Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Signatures of Spring

After waiting for what seems like an age, it’s warm, and spring is everywhere in the park at Penrice. They took a while to flower this year, but the snake’s head fritillaries are now quite wonderful. Hundreds nod their beautiful delicate purple heads in the slight morning breeze. There are white ones two; en mass they take one's breath away. Mixed with primroses, celandines, daisies, dandelions and wood anemones, the meadow is covered with spring. A single bluebell flower harks to next month, and another piece in the jigsaw puzzle that is spring.  I’ve heard that nothing will grow under beech trees, but here on this slope the fable is bogus; there are flowers everywhere irrespective of tree or shade.

Wherever I look there are signs of spring. Chiffchaffs in the trees; brimstone butterflies, bumble bees, honeybees search primroses and wood anemones in turn for nectar. A plaintive sounding mistle thrush sings from across the valley, and there are house martins in the sky.  It’s been an odd spring so far, cold winds, late flowers and house martins before swallows; but then nothing is ‘normal’ any more in the natural world. A sense of expectation is palpable with the first two weeks of May only a few days away, when this wonderful part of Gower will be at its vibrant best. 

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