If I squint in a particularly determined manner then I can almost convince myself that there are big buds on the sycamores down the dingle. Surely there are? This Cornus kesselringii above, planted for its striking dark stems but otherwise something of a dull shrub, has redeemed itself this week - the brightness of the emergent leaves like little fresh flames in a thatch of black stems. It has earned its keep this season. It can stay.
There are certainly primroses and pretty native daffodils. Oh why didn't we put more in last autumn? Such simple little things unlike their brasher, cultivated cousins. Such bringers of joy at this time of year too.
The Glam. Ass has early blossom in his orchard - this is a Japanese Plum. I wish I could say the fruit was tasty - it was certainly prolific last year but the dogs ate it up before we humans got a look in. (Chester grazes from the branches and Wilson hoovers up whatever's on the ground.)
Fortunately the hens have been busy at last. I never fail to get a thrill when I open the nest box to reveal a clutch of eggs, some still warm. (Sorry about the fuzzy picture.)
We've got a resident rabbit too....it's the cutest, tiniest thing and has chosen to live under the wood pile. Like the evil grey squirrel it's got it PR sorted. It sits in the sun and washes its ickle nose with its itsy paws and I go 'ahhhh' and melt.
There's only 1 rabbit so far - unless there are more and they come out to graze at different times. That would be worrying, taking into account the multiplication rate of rabbits and the fact that I am hoping, once again, to grow vegetables in abundance. I'm usually with Mr Mc Gregor re rabbits....but having just found the link (I can have a Peter Rabbit App for the iPhone!!) am having a moment of weakness. But one step towards my lettuces Master Rabbit and you are pie.
It's definitely not a hare. One morning last week up on the field sat a big March hare, who, as I approached, loped off into the mist. They're about but we don't see them often - and sighting this shy and elusive creature seemed like a good omen.
Now the fields are full of new lambs. Soon I will spy birds nesting - the garden is loud with bird song as I write this. Already we have asparagus showing its pale snouts above the soil - soon there will asparagus for supper.
I feel the urge to plant and to sow - to get out there and be part of this great awakening but that soil is still too cold, it's still too early. I'll bide my time - 'feste lente' - make haste slowly - making do with a bit of tidying here and some greenhouse work there.
And because it is still too early to do without the boiler and we need it running for water and warmth I'll wait in for someone to come and diagnose its latest 'hiccup'. That's run 10 minutes, blow all the fuses ad infinitum. Pah! give me the sun's warmth on my back any day.