Mayflower and more

Riding across the marsh it was mayflower, mayflower, all the way, creamy white, with the odd pink flowered bush: the hawthorn has occupied the nomansland between railway and rough grazing, even veiling the derelict coal sidings.

The blackthorn’s flowering over, it is putting on growth, with just a hint of pink in the bright green leaves.

Once on the Isle we come to market gardens – long, straight, raised beds, tended by narrow tractors, watered by self-propelled sprinklers. Stripes of burgundy and bright green lettuce contrast against the mustard yellow of the oil seed rape (colza) behind.

Before the air-conditioned trains rolled in, there were days when the traveller would be blessed with the penetrating aroma of newly harvested onion. Progress has its price!

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