May flowers- If, like me, you love the sight but not the smell of May flowers, so floriferous on our Hawthorn tree and hedge right now, you are in a long tradition. Country people would never bring it indoors, associating it with illness, death and the Great Plague. Interestingly, the scent has now been analysed and contains the chemical, trimethylamine, that occurs in decaying tissue! Hawthorn is brilliant for wildlife though- 300 insects use it, including the caterpillars of many moths, with intriguing names like Lappet, Orchard Ermine, Fruitlet Mining Tortrex and Small
Eggar. The Haw berries, rich in anti-oxidants, are eaten by many birds and the thick, dense, thickets shelter many bird-nests. Conditions: Cloud, light rain. Temperature: Max16- Min 11C.