Out with Charli, off-road again but this time on paths nearer to home. Charli’s knowledge of nature is always great to have on tap when out. We were going through beech woods today and it’s pretty well only yew, holly and bluebells that live at ground level. I was wondering why, Charli knows why. (She says it’s a mixture of the dense canopy of beech trees and the limestone soil they prefer. Bluebells do well as they come through before the canopy is fully out; and yew and holly are shade tolerant. )

Bluebells in beech woods

Bluebells, right for the canopy above

I imagine this will be a good year for some birds if the insects are anything to go by. Mind you, that said, I guess the insects are early, perhaps too early for breeding birds. The number of Mayflies, throughout late April and carrying on to now, has been far higher than I’ve ever witnessed before, and the number of other bugs and flies and what-have-you that I can’t identify is similarly noticably high.

There are forest and heath fires burning up and down the country, it is so warm and dry. It’s very early in the year for that. Sure, the rain will come and everyone will forget about it again but that’s the way it is with humans. April will prove hotter or drier or both than for the previous however-many-years and people will say ‘yes, but … it was just as dry in …’ They will always find a way to convince themselves that things aren’t that bad.

Nero fiddling while Rome burned did cross my mind as I watched the TV coverage of the fires.