“Nothing is so beautiful as Spring” wrote the poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins and on a crisp, bright morning like today, I would have to agree with him. The catkins are swaying gently in a light breeze, there’s a distant bleat of lambs frolicking in a nearby field and the wild birds have found their voices again after the silence of the dark, winter days.
Living on the edge of a moor in Cornwall, surrounded by fields, trees and animals, the seasons slip past in a continuous parade of ever surprising beauty, each one vying to be your favourite, like a pageant of the natural world awaiting your top score. As I sit here listening to the gentle tick, tick of an old clock, the quiet is pierced can by the shreaking, sharp chatter of birds as flocks of starlings gather at the top of the trees for their daily airborne display of choreography. As quickly and noisily as the join together, they are suddenly gone, twisting high in the air as one and the silence descends.
Today as I checked and fed our chickens, ducks (or wackers so as they are affectionately known) and our arthritic old goose, I made two lovely discoveries which put a smile on my face and reminded me that Spring was within reach. The first discovery was especially special as we’ve never had any here on our little smallholding. In one of the water troughs we have lying around collecting rain water to use to water our veg beds, I found some frog spawn – not remarkable in itself but as something which I haven’t seen close up since I was a child, it made me very happy. Particularly as the farm where I grew up in West Cornwall was named after the Cornish for pool of frogs. Any amphibian life was well gone by the time I moved there in the mid seventies with my mum and two sisters but it always struck me as charming that someone named a farm after such a seemingly insignificant creature.
The second discovery was that the wackers had embraced the whole Spring coming thing and as I cleaned their run, I found two little eggs, truly duck egg blue in colour – breakfast in the making.
So….. for the moment, I do have to agree with the Victorian poet quoted at the beginning of this blog as Spring is beautiful and might just be my favourite season – well until summer comes along anyway!