The green shoot to the right in this image is one of the first of this year’s crop of southern marsh orchids.

In the soil to the left of the green shoot are muntjac deer footprints. I imagine the deer looking down at the tasty morsel and thinking it would let the orchid grow a little larger before eating it.

The green shoot of a southern marsh orchid

The area around North Pond is greening up nicely.

North Pond

It’s hot on the marsh today, and the herd is cooling off in Hoo Brook Pasture’s shade.

I snapped this photo at the moment Waynetta sensed other people close by, way before they appeared at the gate. The Rangers have been looking after the herd whilst I’ve been away on holiday.

Waynetta, the smartest cow on the marsh, bellowed and hurried to the open gate. I followed with the rest of the herd. The cattle are quick to make the most of any advantage. The Rangers have bucket fed one of the thinner cows in my absence. Wayne and Waynetta, though, preferring new grass to dry cattle nuts, didn’t bother climbing the ramp to the corral. Brutus, believing he has rights to everything, dribbled and fidgeted on the wrong side of the corral gate.

Waynetta

It’s very warm on the marsh today. So far, I have disturbed three one-metre plus long grass snakes sunning themselves in the North Riverside Pasture. When warmed up, grass snakes can move very quickly indeed.

Grass snake

If any witches reading this post are in need of dried toad, please contact me.

Dried toad

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