The first signs of spring activity are always near the freshwater stream. Maybe the constantly-flowing water helps the temperature.
A single flower of Lesser Celandine - Ranunculus ficaria - peeked out from the sodden leaves:
The back of the ditches are always covered in mosses and liverworts, but this is the time of year to look for them, since annual vegetation hasn't yet concealed them. This is the liverwort Conocephalum conicum, which I always think has reptilian-like structures:
But wait.....what's that pale-green growth at the top right of the image? Much zooming in reveals another liverwort: Lophocolea bidentata. The shoot you see is about 10mm long and 3mm wide. This is a new species for me and a delightful discovery for my first walk of the year on the hedgerow:
Mosses are also looking good. The first is Tortula muralis (note the white-haired leaves at the base).
And this is an early glimpse of Bryum capillare (leaves are about 1mm x 2mm):
I never cease to be amazed by the beauty of mosses.
Hard Shield Fern fronds are still in good condition:
And finally, Ivy-leaved Water Crowfoot has reappeared in a muddy track:
Not bad for the first outing of the year.