The escape following a day of confinement was like the tearing down of a wall. The children burst from the car, ignoring my suggestion that a coat might be a good idea in the still-chilly spring air. Chores and deliveries had kept us inside, and, like weeds hungry for the light, my two had been clambering and clamouring. Yet here was an hour of space at the end of the day, to visit some nearby farmland open to the public.

As we walked and talked, the bickering of the day evaporated. A field margin of common teasels (Dipsacus fullonum) caught our attention. We plunged, weaving our way on tracks ...


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