The Island has no Grey Squirrels and no Vampires either.

The Island has no Grey Squirrels and no Vampires either.

Something’s weird out there. The heat says July but I’m looking across a landscape dotted with still-bare ash and oaks barely dressed in their first greens.

After that late cold winter and sluggish early March the full solar-powered spring machine is here and in overdrive. It’s extraordinary; blossom heaving on everything that can blossom and the scent is just intoxicating, I guess this extra heat is vaporizing those aromatics as never before.

One scent you just can’t miss as you drive around the Island in your shades with the top down and your hair (if you have hair) streaming behind, is garlic.

Take a road through through any woody bit (the dell at Shorwell and the route south out of Shanklin past Greatwood are two well known spots)and you’ll find it, or rather it will find you. This is the smell of Ramsons, a very pretty (and edible) plant that illuminates our woodlands with its bright white flowers and which preludes this display, still to come, with a mighty blast of wild garlic.

So enjoy this amazing weather, breathe in the Island spring and sleep soundly in your bed, for the vampires are all dead.