I’m in love! Yes, head over heels in love with the countryside! These few weeks in late April early May are stunning. Not only are they beautiful to look at but to smell and listen to as well. Probably it’s special because it’s so fleeting. And the icing on the cake has been this glorious weather.
But something very strange has happened…
… as I grin from ear to ear gushing with nonsense about the gorgeousness of it all I’m met with long miserable faces about drought and the lack of rain, disaster – total doom and gloom. Come on! Yes, of course climate change is an issue, yes, of course we have to do things to stop it and pretty quickly, but does this mean that we are no longer allowed to enjoy, appreciate or celebrate a fantastic spring? We’ve just come through one of the wettest winters for a long time (I’m also fed up of hearing ‘it’s the driest, wettest, hottest, coldest, longest, shortest whatever since records began’), so I’ll just stick to ‘long time’. I know the day it started raining in early November to the day it stopped in late April with a reprieve of ten days from 23 January. I know! We had lakes forming in the dips in fields. Mud, feet deep, washed away to the bed rock below. Rivers and springs popping up in surprising places. As for the garden…well, it was one big water feature. My pup (the one with the characteristics of a wolf) didn’t realise that other types of weather existed and has become a kind of aqua-hound just to add to her problems. Lambing was fraught as ewes succumbed to mastitis in the driving wind and rain and lambs, mud-brown and hunched, cowered beside their mothers for shelter. It was bad.
As I write this I’m listening to the bird song of early evening, I have the windows of my office open and I can smell the apple-greenness of new leaves, the addictive warm scent of sweet vernal grass, delicate evasive blossom, bluebells and our first rose. The baby owls have just woken in the oak tree outside my window and are wooing and chittering. One of the ewes calls her lamb and a couple of my down calving heifers cough, belch and rumble contentedly.
So, please, enjoy this fabulous spring and smile!