Day 28

The temperature-drop overnight made the new day unwelcoming. The wild plum tree, now in full leaf, is dragged around by the northerly wind. The hazel bush has adapted better to the conditions. It flicks back and forth in the strong breeze, the lithe canes whipping upright once a gust has passed.

It is not until later in the day when the Sun burns off the last of the high clouds and some warmth arrives.

Bluebells have burst from their buds and add a balance to the yellows of dandelions and cowslips, furze and primroses. Grass grows more ragged, now over-hanging the scattering of daisies.

On a cooler day like this, the birds are more active at the feeders. Long-tailed tits, (the “bum barrels”), join the regulars taking seed and nuts. They swing in and dangle upside-down with their tail feathers providing the counter-weight necessary to remain focused on reaching the food.

One of the young brown rats that live under the shed has worked out how to climb the pole towards the feeders by using the upper twigs of an adjacent shrub. It stretches full length to cling to the little cage holding fat-balls, as its hind legs cling equally tightly to the top of the shrub, that is buckling under the unusual weight. The rat’s back is bent almost to a U in this precarious position. It does not stop gnawing and nibbling, despite the length of its body contorting when buffeted by the breeze.

Time passes quickly today. Shadows noticeably shorten, then lengthen. The shift of light around the garden affects the tones and depth of green spectrum. The garden is at its most beautiful when the sunset backlights the grass blades and the pale yellows of the cowslips turn to gold. 

Today keeping warm has been a priority. Elsewhere, friends are enjoying a spring that has already turned toward summer. Lighter and fewer clothes are worn abroad, but here, indoors, heavier layers are dug from drawers.

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Christopher Perry

14th April 2020