehicle headlights and are run over.

1 comment:

Wynona said...

Well said.