Wednesday, 30 April 2008

This Morning is the First of May

This Morning is the First of May,
The bright time of the year.

If I should live and tarry well,
If I should live and tarry well,
If I should live and tarry well
I'll call another year.

So ladies all, both great and small,
I wish you a joyful May.

This song was resurrected by a folk band called Muckrum Wakes from the oral memories of the East Midlands, and shows the frequent fusion of pagan and Christian traditions at feast days.

And I sing it every year at this time, to commemorate the importance of the spring festival, to the chagrin of the rest of the family.

I've already posted that the Goat Field has some of the most varied flora in Kingsdown, admittedly part-wild and part-naturalised. As the season progresses, more species are showing themselves and it should be a riot in the next few weeks.

The lists of spring birds, flowers and butterflies are shorter than they should be, because of the inclement weather. Hopefully the weekend will provide a change, and we'll be able to get out and enjoy it. One new site for me to explore is Peene Quarry, on the North Downs Way, which looks promising for chalk downland species.
An unknown plant (for me that's not infrequent) was this sedge found at the top of the downs - similar to Spring Sedge, but perhaps slightly different?


Mary said...

Whatever your unknown sedge is, it looks appropriate for May Day....sort of like the ribbons hanging down from a Maypole! I like that yellow flower and there does seem to be a lot of different things in that field. Hope to see more close-ups.

abbey meadows said...

The sedge looks very much like Lesser pond sedge(carex nigra) depending on the habitat and size of the plant; check out the taller but similar Slender tufted sedge (carex acuta). There are several similar species but my guess is the former.

Kingsdowner said...

You're right Mary.....a lovely comment!

Nigel, thanks for the advice but being on dry chalk I think it must be Spring Sedge.

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