Wenlock Edge Hawthorns push their little cheesy shuttlecocks, oaks are in their bronze

Cuckoo pint, lords and ladies, Jack-in-the-pulpit – these names are medieval nudges and winks about genitalia and sex. They belong to wild arum, a trick flower that jumps out of the earth with a bawdy country humour that mocks the righteous and revels instead in the rude phwoar! of April. The cruellest month, according to T S Eliot, and maybe we’ll pay for these few glorious sunny days, but we’ll make the most of them until then.

It’s getting steamy in the hedgerow. For months, trees stood in companionable silence throughout a blowy winter that leaked into a dour early spring; now they fizz with a green static as buds pop and a million leaves inflate. Hawthorns push their little cheesy shuttlecocks, oaks are in their bronze; blackthorn has been snowing for weeks, and the purple dangles of ash are out. Small birds, skirmishing through disputed branches, travel in song between trees in the neutral air.

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Source: Guardian Environment