The fields are wet and muddy, as is the lower part of the ascent – one step forward and half a step back through the steep sheep pasture. But I speed up as I can see a group of hawthorns with Mistletoe just on the edge of the enclosed area. This low winter light is wonderful for mistletoe and I want to get there before the sun drops too much.
This is a typical small mistletoe colony at the edge of its normal tolerance – above this (modest) height it won’t grow here, on the exposed Cotswold Escarpment. There are about 6 decent-sized plants in the hawthorns, plus a few tiny ones. But in hawthorn even decent-size is small compared to apple, poplar or willow. A good mix of male and female too – the male obvious because of the lack of berries but also because of the slightly larger flowers, just opening out now.