May has been warm, with a lot of unseasonably mild weather. It's been like summer heat and the flora has been responding appropriately. First, leaves and early flowers had to catch up due to the lingering winter. Now it's like they got into overdrive and haven't stopped. This Queen Anne's Lace is about a month early. It was in full bloom, lining both sides of the trail. It was lush and tall and simply beautiful. The Dame's Rocket was peeking through with splashes of pink and purple for contrast.
There were some interesting mushrooms and fungi around, including these shelf fungi. I'd have loved to pick some and try dyeing with them. Not only is this a conservation area, and I wouldn't pick them here, but I don't know the toxicity of this variety, so wouldn't take that risk unless I did some research. I really wish I'd had my big camera with me but I've gotten out of the habit of carrying it with me, so I only had my dying phone, which doesn't focus quite the way I'm happy with. Regardless, it is a poor photographer who blames her equipment but still, the camera focus is hit or miss so I feel pretty lucky that it decided to mainly hit for this hike.
One thing I noticed was the nettles. There were nettles everywhere. I've been dithering about trying my hand at harvesting and processing nettles to try and spin them. I've got two patches in the garden. I can probably call on a friend or two and harvest theirs. If this place wasn't a conservation area, I'd get armloads and have a go at processing nettles. Who knows, maybe I'll find another patch or two locally and armed with heavy gloves, jeans and long sleeves I'll get my chance.