In the last few days early morning wanders have been enhanced by male Blackbirds establishing their territory with beautiful song, while the male Chiffchaffs have been leaping from tree-top to tree-top exclaiming their name. In Green Lane, which leads to the A1(M) it was a joy to see the Yellowhammers returning to their favourite hedgerow. Sadly, I didn’t hear the song ‘a-little-bit-of-bread-with- no-cheeeeeese’.
Harry Wood, another local wood, is transformed by golden Celandines and the white drifts of Wood Anemones; a few flowers have pink pastel edges.
Hampole Wood in March is the place for our Spring pilgrimage, where our spirits are raised by the carpets of Wild Daffodils spreading between the Oaks and Hazels, almost caressing the edge of the footpaths, forcing one to stand and stare in amazement.
Highfields Lake, just a step from the Old Great North Road, now the A638, is a picturesque place for a walk. Decades ago, while Brodsworth Pit was still working it was a black shiny lake of coal dust polluted water. Now the emerging spring leaves of Willows and the shiny pale green leaves of Yellow Flag Iris form beautiful reflections in the clear water.
The spring sunshine in early March encouraged us to explore our local wildlife sites. Wandering towards Brodsworth Community Woodland was breath taking. Pale yellow Brimstone butterflies were exploring, twisting, turning between the Celandines and Wood Anemones, resting on autumn leaves while basking in the warm sunshine. Peacock butterflies were racing around sometimes seeming to be in aerial combat with each other. By dry paths the beautiful vivid orange of the Comma butterflies brought us to a halt to stand and gaze at the intricate wing patterns.
The last week has been exciting exploring local woodlands near Burghwallis. A single-track minor road, Scorcher Hills Lane leads up to the A1. The minor road cuts through a small woodland, Scorcher Hills Wood before it reaches the A1. On the north side of the road I counted twenty-six Early Purple Orchids and while on the south side I discovered a colony of seventy-six orchids, some with appealing colour variations. In another small woodland not far from Burghwallis village over forty orchids were discovered poking through the Wild Garlic. Some were growing beside Goldilocks Buttercup.
Is Summer arriving? Resting on power cables near Priory Farm, an old farm on Leys Lane, half way between Skellow and Hampole was a single Swallow. Each summer the old farm buildings provide a home for a flight of Swallows. Hope it isn’t long before the others arrive.