When I went out to fill the bird feeders this morning, I noticed lots of signs of spring emerging and, knowing this might be my last opportunity for a while, I fetched my camera and recorded a few of them.
The dwarf daffodils have been open for a week now but today I spotted the first of the regular daffodils.
The camellia shrubs have also been in flower for a while, the earliest harbingers of spring in my sheltered garden. Lots of the outer flowers have fallen but I spotted one deep in the foliage and a whole lot of buds waiting to open and delight.
Another early show comes from the pulmonaria, which I call pandemonium because of its tendency to run riot in the garden.
If you look carefully at the next picture you might spot a dragon. He is one of the pets we have for the grandchildren. He's rather fond of hellebores and snowdrops.
Spring was the theme for our writing group this week and we heard a selection of poems, each of them inspiring but we did not use my personal favourite so here it is:
Nothing is so beautiful as spring --
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. -- Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
The lushness of Hopkins' spring hasn't arrived in my garden yet but there are definitely some early hints of what is to come.