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Niche

Lichen in the Hawthorn hedge

Lichen in the Hawthorn hedge

Well, here it is, March. We have a serious sprinkling of early Daffodils. Showing that some of them, at least, are up at a reasonable hour, and looking pityingly down on those who lie in their beds until April. The Snowdrops have been brilliant this year. Some gardens are just awash with their frothy, white, flowery foam, floating amongst the waves of sea-green leaves. There are splashes of white in the woods behind our house. Here and there, in odd places under the very feet of the hedgerows, a vagrant band of white-capped individualists are putting on a defiant show, almost hidden beneath the overbearing grey and brown.

Higher up the hedge, amongst the stubby grey-brown branches of the Hawthorn bushes, patches of pale green are appearing. Not leaves and not Hawthorn, but a lichen. The Hawthorn leaves will soon unfurl in preparation for the May Blossom, but at the moment, the sunlight still illuminates the nooks and crannies, the folds and crevices, the occasional small oasis of damp trapped in the wrinkles of the bark. For perhaps, four to six weeks this window of opportunity will remain open. The mosses and lichen know their niche – and they are poised, ready to exploit every life giving ray of sunlight it offers.

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