Spring is finally here!

After what seems like a long winter it is time to come out of hibernation,have a good stretch {like a cat waking from a long slumber} and open the door to sunshine,daffodils,and lighter brighter days,because spring is finally here…..yay!

It was for most a chilly start to spring 2018,with the white blanket of snow covering the ground and still more falling in tiny icy flakes from the sky and not a peep of the warm sunshine in sight.Even the crocus in the local woodlands looked hunched over against the icy cold air,their bright purple and yellow heads poking out through snow like weary children on their way to school.Not even gaining shelter by the large old oak they had grew beneath.

But even with the unexpected chill it was still beautiful in the woodlands.Nature has a way of giving us the unexpected.And yet if you stand still long enough to appreciate her,really appreciate and see her through childlike eyes you can see the magic and wonder of her come rain or shine.

Yes,it would have been lovely to have walked through those woodlands nearby,bathed in warm spring sunshine with birds chirping and flitting around hurriedly,collecting twigs and moss to rebuild their nests.But the stillness and peace beneath those tall,still bare trees was equally as wonderful.The odd blackbird flew from branch to ground,breaking the silence and searching for food.A lone squirrel scampered across ahead of me,grabbing my camera quickly I lost sight of it as it hurriedly ran up and around the bark of a tall bare tree.Searching I once again caught sight of it,sitting high up,something in its small front paws.

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This was the first day of spring,it was so cold i hardly had any feeling in my fingers as I took photograph after photograph of the snow filled woodland.Once home they soon thawed out,my hands wrapped around the heat from a steaming cup of tea!

Though the snow was undeniably beautiful it was with a welcome that the temperatures rose and it all but thawed within a couple of days,revealing small flowers rising in bursts of colour from the earth.The birds instead of huddled cold in the hedgerow seemed to awaken to the warmth too and began busying themselves noisily again.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been watching the magpies.I am lucky enough to have allotments at the other side of the old brick wall at the top of my garden.Beyond that stand a row of large old trees that edge the church yard,and beyond that fields…

The magpies have been frequent visitors for as long as I can remember.They amuse me greatly with their loud chatter and dive bombing tricks,they aren’t unlike excited children with their antics! However the last few few weeks I have noticed a change in their behaviour,no longer having time to cause their usual mayhem among the other quieter visitors.The blackbirds whose songs i love to hear at dusk,the excitable group of lively sparrows that gather in the hawthorn tree at the back door,the 2 collared doves who remind me of an old married couple,having squabbles in the tree then flying off and sitting on separate chimney pots only to rejoin each other again on the bird table.There’s also the cawing crows,the odd jackdaw that is strangely scared away by the collared doves,an occasional thrush,the bright red chested robin and the blue tits that fly purposely from their nesting boxes to the bird table and back again.

I wonder if the other bird visitors have noticed the recent quietness of the magpies and their less frequent visits to the rooftops and apple tree.Maybe they have been watching them as I have as they busily fly to and fro from the allotments and church yard,awkwardly carrying long twigs in their beaks and disappearing in the foliage of the tall spruce tree.This is surrounded by the still bare but strikingly beautiful shimmery trunks of a group of silver birch.These are magical trees to me,even bare they are like jewels,their pale bark standing out among the greens and browns of the oak and holly.In summer,abundant with foliage their leaves appear to do the most delightful dance in the breeze like a million silent belly dancers.Even through the snowy days the magpies carried out their nest building,readying themselves eagerly.

The trees too are rejoicing the return of spring,tiny shoots of green starting to spiral and unfurl from their naked bodies.Along the edge of the garden the brilliant yellow of the forsythia bushes give a welcome burst of colour.Beneath them in the borders all shades of yellows dance on the long fresh green stems of the daffodils,whilst the violet pansies that were only 2 weeks ago buried and frozen beneath the snow are now smiling radiantly as they feel the warmth of the sun on their petal faces.A large bee hums around busily looking for flowers as I make the most of a bright sunshine day,sweeping away the rustling leaves left over from autumn.They had been blown around in great hurried swirls and finally settled beneath the old sewing machine table on the patio where they rested out the long winter days.

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Gone are the fieldfare that visited daily throughout the coldest blizzard days,arriving in great flocks to feed upon the apples,seed,cheese and sultanas I had placed out for the hungry cold birds. Even the buzzards circled over head numerous times eagerly searching for signs a meal upon the white ground.It was so lovely to see them once again with the sun on their wings,drifting along on the breeze high above the allotments seeming to kick back and enjoy the warm spring air for a short while before hunting again.

 

I look forward with eagerness to the lengthening of the days and the heat of the sun.To hearing the calls of the tawny owl in the distance on warmer evenings and the humming of the bees.I’m hoping to once again catch sight of our hedgehog visitor as he grunts and scurries across the patio and up the garden path searching for fat slugs to eat.I hope he has had a good winters rest and is safe and sound.

As the days fly by it will soon be time to think about filling tubs and baskets with plants for the bees and butterflies.Snap dragons shall be planted as the bees really enjoyed them last summer,opening the flower heads,climbing inside and  reversing out covered in pollen.

 

Yes,it feels good have woken from the cold dark days of the winter.To look forward with a warm heart to the lighter,brighter days ahead.

Wishing Bright Blessings and warmth in your heart,

Fiona 🙂

 

 

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