A lane in February
February - the shortest month, made shorter for me this year by being struck down with a really nasty chesty cold that had me housebound for over 10 days. And in the way of these things, while I was unable to go out, we apparently had a mini heatwave. Typical!
Before the illness hit, I was beginning to feel the start of spring, although there was little to see. The sheep had a surprise in store for me one morning, as we approached their field, I could hear a couple of very much higher pitched bleetings amongst the rest of the baa’s and when I stopped to have a good look, lo and behold, a pair of lambs! (I’m not sure what had happened there because they never leave the sheep in the field for lambing - I’m guessing mother nature had decided to bring the pair early). Anyway, a couple of days later and all the sheep had been moved out.
Shortly after that, I took to my bed. It was only late last week that I was able to make a very slow walking return to the lane. While I was laid up I imagined that the whole lane would be transformed, but in fact although there are signs of spring coming in, they’re still quite subtle.
Up at the top of the field, the little patch of daffodils are in flower. (I’m convinced these must have been planted there at some time, but perhaps I’m wrong. There aren’t any others anywhere close by - that I’ve spotted at least).
In the lane the delicate pale yellow mahonia flowers are coming in. The single clump of snowdrops has flowered (looking much healthier than last year, even though it was 10 days later flowering). Catkins are suddenly cascading everywhere. I saw what I think is turkey tail bracket fungus on a fallen tree trunk. The first time I’ve noticed this and how pretty it is.
Very few leaves on the trees yet, a few buds on the hawthorn, but one elder has a small flush of green leaves and what I think may be the beginning of a little bunch of elderflower blossom, curled up tight.
And perhaps the thing that gave me most joy to see when I made it back to the lane - the tiny deep pink glossy buds of the blackthorn blossom beginning to show. For me, the transformation of the blackthorn blossom is the most wonderful sight of early spring.
Hopefully not too long to wait now…x
If you haven’t been here before, I should just say that most mornings, I walk the same route in the countryside near our home, with our rather antisocial rescue dog, noticing the seasonal changes, chatting with a particular oak tree and taking the odd load of photos (one of which I usually post to Instagram later in the afternoon or evening). If you use Instagram, you can find me here. Do say hello and leave a comment, it would be lovely to meet you there.