Country mouse on the majesty of May

May is here. Savour it. The countryside will not look as good again this year, and, with this year’s late spring, it will be even more glorious than usual. Stop. Take time to sample it; plan a day’s holiday or a weekend for a walk in the countryside.

Take time to listen to the dawn chorus; sniff the air as the hawthorn or May tree blossoms with its sweet-and-sour aroma; plunge spears of asparagus into hollandaise; marvel at the bluebell woods, the wood anemones and the giant flowers of the horse chestnuts: Nature has chosen May to be our most glorious month of the year.

For the fisherman, it’s time to tie spindly legged hawthorn flies to his line before finishing the month with the ephemeral mayfly itself. The trout will be greedy for both. Everywhere, young will appear: rabbits, chicks, leverets. Lock up your chickens, because the cubs will make the hungry vixen bolder than normal.

The oilseed rape will turn yellow, the beech trees will form their verdant cathedrals and the modestly named cow parsley will, once more, bedeck our verges with froths of white lace. It’s May, and I implore you to take a look outside.

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