Thoughts on a morning in spring


And to think I used to hate currant bushes – but big & bold they’re fabulous

Oh, what a glorious sky!

So many words for blue – and yet not one will do it justice.

Here in Northern World, we’re accustomed to wintry gloom and misty, damp spring days. Perhaps the word for this colour eludes me because of what went before? The contrast? Because it’s not a real colour, more a perceived one?

[Stops. Adjusts mental attitude. Sips from cup of tea and gazes from window.]

Quite the wrong approach for this heavenly day.

The air’s abuzz with bees, with chirruping, nest-building, passion-crazed birds.

A butterfly rests on the dew-drenched grass – was it sensible to emerge so soon?


Hard to capture the bronze – you’ll just have to trust me!

Buds strain to unfurl on the birch trees, their tippy-top branches glowing bronze in the sunshine.

A froth of pale blossoms covers the cherry trees.

And two red squirrels compete for the water dish. Nibble at the peanuts that were there for little birds to enjoy.

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A bit of a stand-off atop the fence


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Eye on the water dish

A white pen draws a line across the sky, erasing itself as it leaves. Too high to see what kind of aeroplane it is. Have they been on holiday? Are they going to a business meeting, those passengers?

My day should have started long ago. By which I mean my ‘working’ day. I’ve been up since 6 am, but still haven’t showered or dressed for the day or started anything that approximates to tasks of duty not of pleasure.

I ventured into Twitter. But that medium is a fickle companion. It distils the best, the worst, the most painful, the silliest, the angriest the ugliest the most beautiful. Short snatches of everything – and today, thanks to the world outside my window, I’m aware how easy it is to select only the worst.

So here I am. Glancing outside. Typing.


One of my favourite spring flowers, Pulmonaria, or lungwort, doesn’t like too much sun

Heart warmed by the day, by the trees, by the squirrels. By the birds, the blossom, the butterfly, the grass – and the promise that is spring.

Yesterday a bird died after hurtling headlong into our window. I found it outside the garage door, flies already crawling.

It was a Black Cap, a bird that is no common visitor to our garden.

In spring the birds seem to fly far faster, be less wary, hit our windows with abandon. Most often they survive. Especially the fat, waddling, far-too-numerous wood pigeons.

But this one died. It saddened me. Its little eye open but empty. Why me? It accused, or so it felt.

‘Who killed cock Robin?’

‘I said the sparrow, with my bow and arrow.’

No, said I.

I, with my kitchen window, I killed little Black Cap.

But this is spring. I hope that Black Cap’s partner will find another mate. That soon, added to the chirruping will be the squeaks of baby Black Cap. A replacement for the little corpse that rots, now, amongst the trees beyond on our fence.

April. The cruellest month?

Perhaps. Yesterday.

But not today.


Golden weeping birches and a bit of that curranty stuff


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12 Responses to Thoughts on a morning in spring

  1. Rebekah M says:

    Beautiful … your spring has come so much farther than ours. They even talked about flurries for overnight last night, thankfully that didn’t happen. I’m looking out the window right now, and all I see is a greyish brown tone, all over the place.

    Sad about the little Black Cap. Two years ago, thousands of migrating song birds flew into the flame at the refinery here. They think they got confused, in the fog, by the light from the flame.


    • Today is just brimming with gorgeousness! I hope your transformation from greyish brown to green comes soon. It’s odd, I do like winter but as soon as the trees start greening and the birds start singing and the sun starts shining, I’m hooked and I want summer. It has been quite cold (by our standards) despite the blue skies but we’re just so glad to see unalloyed sun and blue skies. What an awful story about the migrating birds. Puts my one little Black Cap in perspective. Thanks for commenting. M

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rebekah M says:

        Me too … I love winter, and snow. That said, as soon as it starts to melt, and the snow piles look dirty, I want green. Won’t be long now, tomorrow and Friday we’ll get 20º!

        The oil refinery was sued for the bird incident, and in the future they’ll have to make adjustments to the flame during migration.


