Well, maybe not quite…
Over the last few days, we have enjoyed some nice weather in Beetley. Despite cold and frosty nights, there has been a lot of sunshine during the day, and a distinct absence of rain, something we have come to regard as a daily occurrence. The temperatures are climbing, with a high of ten degrees (C) today, and a promise of eighteen degrees (C), by the weekend. I will believe that, if I see it, but the progress from Winter is welcome.
There are daffodils appearing beside the snowdrops in our back garden. In the meadow, swans are nesting, egrets fishing, and someone said that a kingfisher had been sighted, but I haven’t seen it yet. The Kites have returned, and the pigs have produced piglets, so something is changing. The mud is still there though. The recent temperature climb has failed to dry out the sodden ground. The small river is still fast flowing, and higher than normal, indicating a surfeit of water somewhere still. There are flies, and small flying insects everywhere, even a moth in my headlights yesterday. We have only had the heating on for three hours today, a sure sign things are on the up. And sunset was not until almost 6pm, a welcome sight
But the excited cutting of lawns, and general gardening activity around here, seems premature. I am convinced that Mother Nature still has more to offer us, after all, it is only the 4th of March. No gloves were required on my walk today, for the first time since last October. I am considering looking in the loft for clothing more suitable for better weather, as a result. The birds seem to be satisfied. They are tweeting constantly, and nests are appearing in the local trees already. The grass is less convinced. Despite a short spurt of growth, the grass in the meadow remains muddy, and trodden down. It seems to know that it is not over yet.
At 2pm today, as is usual, the clouds appeared, as if to say, ‘not yet’. After a morning of bright sunshine, and unusually high temperatures, it all suddenly returned to normal, at dog-walking time. I wasn’t fooled, as I had already sported my fleece, and walking anorak. After two years, I have learned not to be deceived by the false promise of early sunshine. The dogs on the meadow are now happily entering the river. The water is still very cold, but they sense a change in the seasons. The birds there sense it too, they are excited by perceived change, and are busy with preparation for the Spring. I still feel that they are misguided, fooled by a temporary aberration.
After the wettest Winter in memory, I wait to be convinced. I am remembering the old adage, ‘ne’er cast a clout till May be out’. I am sure that there is more to come, before we can call it the Spring of 2014.