Monday, 20 April 2009

The Stage is Set...





































The stage is set, the lighting is full on, all around the bit-players are taking their places; stage-hands, mostly in pairs, are fluttering about here and there being incredibly busy. In the auditorium there is a hush, a huge sense of expectancy; are we going to see the best show in years? There is a silence you could cut through with a knife. Where am I?
I have just walked around our fields. It is eleven o'clock in the morning. The sun is full on and the grass beneath my feet is heavy with Spring dew. Here and there, dotted about the grass, are the early Spring flowers - Daisy (bellis); Milkmaids (Lady's Smock or Cardamine); wild plum blossom; Garlic Mustard (Alliaria); Comfrey (Symphytum); White periwinkle (Vinca). In the hedgerow pairs of birds are so busy they hardly notice us pass, flitting in and out of the hedge, flirting, disappearing into the fledgling greenery - yellowhammer, chaffinch, hedge sparrow, blackbird, greenfinch.
In the hedgerow the hawthorn leaves are clean and sparkling with dew. I can't resist picking one and eating it - bread and cheese we used to call it as children. Deep under the hedgerow dog violets peep out; shy little flowers they always try to hide, yet seen close-up they are enchanting.
Tiny off-stage dramas are always taking place - a pheasant's wing suggests perhaps Mr. Fox has been about; a scattering of dove feathers means the sparrow hawk has had a good meal. Yes, in Nature there is always menace as well as beauty and I couldn't resist taking the photograph of the tulip as I came back in the gate - I think it is beautiful but there is something menacing about it too, don't you agree? And the final tiny off-stage drama - just as last year the collared doves have built a totally unstable nest in the Scots pines ("two sticks across and a little bit of moss", as the poet says) and their first egg has fallen through and landed in the grass. I fully expect all the others to do the same.
Is it going to be the best show in years? In sincerely hope so, the signs are all there. In about a fortnight there will be a fanfare of trumpets, the curtains will be fully pulled back and it will emerge in all its glory - every hedgerow in the fields, on the hill side, across the horizon; every little wizzened, gnarled tree dotted about the fields - all will burst forth and our little world will be filled with the smell and the sight of the glorious May blossom (hawthorn blossom) - and I , for one, can't wait!

22 comments:

willow said...

The graceful cast of your stage is most lovely!

Jenn Jilks said...

Your text and photos make me want to go out and photogragh, except our daffodils are barely up and we're still pretty brown!

"I think it is beautiful but there is something menacing about it too, don't you agree? "

I don't, actually! I think the cycle of life is the promise that things unfold as they have for generations and that things are happening as they should. The gene pool is a pretty shallow one in some parts.

Life, death, rebirth... it is all beautiful. The Native People honour the spirits of the animals they killed for food. They gave great thanks.

Very thoughtful post!

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

You look all set for a great performance! Lovely pics. Pity about the egg! Tulips are beautiful but it may be the spider-like effect in the centre that is creating the uneasy feeling?

BarbaraS said...

I look forward to this time of year so much - your enthusiasm is very catching - great words and pictures, just gorgeous.

Jane Moxey said...

Thanks for your great words and pictures. I'm in line (read 'queue' in English English) for a front row seat for the grand opening, trusting that you will post more gorgeous images for us all to enjoy the May Madness in your beautiful neck of the woods!

Heather said...

What a splendid post Weaver, and the pictures are glorious. I could almost smell the fresh grass and flowers when I looked at them. I wonder if all that miserable rain we had last year has brought about the abundance of flowers and blossom this year?

Sal said...

What fabulous photos!
The wonders of nature never cease to amaze me. ;-)

jinksy said...

Curtain up, by the look of your blog!

Hildred and Charles said...

What a super posting Weaver, - the business and beauty of spring seem to energize us mere mortals too and it's hard to stay indoors these days to do the necessaries.

Elizabeth said...

The names of the wild flowers delight almost as much as looking at them.
Why does one think of Shakespeare in Spring?.
(Winter too of course...)

Teresa said...

Very eloquent, Weaver! You write so well. Thoroughly enjoyed this post.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Isn't it a wonderful production??!

Gramma Ann said...

Lovely pictures and words! Picture words!

Pat Posner said...

Lovely post, Weaver.

xxPat
licks T&T

Woman in a Window said...

Perfect way to introduce the life of spring! Now, pull back those curtains and on with the show.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I've been lurking on your site for quite a while. I have an Honest Scrap award for you at blog. Thanks for the lovely trips I get to take on your site.

Crafty Green Poet said...

what gorgeous photos and you write about the atmosphere so well. Yes I'm also looking forward to the hawthorn blossoms....

Dave King said...

I'm off to the R.H.S. Gardens at Wisley in a short while. Your photographs have given me a standard to strive for - though I doubt I shall get anywhere near. Thanks for the treat.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to you all. Glad you enjoyed the wild flower walk round the fields. I wish we could all go with Dave to Wisley - it will be a spectacular feast of colour at the moment - we shall have to hope for photographs on his blog.Sorry your daffodils are late Jenn - but they will be there for you to enjoy eventually, long after ours are just dying leaves.
I think Derrick is right - it is the spider like effect in the centre of the tulip that makes me uneasy (much better word than menaced).

Janice Thomson said...

I always enjoy your photos Weaver - the flowers are similar but not exactly the same - it's neat to note all the differences - our comfrey for instance is a deep deep purple.
Look forward to seeing your photos when all is in glorious bloom!

EB said...

I absolutely love May blossom too - but our apple trees are out, so waiting here is precious time!

BT said...

Wow, what a fantastic blog Weaver, I love your theatrical setting and it is so apt. Brilliant. Lovely photos. It makes you wonder how the collared doves procreate at all!