|Snowdrops and Crocus, St Mary's churchyard, Martlesham|
Sunday afternoon was dark, wet and cold. We decided to go in search of a bit of colour in the form of the spring flowers that we guessed would be peaking in St Mary's churchyard. The area perches above Martlesham Creek and the River Deben, and has lovely views on a sunny day. The snowdrops were just past their best, but still giving a good show. The crocuses were a bit bedraggled by the rain, but the overall picture was one of beauty as you can see.
St Mary's is one of many churches in this area with flint-facings. Grimes Graves, the neolithic flint mine site, is a two-hour drive away or thereabouts, and a place we have often visited. You can read more about the use of flint in East Anglia in this EDP article here.
There had been rather a lot of rain. At one point, in among the purple crocus heads...
... we found a single golden flower.
There were a few primroses, looking a bit the worst for wear, but nonetheless a joy to see on a dreary afternoon.
David stopped me in my tracks at this point with a quick nudge.
I looked and there peeping out of this hole just in front of a gravestone,
30 cm from the church path, was a round rodent head with beady eyes.
Sadly it retreated the (split-)second it saw us.
We stood back and waited for a while, but it did not reappear.
I took a quick photo with my zoom lens and we left the little creature in peace.
I looked up rodent holes on the web once we were back home,
and I suspect the rodent was a vole.
The churchyard prides itself on its wildlife,
and since the birds were making themselves extremely scarce that day,
it was good to feel that we had seem something truly wild.
P.S. You can see a vole hole here.
For those undertaking a survey,
a coin certainly helps to give a sense of scale,
if placed without causing a disturbance.