summer begins 
As the country begins to emerge from yet another lockdown, so do the plants in the wild, gorse is dying back, while hawthorn, and elderflower and rowan take its place amongst other perennials, the hedgerow now a bloom of white flowers and the fragrant elderflower will undoubtedly brighten up the roadsides of rural Ireland, as always if your are picking roadside try find the quiet unused roads where traffic fumes will be minimised. 
while all this is happening at eye level and above, the herbs of the undergrowth, are battling for space and sunlight, including cleavers, (robin run the hedge/sticky willy), herb Robert, daisies, sorrel, different varieties of cress, depending of the ground type different plants will thrive, many of which are edible, some pleasant some not so pleasant.Ive always found nature of a great place to be to pass time, think about things clear your head, and explore whats close to you, I think people forget that sometimes that the hustle and bustle of life can be overwhelming and the return to what I can only expect to be mayhem, even the crowds around towns, shopping milling around talking chatting while its great to see some semblance of what we knew of normality returning I know it will be extremely busy in kitchens and food outlets across the country, and not just our beautiful county, I just hope that people will remember that there is more to life than the mayhem that will be the summer season.
I know myself I will be once again making an elderflower cordial, using both lemon and lime separately, this elderflower and lime drink made an epic keifer, as well as a stunning addition to  gin and tonic. 
while picking flowers please bear in mind that the more flowers you pick the less elderberries you will have later in the year, while I keep an eye on the trees and the flowers Im also watching the world go n=by in a stream the runs through the forestry, its nothing spectacular its just a gargling, bubbling stream that splashes out, over stones and rocks, dousing herbs and mosses at random.
As always stay safe and you can follow my journey in the forest @chefpaulc on social media platforms    

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