As most my readers already know, I rarely get time to leave the work place at the moment, but earlier this week I did manage to go for a brief springtime walk and forage!
Easter Monday was a sunny and rather hot day, ideal for a walk, so with a few free hours myself and my friend Andrew decided to grab the cameras and venture out.
The first sight we saw was a mass of long-horn moths, clustering around an Aspen and Goat Willow. I've seen them before on many occasions, but not quite as many as on this occasion. There were also several butterflies spotted, namely speckled wood and large whites, but there was also the occasional tortoise shell, and even a bright yellow brimstone fluttering above us.
I decided to look out for some common lizards and grass snakes, but although the habitat was right, there was no sunbathing spots as the site had recently been cleared and as a result there was no joy, but I did spot a vole running around in the undergrowth.
The most startling sight of the day was a whole field, maybe 3 acres full of Cowslip (Primula veris). The mass of yellow flowers was a rare but welcome sight, and although they have their edible and useful qualities I didn't use any.
My favourite find of the day was that of Ramsons (Allium ursinum - wild garlic) which doesn't grow wild in many places in Essex. This species fills the air with a garlic aroma, this alone makes it easy to identify. Needless to say, the find of this was a little too hard to restrain myself from taking a handful or two! It's easy to harvest. Most people only bother using the leaves, but the bulb is equally as good, and for me the flowers are the sweetest part, with a peppery kick!!! I made a salad dressing with mine, you can find out how in my June edition of the 'wild files' in the Great British Food Magazine.
One other strange thing that I saw was a bee, which was larger than any bee I'd ever seen before. It was the size of a golf ball!!!
Well, that's it for this post! I'll add more soon.
Thanks for reading.
Catch you on the trail.