1 April 2018
Beneath the bellowing birds that fill the air with sound and song the river makes its constant noises; fairly full the ford presents a rippling tinkling melody rather than a near silent wash across the stones; there is a rhythmic swish as water rises to cross the biggest rock and slides down again; an almost imperceptible rustle that needs must lean in to hear where the roots of trees impede the flow; little hisses from the streams that feed the river as they drop the water down the little levels; and the glorious crash growl and roar where a fallen tree has built a dam and waters spill over it to the pool beyond.
2 April 2018
Birds and river continue their morning orchestration. A mither of rain appears to make no difference to either but has stirred the fecund aromas of the earth oozing out the smells of the circles of life; fresh new growth with hints of mint and sweetness; old growth reinvigorated with rising sap; the earth itself rich and deep and dark; and the steady rot of last year’s leaves that will become the food for next year’s new.
3 April 2018
Disparaged and disconsolate, an army on retreat from Moscow, droop-headed dandelions decorate the grass not in neat columns or planned plantings but just casually scattered. Cool cloudy morning discourages the daily opening and they feel depressed. But warmth will come and light and water and you will raise your heads and bloom; offer your little suns up to the sky and brighten all the world.
4 April 2018
Greens are greener following rain having greened and after greening yet more green; that hour or so when colours vibrate more strongly; browns of earth and tree of branch and bough are deeper and hold more mystery; yellows beaten by the rain shine when hit by sun; but the green of greens takes on another range of hues; pale buds become more multi-shaded subtle; grass and ground cover broadens as if to take more space; fresh leaves increase the drip of acid; and last year’s bramble leaves darken predatorily.
5 April 2018
Pale sky offers less than expected light for the time of day and year; disordered clouds of black and white do not appear to obscure the rising sun but the level and the feel of the light suggests an earlier time. Within an hour there are hints of blue and gold of true dawn arriving. Perhaps it is my perception that is wrong rather than the world.
6 April 2018
Equinox dance is not yet finished as winter rests his hand lightly upon the land; quiet sheltered spots hold hints of ice whilst swards balance cold dew drops upon their blades; chill leaves clear skies for sun to spread in and to bring her holding warmth. But winter still lurks in corners scratching sores whittling figurines to prod and pin and working up his next surprise.
7 April 2018
There is a stirring under old bramble leaves; leaves that have guarded their dark green colour through the cold of winter and the rain and wind protecting the vicious barbs that hook to tree and beast; now they begin to bow their heads and let their flush so full of depth and maturity drain away; limp remnants blotching and blackening as they fade. Pushing them softly to the side are bright green bramble buds shooting beautiful acid ferns which look in innocent wonder on the world these dying veils offer.
8 April 2018
Mud takes on many consistencies after gentle rain. High points take a skein as thin as paint that merely leaves a wetness on the firmness of the earth; lesser places that have had time to dry and dampen and to dry again hold the crumbling consistency of so many animal droppings once a day or two has passed; lower still a true mud is built the sort of mortar that filled the gaps between the field stones that built this low lying mill; and deepest still are puddles that circulate the grains of earth that are the soil that allows us all to grow.
9 April 2018
Dandelions begin their work; even on the on dampest days they open through the morning creating sunshine blazing from the grass; give way transform to wondrous full moons soft and light and feathered; dance they now in the gentlest of movements of the air; a passing dog wafts seeds from stem without the need of swish of tail; and a breeze however light can lift them all and spread them wide to start the cycle once again.
10 April 2018
Oak leaves are the ones that register; because we have more oaks than others or because they are the ones that last out the winter I know not. They gather beside the path translucent crowded in the hollows between burgeoning plants; grouped in bundles between broken branches; trampled on the path by footfall and by rain almost to non-existence; their shapes faded to the faintest outline in the earth as they subsume to soil.
11 April 2018
Bird song changes with time and circumstance. As winter turned to spring there was a raucous exuberance that had all the energy of youth and could not last forever. As spring grows and winter fades to sometime frosts the tones alter; still holding all the joy of life they are more melodious less strident rounded by the lengthening day. And after night rain they are quieter; some just pleased not to have been washed away; some diffident testing the waters; and others silent waiting for the sun to break the clouds.
12 April 2018
Bluebells have shown their heads at last, their leggy stems as well; late in the year, taller than expected, emaciated; each individual bell thin and bedraggled; sad and beaten survivors of a long march with too little sustenance and a night time standing in the cold and rain.
13 April 2018
Bluebells lead the way for other flowers this morning with stronger shoulders and flounced out blooms. Less rain lighter rain and early sun all help. And there is an inner strength in each shoot that holds them upright cell braced against cell they smile along the bank.
14 April 2018
Power of a strong sun draws water from the bare earth that is the woodland paths; dries up puddles; turns gloop to mud and mud to mortar; mortar that holds together the field stones that built this house; dragged together by hard hand labour unmachined uncut; built deep into the hill beside the stream; constructed one stone on one till strong enough to hold a wheel that water could turn to power.
