After a long and very wet winter, there are at last some signs of spring around the woods. In particular, there are catkins. Lots and lots of catkins – hazel, birch, alder and willow – and my hay fever tells me they are producing a lot of pollen. This is wonderful for the honey bees and bumblebees that I see around the woods, waking up from their hibernation.
The wild daffodils have also started to come out, although the naturalised domestic daffs are a little behind their wild cousins. The bluebells are also showing their shoots through the ground.
The little birds are singing their territorial songs: dunnock, robin, wren, great tit and blue tit are in full song, as well as willow tit and yellowhammer, and the great spotted woodpecker is drumming away. A pair of buzzards are calling as they circle over the woods. The skylarks are up as well and that is truly a sound of summer. And in our meadows, the grass is rising and the speedwell is in flower in places.
The light, too, is getting that lovely light and watery quality of spring as the sun creeps higher and higher, and sets later and later in the day. The sunshine and showers weather is a big improvement over the wet winter storms.
Spring is such an exciting time and always welcome, whether the winter has been cold and snowy or mild, wet and windy. It represents a time when the winter work in the woods is finally done and we can sit back, enjoy the fruit of our labours, cease worrying about the dwindling supply of firewood logs and concentrate on the beauty, tranquility and peace of the woods again. And maybe even turn our hands to a little bit of green woodworking again with the fresh supply of coppice wood…but that is a post for another day!