I will refer to this month as the ‘Green Month‘ as after a warm spell everything appears to have burst into colour – mostly myriad shades of green. The May fair has been and gone with the usual closure of all the streets in the old part of the town and the spring food festival completely passed me by this year. Apparently it was held last weekend. Which may explain the arrival of more tourists walking around with a camera slung around their necks.
The lime trees are bursting into leaf and various shrubs around the castle grounds now display colour, but I am too late for the cherry blossom and magnolia. The fresh green leaves are very welcome though.
Date: May 12 2015
Weather: sunshine, cloud and very windy
Temperature: Warm (14°C)
Time: 12:30 – 14:30 PM
Heading back down Dinham I notice the lawns outside St John’s Chapel are full of daisies and dandelions. Gone are the snowdrops and daffodils of previous months. The magnolia still has flowers, though it is not easy to see them through the leaves. Further down an enormous burgundy-red Norway Maple (possibly ‘Crimson King’) rises above the town walls and I can see the splash of purple of a lilac tree. Edit: I think the red tree is actually a copper beech. I need to try and get a closer look at the leaf.
There are more people on the Millennium Green this month, some picnicking on the lawn, others sitting on a bench and lapping up the sunshine and quite a few enjoying lunch on the patio of the Green Café with its beautiful views of the Teme. I scan the weir for a heron, but am out of luck. A few ducks vie for attention around the path, but no signs of ducklings as yet. The castle begins to be hidden behind all the foliage.
This inaugural run/bike/run course runs through the market town of Ludlow and the surrounding countryside of Shropshire and Herefordshire. Sections of rolling hillside mixed with seriously steep sections make this arguably the UK’s toughest duathlon.
I know two or three of my blogging friends would have been very interested in this had they been in this country at the time. Maybe next year ladies?
For a change I take the Donkey Steps among clouds of flying insects through the green tunnels of broadleaf woodland, enjoying the warmth now that I am out of the wind, though I can still hear it whispering through the leaves and it makes photographing the wild flowers rather more difficult. Along with dandelions, alexanders, alkanet, forget-me-nots, cow parsley, stinging nettles alongside dock leaves and honesty I find what appears to be a crab apple tree, the pinky-white flowers drawing my attention from a distance amongst all the greenery (see the header photo).
Emerging from the woodland I am struck by the light. The open space has been transformed. I sit for a while on a bench overlooking the town. Swifts scream through the sky in front of me. A robin sings above my head and a blackbird sources nesting material by my feet. The river Teme rushes over the Mill weir below me and leaves ripple and dance in the wind sounding like waves lapping on the shore (though any shore around here has long since gone). It is very relaxing with only the sounds of nature to disturb me. I keep a careful eye out as sulphur-yellow brimstone and orange-tipped butterflies encircle me, hoping one might land nearby, but when a group of elderly hikers pass by I get up to leave.
My final stretch is along Lower Broad Street where I see that the cherry tree I wasn’t sure actually was a cherry tree flaunts very distinctive cherry blossom. Some gaudy yellow tulips and a Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ add to the increased vibrancy of this street garden.
…did anyone spot the swift?
The Cardinal has decided to have a photo project going throughout 2015 – a blogging event, a monthly photo challenge. Find a location near your home, take somewhere between 5-20 photos and post them in a gallery in your blog. Continue to do this every month. The idea is to capture all the changes: the seasons, the weather, different times of the day, some night photography perhaps?