And all of a sudden, spring. The blackbirds are singing their hearts out before sunrise and the woodpeckers are screeching and hammering. And there's what my father-in-law would call that good stretch in the evenings now.
All week the cranes have been returning and it's such a welcome sight and sound. This year more so than ever. When I heard the first flock, late afternoon on Monday, we ran outside to watch the enormous flocks high above in their V-shaped formations flying in from the southwest and I noticed that all the neighbours were out there with us and we all were gazing up and clapping and waving. I got on my bicycle and cycled along with them for a while. It was just the best thing.
In the garden it is winter aconite week. I found just the one snowdrop struggling between the thyme bushes, the last of hundreds which, according to the gardener, is due to shrews eating the bulbs and, according to my own humble opinion - which I wisely keep to myself -, due to the gardener digging up the bulbs because he is not fond of them, their messy green leaves taking up space after too short of a bloom. The gardener hates waste. We disagree.
There's just a bit left to harvest, like these fat fellows, which I roasted (cubed) with a bit of miso butter and honey.
Next will be crocus and grape hyacinth week and before we can take a breath, the full flowering orgy will be upon us. I have been reading about mast years and now have great hopes for the hazel and various plum trees this year after last summer's dismal harvest.
Meanwhile seed propagation is getting out of hand, we transplanted the first batches and they are now happy in the cold frame and the greenhouse but as always, there's more and even more and soon I will have to do a ring-a-round for takers.
The grandchild asked this morning, can you come to my house granny and granddad? And people, we laughed and held our breath for while.