After the passion and pain of Holy Week, Easter ushered in a new month. Sick of winter, we have turned our backs on the old season and welcomed British Summer Time, enjoying softer, lighter evenings and the promise of life outdoors.
Finally, there are swallows above the garden. In this delayed Spring, they are so much later here than last year. Great tits are investigating the next boxes; in our new hedge the leaves have burst, showing tiny, perfect versions of hazel and hawthorn, spindle and maple. Blackthorn blossom blows like confetti in the lanes. At home, in the pond, there are dozens of tiny water snails. The water plants are budding and blooming.
The rooks are busy attending to their nests. Our walnut tree provides them with a good supply of brittle twigs. They crash around, cawing and flapping, busy.
An occasional warmer spell brings out the butterflies: brimstone and peacock. And the pipistrelles have been hawking at dusk. Last week, Bilbo started his agitated dance on the night lawn. I swung my torch through the hedge at the back and found the first hedgehog. Tightly balled until we moved away, it made its snuffly way along the border.
Let the new season commence!