15 April 2018
Saw a little lilac butterfly no more than half an inch from wing to wing; a flutterbye that fluttered round my shoulder and half glided down toward the woodland shaded grass; almost landing on a large dark beetle whose head lifted slightly; butterfly banked away as if in fear and disappeared beneath the brambles; beetle reset to forward and marched on.
16 April 2018
Ethereal sheer and diaphanous is the skin that rests upon the grass; the dew that feeds water to the world; each droplet scattering sunlight. And ready to release their silver seeds dandelions form lines of watchtowers rising above the plain. We await the first full breath of morning.
17 April 2018
Thinnest of mists rises from the ground as dew is dissipated and warmed away. Cool sun works hard to release the chill of a clear night; flowers tentative and uncertain start to open where the warmth spills between the trees inviting in the bees who very sensibly are huddled close about their queens and not yet flying.
18 April 2018
Thin ash sapling has held its own against the wind and rain and deer of winter; having stretched toward the light in recent years raises its head beyond the woodland shadow; nearby oaks look down and sneer a little at this interloper whose buds are breeching and spreading tiny fingers greenly upward.
19 April 2018
Pear tree stands within the orchard all flounced and ready white bright and blossom gaudy tinged with fifty shades of pink; waiting for a partner at the dance; wondering who and fearing if; attendants come in droves to preen and trim and groom but these are bees who bring their own agenda; and being a tree restricts the dancing options and so alone she stands.
20 April 2018
Low river reveals long curving banks; made of earth and roots and rock they shine like tropical sand baking under the sun. Rocks within the stream are miniature castles holding ground against unseen enemies; bases glistening in the spray of tiny waves that wash from nearby stones.
21 April 2018
Cacophony of bird song as birds do what birds do; except for one that’s gently cooing in the distance; waiting and holding back not flitting or twittering not flirting or nesting but waiting for the moment; for the moment another bird departs their nest to hunt for food or twigs to bolster walls; and then the cuckoo will descend in silence and lay its imposter in a darkened corner pretending to be hidden till it hatches.
22 April 2018
Nazca lines appear in places on the path as mud dries to earth and earth dries further and begins to shrink; these shallow cracks may not give way to pathways to the centre but do provide gulfs that small spiders and baby beetles must navigate as they scurry about their business.
23 April 2018
Quieter songs are sung by birds at morning; the more raucous sounds are evening revelations; as if different birds were out and partying into the twilight hours; yet the songs of dawn and dusk whilst similar in melody take on different tones; a softer sound gentler on the ear is sung in rising light and a more boisterous swaggering jangle greets the fading of the day.
24 April 2018
Dandelions stand in line like soldiers equidistant from each other. The first is strong and tall ready with an hundred seeds awaiting that breathe of air that will stir and send them on their way to life or loss; the last is gaunt and lost its seed heads gone to an earlier blast; and the central figure is bent and broken a wedge of spores swept out whilst others lie twisted near the centre and it fills the air with its fatigue.
25 April 2018
Humble bumble bee seeks stone for home; hunts in rocks dragged from the fields to build this barn; creeps into crevices and cracks clefts and crannies to find a cave a cavern a crater or a cavity that will fit the shape and size and needs and wants of what it is to be a bumble bee.
26 April 2018
Ground hardens foliage softens; what was mud is earth under growth; life scramble of spring has every little plant pushing for some light; what was earth solidifies into slabs; tendrils wander in the wind to find handholds on their journey; rock like earth flakes and evaporates to dust; foliage envelopes and covers bare soil bringing warmth and moisture.
27 April 2018
Castles in the air hidden in the green; more grandiose than Chambord and Versailles; more regal than Caernarvon and Windsor; richer than London and New York. Leaves grow and change continually re-tensing the canvas; light alters every day and paints a little differently; and breeze and wind sculpt the result in unlike ways each hour. And castles modify and move slowly and suddenly sluggishly and swiftly ever failing to stay still.
28 April 2018
High in the trees mistletoe balls begin to disappear; each day they come closer to wraiths as if only in real existence in mid-winter; ghosts of summer they spend these months swathed in leaves and all but invisible. And they will sink their roots deep into oak and poplar hawthorn and lime tapping their sap for water and life; never grounding to earth until death, be that itself or the tree.
29 April 2018
Purple and blue pink and white yellow and silver catch the eye and take the focus; brown trunks and branches fade into a background that supports the many hued green that dominates the woodland from floor to zenith; from leaves above and all around that green oozes through the veins of ivy connecting to the flood rampaging between the trees.
30 April 2018
Rain and chill darken the hue of greens beyond that expected from the change to clouded light; purple strengthens deepens and holds close to ground; blue shivers; pink hides; white and yellow shrink to hold what warmth they had; and silver heads of dandelions stand as they must awaiting their opportunities.