After a couple of days of feeling a bit rubbish my spirits were lifted today by what a glorious morning it was. Dew sparkling in the hazy sunshine and the air full of birdsong. The garden’s full of birds, too; blackbirds yanking worms from the lawn and between the paving, soft grey collared doves strutting about, fat wood pigeons hoovering up the seed from underneath the feeeders. Our resident flock of sparrows are busy too. They’re not bright or strikingly coloured, but what they lack in glamour they certainly make up for in personality. Second only to the robin, I think, in boldness and sheer cheek, they’ll happily land a foot or so away from you to grab a seed or have a drink from the pond.
The light was so lovely earlier that I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures in the garden. The area underneath our standard willow tree is pretty boring for most of the year, but in the spring it’s full of lily of the valley and primroses. Our ceanothus, which in a week or two will be covered in deep sky blue blossom, is just at the bud stage. You can see the petals peeping out now from the pinkish-purple buds. It’s an ordinary sort of shrub the rest of the year, but it certainly makes up for it for these few weeks of spring. The apple and plum blossom is just breaking out too, and the damson tree we planted last year is in full blossom.
Yesterday I went on one of my favourite walks: Hascombe, which has a rather good pub at the start and end of a beautiful walk around Hascombe hill. It’s a steep climb to start with (hills really aren’t my thing, unfortunately, although I love the views from the top of them) but then it’s a level few miles through mature beech woodland. There’s a great vantage point for watching the aerobatics at Dunscombe’s annual Wings and Wheels event in the summer too.
I was hoping for some spring flowers, as there are some beautiful ones to be found on this walk in the summer. But as it’s slightly too early for the bluebells to be flowering, I contented myself with these brand new leaves unfurling. It’s the sight of spring, isn’t it; this bursting forth of delicate new growth.The weather’s been so warm that we were in t-shirts, which felt a bit incongruous when most of the branches are still bare and the perennials are only just shoving their noses above the ground. We saw three roe deer as well, their fluffy white rumps dancing about in the sunlight
especially when one was being fruitlessly pursued by my friend’s lurcher.
Another place I walked this week is a tiny copse (a small wood of shrubs and trees) near me where the trees have been managed under a coppice system for many years. I’m going to talk more about coppicing in another post, so all I’ll do here is show you the beautiful wood anenomes – Anenome nemorosa – that are flowering amongst the green of the pre-floral bluebells. In a couple of weeks it’ll be a carpet of blue, which I promise I’ll show here, but for now the open canopy is allowing these gorgeous delicate little flowers to flourish.