1 March 2018
Tips of grass tufts are all that show above the snow crisp and firm and proud. Sun shines bright and strong even from a pale and hazy sky. Winter may think this is a flurry of success a blanket that holds the world in check but sunshine can hear the steady drip beneath the snow and see the drop shaped hollows under trees.
2 March 2018
In secret corners where the sun never goes the last of snow is sitting sad and shrinking; its world its life its limb dripping away as moments pass. Even in the deepest shadows the breath of warmer air is registering establishing its presence taking up its space and talking to the trees; whispering to the birds who have come out to play and stroking the smallest hints of new found growth.
3 March 2018
Hidden under snow their green skirts wrapping them as tight as fairy wings these golden darlings have been waiting. Snow gone they spread their skirts and show their golden blossoms to the world; the dandelions are on the plot and looking at the sun.
4 March 2018
Molten snow soaked the earth and now the rains have turned the topmost layer to a slippery opportunity to slide and slither. Young dog dances on oblivious; old dog is more cagey noting places his hips are trying to bend too much; booted man strides and skates but does not fall. Old dog gives a knowing look when he hears the gasp; young dog glances hoping for a game. Once settled we walk on.
5 March 2018
Sharp spring sunshine brightens London streets from their dull decrepit rancid grey; brightened by the brilliant colours of last night’s branded litter and the heaps of rough sleepers bunched together for warmth. There is heat in the sun but not enough to hold relief when this evening's cloudless sky lets it seep away into the night and cold returns to this sad and pitiless city.
6 March 2018
Bright sunshine silvers grass dampened from the night and early rain; softened ground against a hazy sky; a sky that could spend the day deep blue or fade its promise in matching London’s grey and upsetting water upon as all.
7 March 2018
Soft earth under sunshine banks a rising rolling river; more than soft, soggy and sodden. Somewhere beneath that softness is an earth more severe even solid rock; but deep, deep in the foundations of the world. Here on the surface every step sinks and squelches breaks the surface of puddles and washes gentle waves back and forth over blades of grass.
8 March 2018
Sun is bright upon the flowers purple yellow and white that wave their heads in the harsh cold wind; spring and winter spar from now to the other side of equinox; lengthening days gently flagging where the cycle turns. Earth hardens as wind extracts water and more descends to fill the river and send it full fathomed on its way.
9 March 2018
Wind is whistling down the way cutting chill between fluffed feathers; and yet the birds are rising in sonorous song calling out that Spring is definitely sprung. Small birds mostly, not crane heron or buzzard but the songbirds of the wood welcoming the turning of the year; chattering of buds beginning to open; greens becoming stronger; and of the hints of colours of the blossom that is coming.
10 March 2018
Darting swifts greet the day whilst high above a buzzard holds almost stationary in the wind. Down the way, beside the bank, beneath the trees, fluttering and mating in the breeze; a pair of ducks attract the interest of young dog. As he arrives and barks I watch the male duck use the female as a springboard to launch himself into the air which succeeds in pushing the female clumsily into the river, at least keeping her from a doggy grasp. Sadly such are the ways of birds and men.
11 March 2018
First we hear the wind with winter working hard to bring some chill but spring sun no longer will allow it; second we hear the water tumbling and bubbling down the streams to sing together in the river; and third we hear the birds speaking softly and gently to each other and to themselves from children crying to old men mumbling into beards.
12 March 2018
Flowers blossom in the chill; not the cold of winter now but the chill of a spring morning. Its fingers feel different as they stroke the skin; not sharp and biting; just enough to confirm the time that is coming; the change of season is upon us more in change than in season.
13 March 2018
A stand of poplars, some spindly from the over shadow of their siblings, others larger than my arm with athletic muscles modelled up their trunks. Buds just beginning to bulge to bloom to mark the turning of the cycles of the seasons for the decade gone from when I cut the mother trunk and let these orphan children coppice.
14 March 2018
Woodland floor is punctuated by little yellow flowers that dominate the space and catch the eye and little purple blooms that hide amongst the grasses and the growth. On dark evenings when the moon barely shows a crescent if you are very quiet you may see night-time leprechauns, seeking treasure to be secreted underneath the ends of rainbows, distil the gold from out these flowers leaving just the purple remnants for the morning’s eye.
15 March 2018
Dull and viscous green are nettles in the early spring particularly the ancient leaves of an earlier year. And bright and working to acid green are new small shoots that build themselves in hidden spots. And both sharpen the soft spines upon the undersides to catch unwary travellers. Spines that can be crushed with clear intent in the grasp of a single hand but unseen and caught against the skin can release mayhem in the sinews.
16 March 2018
We are back to mud glutinous like liquid chocolate sludging round the base of a party fountain long after guests have gone. Some rains turn the paths to slurry. Other rains leave puddles or soak into the earth and soften it or sit upon the brambles and the grasses and look sublime. But recent rain has been great gruesome gobbets smacking into the ground and churning the topmost layer to a deeply fiendish soup.
