Yesterday I went yet again to Foxhill Farm.
Now the eastern part of Matt's land is intriguing, with steep, gorse-studded hills. The gorse is a blaze of colour even in this frankly miserable weather (which shows no sign of ending) and the patches of apparently quite ancient woodland - they would be called 'hangers' if they were on chalk downs - hold great potential for coming months. However, most insects are lying low - and who can blame them? What is there to emerge for?
However, yesterday - for the sake of fairness - I had a look at the western parts of Foxhill Farm - relatively flat and featureless and currently with everything having a sort of tweedy brown look. I say everything, but here and there greenery was showing (I mentioned the leaves of bluebells in my last blog). The leaves of elder, Sambucus nigra, are unfurling and tender new growths of common nettle, Urtica dioica, are pushing up through leaf litter (I was sharply reminded of this yesterday when I placed my hand directly on to a specimen; my hand still tingled many hours later).
Buds of elder are breaking to reveal fresh new foliage.
Foxhill Farm, Badby. 21 February, 2018