Walking westwards across the muddy, slippery slopes of Colley Hill I spied smoke rising above the distant bank of Yew trees - precisely where I was going in my quest to look for further Hawfinches. I briefly considered not carrying on, assuming that a spot of vegetation clearance was underway, but decided to continue on my journey. A knob of hillside pushes away from the main slope, allowing wonderful views towards the Mole Gap (below).

Brockham Quarry is the middle ground, Leith Hill in the distance
There was no sign of any smoke now, so I settled down and scanned the ridge of Yew trees for signs of my target - drawing a blank (as I had done at Gatton Park and Reigate Hill). From time to time the puffs of smoke returned and it was then I realised that this was in fact the Yew trees releasing pollen! I cannot recall seeing it being done so profusely (top image). That was reward enough for the morning, although it was small compensation for twice going 'arse-over-tit' on the slope, covering my rucksack, back and derriere in some of Colley Hill's finest gloopy mud. A bucket, sponge and washing machine were called into action on my return home.


Smokey clouds of pollen! Sheesh that's a new one on me!
Steve Gale said…
Very rarely seen such clouds Simon!
dmcjournal said…
That pollen release must have been a sight to see.

I guess you were lucky not to get hosed down in the garden when you returned home ;)
Steve Gale said…
Had my wife been at home, I probably would have!

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