Weather change, and with it I move location from Hants, Surrey and the Sussexes to the Northants woods beloved by my boyhood hero 'BB'. Here, a grey morning with spells of rain that thoroughly wetted the parched woodland rides, leading to sunny spells from 2pm. I disturbed 5 male iris down on the ride en route to my lodgings in the wood (an isolated cottage + nesting reed bunting, whitethroats and grasshopper warblers).
I have a problem: I am staging The Emperor's Breakfast on Sunday here, as a contemporary art event, with 20 participants and the Beeb filming it - Mike Dilger's presenting it... . The FC (Whom God Preserve) are thinning pine in the woods and have wrecked by number one venue, my number two venue, my number three ..... and timber extraction and the rains have turned most of the rides into a giant breakfast table - and there's me with 6 varieties of shrimp paste, Surstromming, pickled mud fish, stinking bishop cheese, Pimms No 1 etc. Tomorrow's my dummy run.
Down south, iris is at peak - so if you don't know what to do this weekend: to the woods, without delay! Up here, males are well out and fresh, with more to come along with the bulk of the females. Oh, and by the way, this is a good iris emergence year after all. Enjoy!
PS: You may be puzzled at Matthew's blogs being posted by Derek. Don't be.