Wenlock Edge, Shropshire: Intense birdsong, butterflies leaving chemical trails, brilliant white cherry blossom. Yet we are detached from this wonder
Long clouds hang over the hill; it’s warm and the sun is strong in the valleys between them. Green woodpeckers raiding ant tumps in the meadow call across the view, which sweeps north to the Wrekin and south to the Clee. On the steep hedgerow, young yew branches grow out of the hollow carcass of the old tree, and watching from a fallen trunk by the stream is a sheep skull with yellow celandine flowers in its eye sockets.
April explodes. Brilliant white cherry blossom, pistachio flakes of elm, maroon tufts of ash; a shimmer over wood anemone, bluebell and wild garlic; the snap-dance of brimstone, orange-tip, holly blue and small tortoiseshell butterflies laying pheromone trails, the chemical equivalent of birdsong; the fierce oratory of chiffchaff, robin, yellowhammer, blackcap, the aural equivalent of flowering.