By the river Bulbourne the buttercups bloom in the water meadow and the willow has bright green new leaves.
Oxlips turn the hillside to gold up on Roughdown common.
Ladybirds and butterflies warm themselves in the bright sunshine and sip the nectar from sloe bushes and apple blossom.
All the hedgerows are bright with spring colour. I remember the A.E Housman poem, from the Shropshire Lad
“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
is hung with bloom along the bough,
and stands about the woodland ride
wearing white for Eastertide”
Forget me nots and primroses bloom in the lane as we cross the bridge.
The steps beckon us through the woods and over the old golf course.
The bluebells in Bury Wood carpet the forest floor, and violets and kingcups peek through the leaf litter. All around the birds are singing at the tops of the trees to claim their territory and warn off rivals.
We cross Box Lane and sit in the field by Ramacre wood drinking coffee and watching the butterflies. The clearings we made when we cut the laurels down last month have created lovely patches of light for the bluebells here.
Near the old barn we look back at Bury wood.
Butterflies dance above our heads and the oxlips flourish.
We stroll through Hay Wood to see more bluebells, and buzzards cry above the trees.
The lambs we saw in the early spring have grown strong and stocky.
Blossom peeks through the hedge we laid in March, and more forgetmenots bloom on the verges.
Everywhere the blackthorn blossom froths exuberantly
We reach the bottom of the lane and pause to look at another field sprinkled with oxlips, before crossing the road to take the towpath back to town.