Ne’re cast a clout til May is out
Is it May or may – the month or the flower? We thought evenly ambiguous, that either would suit, and boy was it relevant to day, with another cold east wind blowing, but the sun was out and rain stayed away, for our May day.
In our circle it was amazing what knowledge we gleaned about the Hawthorn:
Most surprising was a fact Jo found, that 46% of May was pollinated by FLIES, that much maligned species. (how and who counted 47%? we wondered)
The reason May was considered bad luck to bring into the house was the scent of its flower was the same chemical as decaying flesh.
Rose Ann gave us a story of May from China
I like to see the blossom in the hedgerow, Yvonne began, and talking of clout, she mentioned Liberty Bodices and off we went on our memory lanes.
The white blossom dropping
It’s got a thorn
The blossom and the wood give a natural dye of orange.
Seeing the May in the hedgerow makes my journey brighter – gems on the side of the road
No one used to get married in May (we wondered why, perhaps wait til June in the case of avoiding rash decisions – this being the month of fertility
Virginia came armed with her homework – what a rich offering this was:
The Holy thorn of Glastonbury, was one story she read out. Bread and cheese.
Hethel Old Thorn is supposed to be one of the oldest in the country, and located not far from us, Wymondham way. Possibly dating from the 13th century. In 1755 its girth was recorded as 9 feet 1 inch, but it has now decayed to a remnant of its former self.
We wandered into the wood, spotting the hawthorns, which would all have been self sown. Then out across the new bridge onto the field, to admire the new double hedge of hawthorn planted a few weeks ago. We enjoyed a spot of geology on the way, picking up chalk and sand, large constituents of the alnd
Jo got us moving with her wonderful stimulating tapping.
Back at the base, we engaged in our show and tell:
Will bought a piece of wood he got from Morocco, in the 1970’s
Malawi wood ash tray.
The Ash spoon, carved by
A New Zealand spoon
With Kally at the helm we started some hawthorn printing, a delicate leaf.
We recalled the hawthorn vodka we made last autumn
While we were away, Nicky had woven the hawthorn into the crown to crown the May King and Queen, who turned out to be Chris and Peter/Rachel, serenaded by Nickie on her bango. Finally with our scones, Hawthorn leaf tea.
Robin Harwood’s Hawthorn meaderings