An afternoon walk scouting for the upcoming holiday - a bit of a break after a day mostly spent trying to organise field visits and sort out other events.
Today I walked round Bedford Purlieus, which should be looking very good in a couple of weeks, as long as the weather doesn't turn unseasonably hot (little chance of that, I think!) The Bluebells were stunning, in places growing alongside Wood Anemone, which may well be past their best - but you can't have everything! It was also good to see several groups of Early Purple-orchid, with some only just in bud, ensuring that there will be fine specimens available for people to see.
My main source of excitement was finding a bush of Creeping Willow, a very rare plant of damp acid soil in our part of the world, and a species that's never been recorded previously from this very well-botanised wood. I think it gets overlooked as all the Creeping Willow in our area is the upright fen form Salix repens var. fusca which can grow up to 1.5m tall, and doesn't really creep!