Just over a week ago we were under several inches of snow and ice with the temperature struggling to get above freezing. Yesterday the wind fell light, the sun was out and it was in mid-teens centigrade. Time for a long overdue walk. Will nature have recovered quickly? What will we see?
Everywhere the Robins were announcing their claim to territory. Their glorious song filled the air. Full volume now, not the subdued version they will utter even in the depths of winter. They mean business. To our ears beautiful music, to a rival a challenge, throwing down the gauntlet!
Banks of snowdrops and crocuses filled country gardens, groups of daffodils in sheltered spots already in bloom. Wild flowers starting to appear on the verges of the country lanes, Bright yellow lesser celandines, small blue speedwells, daisies and dandelions. New growth pushing through and in the warmth you could literally smell it!
Along the 7 mile walk my eyes were peeled. I just felt the conditions would awaken a hibernating butterfly. Like last year it was Mrs H who spotted the first, a Peacock, and as is her way kept reminding me of it (didn’t think it was a competition). A few miles further on, as we were admiring the local Alpacas, a lemon yellow male Brimstone danced past right under our noses and did a circuit of the paddock. I got my first butterfly photo of the year just a mile from home. A fluttering by an ivy hedge caught my eye and there a Peacock in pretty good condition (considering it spent the winter possibly in a hole in a tree) sat in the sun, posing, allowing me the pleasure to capture the moment for posterity.
Hopefully this isn’t a false dawn and we can enjoy more days like this in the weeks to come, I can’t wait!