Nature News: 1 May -7 May, 2019
‘Ovelet bee, you’re a dusty fellow;
You’ve powdered your legs with gold !
O brave marshmary buds, rich and yellow;
Give me your money to hold !
O Columbine, open your folded wrapper,
Where two twin turtle-doves dwell !
O cuckoo-pint toll me the purple clapper
That hangs in your green bell !’
From, Jean Ingelow.
‘May 1. Weather still cold and showery, with bright intervals of sunshine. Travelled up to Bristol. The country is looking much more beautiful than when I came through it three weeks ago. The Primroses are still thick on the banks, the hedges are all green, many of the Apple orchards are in blossom; and the Oaks showing the first signs of golden, bronze, foliage: In Somerset the meadows were yellow with cowslips; these flowers are not found in Devon, except on the Northern borders of the country; farmers will tell you the soil is ‘too good’ for them. The Nightingale is also a stranger to Devonshire. One reason I have heard given is, that the insects they chiefly feed on, are not found there, I think this is likely to be the true explanation, as otherwise this flowery, fertile corner of England would seem to be a very paradise for them.
May 2. Travelled back to Warwickshire; slightly warmer, with continuous rain.
May 3. Warm south west wind, with heavy fall of rain. Gathered some wild Pear blossom and the first Cow-slips I have picked this year. Saw two hen Blackbirds sitting in their nests -one in a hollow tree.
The Crab-apple is only in bud here yet, as are the Wild Hyacinths.
May 4. Heard the Cuckoo.
May 5. I saw a pair of White-throats today down Widney lane, they were evidently rivals, and were chasing each other through the bushes, singing loudly all the time. By the Blythe I saw a very handsome pair of Black-headed Buntings. In the meadows alongside the stream there was a fine display of Marsh Marigolds and “Ladie’s Smocks, all silver and white”. Here I gathered the corn Crowfoot and Cross Wort Bedstraw.
May 7. Weather very close and sultry. I discovered a most carefully hidden Robin’s nest today in a marshy spinner in Elmdon Park. I was stooping down to gather some Cowslips, when a Robin fled out over my hand, from under the roots of an Alder tree, growing close beside me; it was quite a small tree, supported by four strong roots, which held it up clear of the ground, forming an an archway. In this cavity, right under the centre of the tree was placed the nest, which contained five eggs. The Crab-apple trees and bushes are looking very beautiful now, covered with pink blossom and crimson buds.’
From, Edith Holden, 1906
Monday 13 May, 2019