Monday, 31 March 2008

Spring is in the air . . .

Whilst out walking Dylan our Springer Spaniel in Froggatt woods wearing shorts the other day, it was hard to deny Spring was well and truly in the air. I'm not saying that winter might not have one more bite left in it yet, just that Spring has taken command.

The Silver Birch that dominate the woods were slowly coming into bud and even the later budding Beech was showing signs of finally dropping all of its last season golden crop of leaves.

I wasn't shocked to see that I wasn't the only fool hardy idiot out walking in shorts, in fact I passed several and it was because the air was so undeniably warm. If this evidence wasn't substantial enough, as I came down from my walk back to Grindleford I passed my first grass cutter of the year, obviously wanting to start with the official start of British Summer Time.

I always find it a wonderful time when you start to see the seasons change, which ever they may be. But I think Spring has to top the season changes, when it come to what a new season may hold, there is something so expectant about it. Winter draws to a conclusion slowly, still leaving the odd frost well after we have all started wearing t-shirts (if not shorts!), but Spring proffers Summer up, warm nights and lazy weekends warming our cold bodies after the dank Winters we get in Britain.

The psychological affect it has on you can be astounding, some how all of the worries that have been with you over the Winter months seem to slip into your sub-conscious and you are reborn with this new feeling that everything is going to be all right after all.

It's been nice to really start noticing the smaller components of season change since we left London to live in the country again. Whilst in London you obviously still get the major factors of the air temperature and the hours of daylight, you don't however notice as many of the other factors. The abundance of life is slapping you in the face at this time of year out of the cities, birds everywhere nest making, flower bulbs pushing their way out of the now fully soaked soil. Give it a few more weeks and the Bluebells are going to adorning the wood floor like a fairy carpet here.

With a young child in our family now, it seems to be all that more important to witness these things, I grew up having all of these changes pointed out to me by my parents and they have stayed with me all my life. My wife mocks my boring tirades whilst we are out walking as I point out every detail of nature as we pass, but for me this is what I love about nature, it's detail and it's this detail I now want to share with our daughter in the hope that she too will incorporate it into her vision of the world.

I am currently reading Wildwood - A Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin, which whilst a somewhat eccentric take on woodland life is a refreshingly detailed account. Someone who truly encapsulates the comings and goings of a woodland environment and their seasonal changes. Some times I feel that in this fast paced modern world, which we all enjoy in different ways, we don't take enough time to notice the details. So next time you are out walking, whether it be in a woodland or even down Charing Cross Road, take a pause and take in some of life's wonderful details.

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