One of the great things about riding off road is that you don’t have to worry about traffic, there are no white vans squeezing past you or impatient motorists hooting at you, all very peaceful, a joy to be in the countryside with time to look at that there ‘nature’.
I’m no countryman, but I do enjoy the simple pleasures of watching what’s happening, despite my bit of countryside being squashed between London and the M25, there a load to be seen.
First, of course, there’s the fauna, often shy but still around, foxes will casually eyeball you before wandering off, occasionally, you’ll come across deer and muntjac, dare devil squirrels are legion and if you’re lucky, you’ll see the odd weasel or stoat. Bird life abounds, I’m trying to learn more, but my twitching skills are not my strongest forte.
Domesticated animals are equally diverse, yes there are horses of every shape, size and colour, don’t forget the sheep with their lambs and the odd cow, these are accompanied by alpacas, llamas, Shetland ponies and goats. On the 4 Uncommon commons ride, the giraffe and gorilla have just been joined by a tiger, it's a zoo out there!
Then there’s the flora, last month started with the woods speckled with the white anomies before turning blue with bluebells, each week more trees came into leaf cumulating with the oaks, the tardiest of all trees, its tiny leaves only now unfurling like babies fingers.
Meanwhile in the hedgerows, the blackthorn blossom is giving way the hawthorn and cherry blossom is falling like confetti in every gust of wind, fields are bright, the vibrant green of the winter wheat contrasts with bright yellow of the rape.
So what’s to come this month?
The little white flowers of the wild garlic are about to bloom in the woods and the delicate cow parsley flowers are on the verge of exploding, later in the month we see the elderflower beginning to blossom along with hip roses and brambles (along with loads of other stuff I don’t the names of)
It’s a continuum of glory, you really must come and see for yourself!