Oxford in May is beautiful. After a long grey British winter, in late April and May there is a real transformation as trees come into leaf and blossom covers many of the streets. The city’s architecture is complemented by nature’s beauty. There is also a great feeling of newness because of the tremendous greenness, which is very vivid. I particularly notice it after coming back from New York in April. There are few countries, which see such an intense green – in UK, we like to complain about the weather but the rain does help the colour and freshness.
May is also exam season. In mid / late May, you see many students cycling and walking to exams with different colour carnations – pink is in the middle of exams. Red for last exam, white for first exam. I’m so glad Oxford kept the tradition of sub-fusc. I’m also very glad my days of doing exams are over!.
Late May is eights week in Oxford. The Oxford colleges compete in rowing races on the River Thames. The college club-houses are behind.
Another view of the River Thames.
It’s not always bright sun in May. In fact, you often get very heavy rain, which leads to localised flooding. This is a cycle path near University Parks.
Trees in Oxford Castle Mound
Trinity College gardens has its own post
May is also Bluebell season.
Late Daffodils (as long as not eaten by slugs)
Back garden in May.
This is my local park – Horse Chestnut covered path.
A traditional May Day Event Morris Dancers on May 1st. This was early in the morning after a long night of revellery.
Every year, I get more joy from Oxford in May; there is even a danger one day I may try and write a poem.
Instead, I will share a poem written by J.R.R. Tolkien about Oxford in 1911.
From the many-willow’d margin of the immemorial Thames,
Standing in a vale outcarven in a world-forgotten day,
There is dimly seen uprising through the greenly veiled stems,
Many-mansion’d, tower-crowned in its dreamy robe of grey,
All the city by the fording: aged in the lives of men,
Proudly wrapt in mystic mem’ry overpassing human ken.
J.R.R. Tolkien (1911)
I don’t know if he wrote in May, but it is interesting to see the imagery which would later end up in his classic ‘Lord of the Rings’