as good as the iphone will do with a moving target a hundred yards away …

first, with the wind coming from the south, and veering south-west, we walked along the bottom of the field between the rape and the wood (and currently I feel as though I inhaled pepper this morning)

I was expecting to get wet, but apart from an initial scatter of raindrops, it was fine and not even too windy at around eight-thirty this morning

we were dressed for it, but storm Hannah was still waiting in the wings, and the creatures were making the most of it. countless pheasants wove in and out of crop and wood, and we saw four hares.

in the green lane we were pleasantly sheltered. chiffchaff and black cap singing all the way along

and I am persuading myself that it wasn’t a blackcap with a sore throat but a whitethroat

blackthorn blossom is decidedly over now

all the trees except the ash are showing green leaves, or at least their buds are opening.

ground ivy which has had its soft blue flowers out for weeks now

is beginning to be overcast by hogweed and cow parsley

the very severely flogged hedge is slow to sprout again, but there are still primroses along here

and I could hear a lark singing despite the wind

all the ferns are beginning to uncoil new shoots. I think this is male fern. no sign of bracken here yet.

still some violets where the grass is short

and my favourite, bird cherry, strong scented, like a wild version of white lilac, though this bush was badly smashed by the hedger in the winter

in Clip street on the bank of Patch plantation there are wild strawberries flowering already. I had a good crop of these last year around my entrance, I’m always delighted to see them.

the oaks are just out

and in Clip street lane (left to turn into a green lane by the council) white campion

and a proper froth of cow parsley – this is a haven for wild flowers, later there is always a wealth of field scabious, st john’s wort (the perforated sort, the commonest, good for dye colour) more campion, dog roses, and more.

on the corner the gate into this lovely long meadow, with its new lambs

a test of Bim’s behaviour – she still sees them as an excitement

causing one stern ewe to stamp her feet

but that slow hare, encountered on the green lane, faltering and then out in the open, was more than she could bear, and she made more fuss about being made to stay by me on the lead than ever before. I hope it is not a victim of RHDV2 the rabbit haemorragic virus which has crossed to hares.