May, Fairy Caps.
The forester has fed his family a banquet of wild mushrooms over the years. Ceps, Chanterelles, Chicken of the Woods, Giant Puffballs, Parasol Mushrooms, Morels, St George’s Mushrooms and many more have graced his kitchen table. Friends ring him up for over the phone identification and bring him samples to cast his expert eye over. But would they be so trusting if they knew the upset...
May, The Pace of Spring.
Coming and going between Norfolk and Cumbria has been like doing a seasonal tango. I move from high spring to early spring and then leap-frog back to late spring. I bid farewell to the last of the primroses in Norfolk and watch them opening in Cumbria a week later. I leave the northern oaks still hard skeletons and six hours later, back in the south, find them soft and mustardy. I pass a field...
May, The Colours in my Head.
In my mind I break the year up into different colours. January is delicate pale pink. Late July is a thick dark green that stains the sky. These colours aren’t arbitrary, they’re to do with the plants and the light here. I imagine that all but the least fanciful would go along with me on this. Right now, there’s a blue moment. The sophisticated bluebell, magically gathering...
The poplars create a vertiginous edge to this place. A mile long, five abreast, they act as battlements against the rest of the world. They halt regiments of chemically controlled wheat and rape. They offer look out points for crows and buzzards. They are our loud, fidgety boundary. A Bryantt and May match factory in Norwich paid good money for poplar in the sixties so plantations sprang up all...