What is this thing we call spring? Is it defined by date, by temperature or by what we see around us? Or maybe it’s just a feeling, something inside us that yearns for the end of the dark and cold of winter.
Meteorological spring begins on 1st March this year but, in a week in which fearsome sub-zero temperatures and snow are forecast for much of the UK, it will feel like winter is still surrounding us.
Today was indeed bitter, with a raw wind that penetrated even the warmest of coats, but the fresh, crisp air and bright blue sky proved too much temptation for me, and I spent the afternoon in the garden.
I pottered contentedly, sweeping leaves and re-stacking the untidy log pile; I peered closely at beds and borders, watching the cold earth and weak sun nourish new green growth.
Magnolia, clematis and rose are budding tentatively, stretching out towards the light, and I couldn’t help but imagine the flowers to come and the warm weather that will accompany them.
Our apple tree has sprouted a few new leaves, although they were quite hard to spot on its gracefully arching silhouette.
I spied a nest in amongst the logs. Whoever has built this (any ideas?) has assiduously ignored our deliberate wildlife haven – a tumbling pile of large log slices from a fallen tree – and plumped instead for the logs destined for our cottage fireplace. Fear not, wee creature, we will work around your little winter home, and select our firewood from the other end of the log store.