Sunday, 15 February 2015

Is this late winter or early spring?

I'm never quite sure when winter ends and spring begins.  I tend to use the wild plants as my guide.  I don't think that snowdrops can be considered a spring flower, but their arrival, apart from the pure joy of seeing them, brings an enormous sense of reassurance that spring is on its way.

Tilly and I had a lovely walk from home today.  Come with me and share in those small, but important, signs of early spring.  In amongst the lifeless, grey-brown undergrowth at the side of the drive, there was this little burst of delicate crocus-colour.
We walked on, and basking, quietly in the late morning sunshine, was a group of deer.  A buck, with impressive antlers, and his harem of about fourteen does. As we walked along the track, they slowly got to their feet, watching us every inch of the way.  I don't blame them for their suspicion. The loathsome local shoot have been culling the deer this weekend - a lot of very unpleasant activity in and around the wood yesterday.  However, today the animals stayed where they were, and I felt relieved that Tilly and I hadn't completely ruined their bit of peace and quiet. 
The trees along the edge of the next field are beginning to show some gentle colour, as their leaf buds swell, ready for springtime.
And look, there it is - sitting at the top of the hill, taunting me, the now ever-present shepherd's hut.  
Moving swiftly on, we walked towards Binning Wood.  It's not a wood I enjoy.  I find it dark, threatening and uncomfortable.  Add to that the memorial wood - a green burial ground - and I enjoy it even less.  It's a lovely idea, and I can understand that it is an infinitely preferable place to spend eternity, as opposed to a conventional cemetery, but give me a bit of coastline any day!  We walked into the wood a little way, and there were one or two people sitting quietly on benches sited in amongst the leafy mounds. It all seemed terribly sad, and I felt as though I was intruding, so we left.  
We walked on, enjoying the snowdrops before setting off up the hill and away from the wood.
And then of course we had to walk back along passed the shepherd's hut, because it has been sited bang in the middle of the route home.  The lucky owner turned up at the same time as we did, so I able to exchange a few words, before he started banging bits of wood into the ground. I discovered that it came from Cornwall, and they will be using it just for chilling out, and enjoying the fabulous views to the south. I carried on with our walk as though I didn't have a care in the world.  But once again the green-eyed monster had laid his fingers delicately upon my shoulder!
So I am just going to have to get used to it - it's not going anywhere.  It will always be sitting up there on the hill (top left), but looking back on our route, as we were nearly home, I was very happy to see that the deer were still in one piece, relaxing in the field.  That was much more important!


  1. I go green with envy too when I see a shepherd's hut, especially as my brother-in-law makes them! He started off a vintage glamping site with retro caravans from the 1950s then progressed on to shepherd's huts and now makes mini tin tabernacles on wheels that have loads more room. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we can stay in one, one day. In the meantime, you can find him under x

  2. Hi Antonia! Just taken a peek at your brother-in-law's website - what fabulous creations! Brilliant! Have a good week. A x