  2. John Kemp says:

    Last week we visited the château at Maintenon, not far from Chartres, where the arches of the ruined aqueduct built by the military architect Vauban, which took water from the river Indre to Versailles, form a backdrop to the gardens laid out according to a design of the landscape designer Le Notre. A small group of Canada geese flew across to land on the lake and we head the first cuckoo. On our way back we saw the first swallow of the year; out for a bike ride on Monday heard the first nightingales; yesterday had a perfect view of a hoopoe in a neighbour’s fruit tree (the cherry trees are all in blossom); from our bedroom window three swallows passed across the garden this morning and out for a walk cuckoo calls echoing in the woods and nightingales singing in just about every bush.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a litany of loveliness. You win, definitely – but I bet you haven’t seen the first red squirrel! Oh to be in Chartres anyway, geese or no geese.
      I’m sure I already told you somewhere that the last time I heard a cuckoo was at a rural sewage treatment works in the Vale of Pewsey many years ago. Such a rare sound now, the call is so haunting. I haven’t seen any swallows yet (L’s favourites) but they don’t particularly like the area around us here. And hoopoe – I keep looking at the picture in the book and hoping! As for nightingales, ahh, you must have specaii qualities to attract all these creatures 😉 Sounds like spring is well advanced there, let’s hope our taste of it stays longer thean the weathermen predict and brings out the swallows as well as the little bugs that are already in the air.


  3. John Kemp says:

    And I forgot – the bluebells in the woods, masses of them, a carpet of blue and green.


  4. mud4fun says:

    Lovely words and equally lovely pictures. Sad about the Black Cap though. We have also had a few birds hit our windows over the years but it is rare. I think our sash windows with thick wooden framework and numerous small panes make it more obvious to the birds that something is there. We have also had some glorious blue skies over the last few days. It almost feels like summer other than the biting cold wind that is!


    • Hello – good to hear from you – hope you’ve recovered from the shock of them ending Land Rover production 😦 And thank you so much for the kind words. It was such a gorgeous day something had to be done! Did you notice the mock currants> How’s yours doing? Pretty cold here too – the asparagus in nearby Formby is barely poking out of the ground yet.


  5. The last picture looks like a cumber party of young girls in the middle of getting up and drying their hair – getting ready. Early spring is like a great creatures suddenly rising and shaking off the winter and trying on this and that as adornment before tossing on a frock for the summer’s party


    • Lovely description Karen! They do indeed. I’m afraid here in the north of England we sometimes don’t even get the chance to wear those summer frocks, but I hope this year … Meanwhile it snowed this morning. Sigh.


  6. EllaDee says:

    The words I associate with sky blues aren’t blue, such a funny saying “I’m blue” when bkue skies actually lift my spirits. You words seem to convey it too, hope and anticipation, beautifully underscored with bittersweet. Each season has its place. Our autumn has lingered pleasantly, I’m in no hurry for winter but as you will summer, embrace its delights.
    Sad about the Black Cap. They do that, and make me wonder at the sense of clean windows. We have a friendly, pretty yellow thrush who likes the G.O. and tried to follow him inside crashing into our sliding glass door. It was winded but ok. The windiws have vine decals to stop humans walking into them that don’t translate to birds.
    I hope during the delay my “work” – life balance creates that May has delivered futher seasonal blessings ♡


    • You are so right – that’s why I struggle to describe blue skies – I had never thoughts about the colour being the wrong word! I have also been really struggling to describe the ‘blue’ I saw/felt underwater in an open air swimming pool one long hot summer here – an essential part of rew-writing the opening pages of my book which I’ve just had critiqued – it led me to liquid aquamarine which led me to Aquamarina and the ancient puppet show Stingray – I guess you’ve never seen it but anyway it was a good diversion! Google it and listen to the theme song if you have an idle moment ha ha. The world is still prettily May here with blossom appearing and leaves unfurling. I don’t know what to do about the windows – it’s sad that the rare ones seem to die while the overpopulated woodpigeons just leave a mark like a ghastly ghostly vision of one! Hope that work life blaance is not too frutrating – does the ‘work’ bit matter as much as the life??? Eat roasted macadamias and be happy!


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