Out for a walk with one of the dogs, I found that I had inadvertently chosen the best part of the day.
All yesterday, this morning and this evening we have had snow flurries – portents of more to come I fear. But as I walked up the lane the sun came out strongly, albeit low to the horizon, and the landscape was transformed. To the East the sky was dark grey, full of more snow, but it stayed there for a couple of hours while dog and I walked.
Blue sky, fluffy white clouds, you could have mistaken it for a Summer’s Day except for the temperature. (As I write this I hear a gritter lorry pulling up the road leading to the village. Our lane is never gritted!)
The landscape looked bleached in the sunlight: old vegetation after a hard winter, pale pasture, pale bracken, pale tree trunks, pale grasses, even pale brambles.
But where ivy clambered over gateposts or up trees the sun caught the shiny tops of the leaves and they glittered and sparkled like burnished silver.
At the top of the lane the large holly tree was glittering too, all sharp points and silver glow. Zebra stripes lit the floor of the lane where the light alternated with the old, bare stems of an untrimmed hawthorn hedge.
Robins, blackbirds and blue tits were making the most noise, revelling in the glorious afternoon.
Walking under the old hawthorn tree
which acts as a
pigeons it was clear that they were managing to eat plenty
of the food we and our neighbours put out for the birds:
Some snow hung on from the morning in sheltered spots, lighting up the mossy walls, patches of mud and leaf mould.
In places the Lesser Celandines were putting forth new leaves, accompanied of course by the ubiquitous dandelions.
Croft field were basking in
sunshine, with Saxon taking
a nap while Minstrel, always the caring one, stood guard.
A walk round the Orchard on our return showed masses of snowdrops just ready to burst into full flower and the Witch Hazel host to troops of ruby spiders, bravely wriggling their crooked petals at the blue sky.
In view of the dire weather warnings about approaching snow, it was such a glorious intermission: Spring is springing nonetheless!!