Sights and sounds of spring

Tilly the terrier gets digging among the bluebells.

Tilly the terrier gets digging among the bluebells.

THERE was blue sky and sunshine most of the day. Tender white narcissi with their delicate scent have taken over from the rather raucous daffodils which are dying back now. Some of the daffs are even tough enough to have coped with the occasional frost.

Hellebores, or Christmas roses if you prefer, fill corners of the garden. Plain, variegated or spotted, they range from palest cream or light green, through to pink and the darkest crimson. There have been primroses everywhere for weeks. The first bluebells are luminous blue, whether the original darker blue of the native type or the paler, more faintly scented ones of the introduced species.

Plum blossom crowds the trees in a froth of tiny white flowers, attracting bees from the nearby hives, and looking ethereal in moonlight.

Birdsong fills the air, with wrens, small though they are, trilling loudly from their hiding places. Proud blackbirds sing from the rooftops, a green woodpecker cackles from the trees. Its other name, yaffle, is just right: they do “yaffle”. A pair of Canada geese leaves the nest by the stream to forage for food before honking loudly as they return.

And then the sun disappears behind a cloud and the rain begins, becoming heavier and lasting for several hours. Silence descends.

From the window I can see blue tits as they flit along the hedgerow, protected from the rain by last year’s brown beech leaves. A tiny wren silently works lower down in the hedge, hunting for insects for the nest of young that must surely be hidden close by.

A pink and white self-sown Hellebore

A pink and white self-sown Hellebore

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