Signs of spring in Grovely Wood and elsewhere

These sheep were busily eating up their greens on the way into the wood.

These sheep were busily eating up their greens on the way into the wood.

IF there is one thing that keeps The Happy Moonraker going through the winter it is the thought of spring. It is so heartening now to see signs of spring all around.

In Grovely Wood near Salisbury at the weekend I saw bluebell leaves through the brown beech leaves underfoot. In sheltered spots there are daffodils that have been around for at least a month, and snowdrops are still shaking their little white heads in the chilly breeze. Catkins adorn the naked branches of hazel bushes and there are plenty of hellebores in gardens and parks.

A river of mauve crocuses outside Salisbury Museum is now past its best but more will be flowering in exposed rural areas.

A puffball at Grovely.

A puffball at Grovely.

Fungus well established on the stump of a beech tree.

Fungus well established on the stump of a beech tree.

A beech tree with a troubled past.

A beech tree with a troubled past.

Tilly is not bothered by signs of spring: she decided to dig to Australia when she was in Grovely Wood.

Tilly is not bothered by signs of spring: she decided to dig to Australia when she was in Grovely Wood.

Snowdrops on a roadside verge in the Woodford Valley near Salisbury.

Snowdrops on a roadside verge in the Woodford Valley near Salisbury.

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