17 March 2018
Snow flakes swirling in suburbia settling on roofs and grass, melting on paths and roads before it gets a grip. Settling with so light a hold allows the base layers to melt and the accumulated piles on sloped glass and steep tiles begin to avalanche in miniature creating strange curves and sparkling overhangs.
18 March 2018
Leaves of evergreens browned by a winter spent lying on the ground have an artificial look; as if manufactured in this form before being gilded or silvered for decorations; now discarded as surplus to requirements or lost in transit between creation and ornamentation.
19 March 2018
Focus is held rigidly by the ground, icy roads and pavements ready to grip and slip the incautious traveller. From the side stream join the river of commuters hurrying and scurrying, some guarded in their steps and others recklessly fixed on forward travel risking life and limb and some do skid and slide but in the minutes of my passing no one crashes to the ground.
20 March 2018
Light fills the dawn as spring sunshine flounces out from behind the trees, an orange orb; a model on the catwalk demanding attention; and rising the colour fades into the faint pale haze that hides its warmth. For in a corner winter sits and smirks having spent the night extracting heat from water air and each and every thing. Equinox is almost here and though the dancers are on the floor all is not yet done.
21 March 2018
Last year’s leaves are leaving; not all but many. Some have had their substance thinned by winter until they are barely here; some crushed beneath the relentless tread of beast and man; and some overgrown by growth of ground cover that marks the growing year. And in corners and sheltered spots with adolescent sneers, and if they could with drooping cigarettes and sultry looks, they gather and support each other with nothing more than the pressure of their peers.
22 March 2018
Sun climbs out for morning and spies the troops of would be sunflowers; heads rising, shoulders strengthening and bodies turning the dandelions begin their exercises amongst the sparkle that is scattered across the grass. Sun knows that sparkle and with much regret that its rising will take this wondrous spray of diamond dust and destroy it with a kiss.
23 March 2018
Dull grey sky dashes all hopes of watching sunshine burst into spring; a lacklustre grey worthy of those English skies that seemed to last forever. Those small flowers that grace the wood and grass lands at this time of year hugged into themselves, refused to open up their blooms and thus failed to offer their beauty to the world.
24 March 2018
After light rain and without wind there are twigs that hold wonders. On a small branch of one sapling near the path there are droplets hung like pearls about a throat. Not spheres or drop shaped drops but shaped by the mix of wood and water and the pull of gravity. One bud greening from its purple strikes sideways from a twig and there a globule holds the bud enrapt at the centre of its water world; a temporary relationship that will be lost to warmth or cold or breeze.
25 March 2018
Beside the barn a bumble bee is grazing grass hovering from place to place hunting flowers filled with nectar. She rises from her ground hugging flight until we are almost eye to eye; and what her eyes may see of me I can never really know. A moment held and then the barn becomes more interesting offering as it does holes between the rough stones in which a bumble bee may rest and nest and build a summer brood.
26 March 2018
Pink it is that is the most exquisite colour of this time of year; amongst the yellows and the whites the purples and a thousand shades of green pink it is that holds me. A budding fruit tree offers small blooms; from deep cerise tight and hard to softer older growths that have spread that crimson out; a continuum of pinks intense at the base graduating ever paler up each petal; and it is that that grips me here staring in wonder at these marvels of the world.
27 March 2018
Wake to birdsong strong and stringent; a bruising bird, no group of birds two three voices bashing notes to beat out their tune. Not birds of wood and field that gently serenade the dawn these are city centre beasts that must hold their own with taxi van and rubbish cart clanging through the streets whilst cars rev up their volume. And these brave birds roll out their lungs and loose a magnificently raucous loud and unrefined song.
28 March 2018
There can be something wonderful in rain; the gentle washing of water down the face cleansing the pores of yesterday’s pollution; catching a reflection in a puddle of a much loved dog or of yourself; the rush of wind blown drops that hit the skin and wake the soul to morning’s other glories. There can be something wonderful in rain; and other days there is just the wet and damp and cold and slipperiness of mud that slows the pace when time is short.
29 March 2018
This precious dog set in a silver sea. All the way to the trees there is a gossamer film of dew sitting on the tips of grass; a low sun refracted by the droplets turns the surface to a silver blaze; and in the middle as if carved in stone, tail down and nose raised is young dog staring nobly at the rising sun.
30 March 2018
Remnants of rain drip from trees; not a soft rain but heavy hammering showers that barraged down all night. No light catching drops forming on a twig or leaf but just a sense of wetness in the branches and the buds and in the ground where earth has softened and in places turned to sludge that cakes on boots and penetrates between the claws.
31 March 2018
Flowers pale purple and bright yellow hold their bell blooms high to keep their heads above the growing greens; greens that are springing out from all across the woodland floor; broad dark leaves with serrated edges; rising stems with spade shaped leaves; and fine tendrils of crawlers and climbers that cross amongst the sloes shadowing an ancient smeuse.