Saturday, a sunny day after the cold winds of this week, serendipity took us to Little Baddow village which happened to have an open garden day, instead a walk through Blake's Wood with all the bluebells, just having reached their peak and about to go over was our preferred choice. Laced amongst the bluebells was stitchwort at the path edge, and the smell of freshly cut wood added to the faint perfume of bluebells. Also, and I have'nt heard one for a few years back in Somerset, a cuckoo in the distance. Back to the village, and to the pub of course, which was completely full of people with bags of plants they must have bought from the gardens, another surprise, Morris Dancers,traditonal May activities. They danced beautifully, short and long sticks, plus the hankerchief dance. They were accompanied by a person dressed as a badger.
and to quote...
"Morris dancing is an ancient seasonal pagan ritual male custom associated with the bringing of luck, the fertility and regeneration of the soil and the promotion of the cycle of the seasons...... In the dances there'll be much jingling of bells and stick-clashing to frighten away the evil spirits and high capers will encourage Mother Earth to ensure the crops grow tall in the coming harvest"
Well the countryside certainly looks in a fertile mood this May, the blossoms cascading everywhere and the bright yellow of rape seed flower assaults the eye at every turn. Apparently rapeseed oil is now fashionable... Brightly coloured male pheasants are strutting their stuff down lanes with their dowdy females lurking in the hedges.