The arrival of glorious warm spring, trailing showers and golden flowers in her wake has been the most welcome visitor of this last week. And how quickly we and the garden and all its inhabitants have responded. Where a cold desert froze at my feet, there are now bees and flies and butterflies. beetles and ants busy themselves and in the bushes and trees, birdsong and nest-building. A lovely Mistle thrush has her nest in a tree. She defends it stoutly from all-comers, chasing the woodpeckers away, who themselves are searching for a nest site.
And overhead, the skies full of returning swallows and martins, singing their joyful homecoming songs from on the wing and from on the wires. We saw our first swallow last Sunday, and a handful of sand martins. Yesterday there were many more and house martins had joined the party.
It always felt, through those last few weeks where spring was penned back by the cold easterly air mass, that when spring came, it would come with a rush. And that is how it feels-a great release of energy and optimism carried through on the wings of swallows. And relief that the winter is finally over.