the trace of others
to one you know
with a taste
the trace of others
to one you know
with a taste
Clocks have changed to British Summer Time. The Sun has come out. A strong southerly wind brings warmth to Norfolk.
People are out and about, the sound of children playing in the local park competes with goldfinches, blackbirds, chaffinches and the blue and great tits. An otter has been seen in the Wensum nearby and a large seal has come up river from the sea to nose around the old wharfside.
Daffodils, primroses jostle for attention, bluebells are preparing to make an entrance.
A day to savour. Not the end of Lockdown 3, but a step towards another way of living.
n.b. And I have just seen two bats spinning by my windows.
Crimson buds open
despite a cruel wind that steals
pigment from our skins
I turn off the road and follow a track through the woodland. Today the cool is most welcome as the sun is strong. It is a rare day of constant warmth and I have spent too long in the open.
The canopy of sycamore, oak and ash whilst thin, is nearly complete. Bluebells are not the only flowers here bringing a touch of the sky to ground. I see a mass of tiny blue flowers decorating thin stalks dabbed among fresh nettles. I make my way over to them crossing a carpet of dry twigs and dead brambles. I think that these are Wood forget-me-knots. They are in their natural habitat here, a remnant of ancient woodland.
The nettles are a delicate fresh green. I am stung on my shin as I turn back towards the road.
The pinging sensation lingers on my skin for much of the rest of the day. It reminds me vividly of last May, working in Somerset at the end of lambing, when we were moving the cows to fresh pasture and learning how to herd the ewes and their gambolling lambs along too. There were plenty of nettles there.
My son, on a break from the hospital sends four photographs from his family walk today. They have come across a large slow worm lying on a track in a patch of sunlight in their local wood. They all look well.
I take a circuitous route back home. As I follow the lanes round to the coast road I think back to the emerging colours of flowers I have seen these few weeks. Yellows predominant as Spring begins, soon followed by masses of white. Delicate violets and purple mix into that confection and now, once the blues have arrived, it is the pink and pale red flowers coming out on the verges and in the hedges to join the the white of the May Tree and yellow of gorse and dandelions.
Along the top of one hedge I see numerous lilac panicles. Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day, (Victory in Europe, 1945). I choose not to gather any of the flowers, preferring to let them grow wild – and according to the old war song gathering lilac is not meant to be a solitary activity.
Out to catch a glimpse of the fiery sunset at the back of the house, I find myself having to dodge a large droning insect with a fierce looking spike. It settled on one of the lower branches of the goat’s willow. I have been told that this odd-shaped creature, with its slow heavy wing and a drone louder and lower in pitch than a bumble bee, is a May Bug, or doodle bug. The protuberance identifies the female bug as it is a tube for laying eggs into the root layer of the ground, where its hatching grubs feed on the roots of grasses.
The May Bug is not a popular insect with farmers trying to produce wheat and barley. Chemical controls have prevented infestations in recent years. I am delighted they have survived in this area, as will be the rooks, who enjoy feeding on the grubs of these odd-looking creatures. The May Bug grubs are apparently known as “rookworms” in some areas because of the attraction they hold to the crow family.
The sunset is diluted by a brief, heavy rain shower. Low, thick clouds prevent any sign of the moon, bright as it might be.
8th May, 2020
Touched by Spring’s sun
Vibrant colours, rich nectar
Swell, bubble open
Her smile is wider than her head
A photo shows this when she was ten
Her brilliant eyes then shone so bright
Her teeth gleaming in black and white
And still after many colourful years
When distant childhood memories may bring on tears
She has that smile as wide today
What might spark it I cannot say
But it reveals like an evening primrose bloom
A late afternoon sunburst that fills the room.
With unseasonable warmth
Dare peach buds open?
n.b. A discarded peach stone, or was it a nectarine, I cannot recall exactly, has grown into this. The warmest February on record, (states The Met Office), has led to very early sightings of blossoms, amongst other things, even swallows have been reported. Tipping point for Climate Change, or are we already over the edge?
Although pollen rich
Sweet scent of nectar still draws
The bee far from home
Bubbles sweet from spring
Babbles between fresh primroses
Cuts deep through this rock
The viburnham sheds
Blood and gold foil without shame
Her flowers blossom.