Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Signs of Spring

Albeit Winter still is in the air
And the Earth troubled, and the branches bare,
Yet down the fields today I saw her pass-
The Spring - her feet went shining through the grass,
She touched the ragged hedgrows - I have seen
Her fingerprints, most delicately green

from The Miracle by John Drinkwater (1882-1937)

There are lots of signs of spring about now, I took a few photographs as I walked round the woods yesterday with Bilbo Baggins.None are spectacular views or stunning colours but all bring the message that Spring is approaching. Above are branches of pussy willow against a clear blue sky.

As I walked I knew from the noise, long before I saw them, that the herons are back and building their nests. There are certainly two, and possibly three, pairs and this huge bundle of sticks at the top of a tall Scots Pine is one of the nurseries.
Just above to the right is one of the herons though it isn't very clear.

This isn't going to make the front page of the RSPB's magazine either but it's slightly more obvious that it's a heron. I spent ages watching them - there's something about them that really appeals to me.

These are the first fresh young hawthorn leaves - such a beautiful vibrant green. There aren't many of them yet but it's an encouraging start.

All the little green spikes of leaves are bluebells, Eccleshall woods are ancient woodland and in May there are sheets of blue everywhere when the bluebells flower. Bluebells are one of the indicators of ancient woodland. It's a wonderful sight to see and there is a wonderful scent to go with it. There will be photographs when the time comes:)

Last of all is a picture of the Limb Brook dancing merrily along in the sunlight as though it, too, knows that spring is almost here.


Remiman said...

Isn't it marvelous? You really can smell the newness in the air of spring. We're close...I hope!

Although, so far this week we are still in a deep freeze.

The pictures of nature sprouting rebirth are delightful, and the, what patience you have waiting on those heron.
Spring has you reading poetry! I'm impressed. ;-)

Gardengirl said...

You certainly do have signs of Spring. Our gardens are still hidden under snow. About the knitting book you saw on my blog.....all the patterns are very easy, knit or purl. Everything in the book is so pretty, that it would make a non knitter want to learn.

peppylady said...

There more sign of spring where your at, then here in North Idaho

Naturegirl said...

I have been vacationing in Florida for a month and see herons every day but just when I get the camera set up they fly away! I never knew that they nest in a tree!!
I have taken some great photos of native birds and other species while here! I invite you to take a peek!
Hugs NG

Kelli said...

I love the quote and the pictures are just lovely! Isn't spring wonderful?!!

Forgetmenot said...

I love it when hawthorn comes out. The fresh leaves are so bright and beautiful We are quite a long way behind you here. Fascinating to see the heron nest too, i've never given much thought to where they nest before.

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Lovely pictures. Hopoefully we soon get rid of this snow and have some signs of spring. That`s really interesting about the bluebells being a sign of an ancient woodland. I`ve always thought they were so pretty when I`ve seen them in pictures.


Sheila said... in England..
Home thoughts from Abroad, and all that...
We saw storks nesting everywhere in Portugal and Spain, and the nests are huge.
Your photos make me want to be in England to see the bluebells, my favourite flower..instead I shall wait and see if the ones I planted last Fall, come up and bloom for me here. I look forward to your photos when the time comes.

Patty said...

Love the photos. I forgot how much I miss seeing pussywillows. We don't have them here in this part of texas, at least I have never seen them.
We have lots of Great Blue Herons in this area and I never tire of watching them walk so gracefully and fly off with that huge wing span. Once I found a dead one along the side of the road, it was such a sad sight but I took one of his feathers, to remember him by.
Your ancient woods are wonderfully alive and I feel sure you can almost hear the voices of the ancients carried on the wind in a place like that.

smilnsigh said...

Thank you for you photos of signs of Spring! Especially the brook. Oh I love a brook!

And thank you much for answering my question about... how my blog views. I'm happy you see it easily.

Same with yours, btw. Loads quickly. Views easily.

Ohhh I want to have a Limb Brook tooooo! -sigh- :-) Hope you keep taking pics of it, as the Seasons progress. I love a series of pictures, like that.


Love Bears All Things said...

Enjoyed our walk, Rowan.

Clare said...

Never before have I been so ready for Spring! All the signs are there now and we've had lovely weather all week - can it last?!

Tracey said...

I, too, long for spring! With things so gray and dreary, it's nice to spot those little signs that are beginning to pop up.

Thanks for sharing!

Ragged Roses said...

What a lovely blog and such beautiful words! It's my first visit and I will be back. Thanks for the lovely comments.
Kim x

smilnsigh said...

"Bluebells are one of the indicators of ancient woodland."

How interesting. I've never heard this before.

We have some. Not loads and batches, just some. But we love them. I too will be taking some pics of them, when they are in bloom.


UKBob said...

I think they are nice pics Rowan, I didn't know that Herons nested in trees like that.

Mountain Mama said...

I found you at Mari-Nanci's and couldn't resist coming for a visit. I am also enjoying spring, or at least when I can get outside. We have had a great deal of rain, making the soil muddy, but the flowers are thriving and some are already blooming.
Spring is my favorite time of the year.
I have some of my flower photos posted on my blog. Just scroll down below the quilt photos to see them.