Saturday, 10 April 2010

A Saturday Walk.

Is there anywhere any silence more profound than that in a Spring meadow on a Saturday afternoon, when the sun is shining, the air is still and it is warm? I suppose in the desert, or in a cathedral might give one the same feeling, but I walk down the meadow, drinking in the absolute stillness, broken only by muted bird sounds, and smelling the grass growing. There is no mistaking the smell of growing grass, is there? To anyone with a manicured lawn I suppose it is not a smell they relish, but to a farmer who is wanting to turn his cows out to pasture, there is no better smell in the world at this time of the year. And, make no mistake, the cows smell it too. Our heifers in the loose housing are restless, their noses are working overtime.

The meadow is greening up nicely, as the farmer would say. Here and there a daisy is opening its face to the sun, but everywhere miniature golden shining suns, otherwise called the lesser celandine, shine out, dotting the field with their magic.

On the beck marsh marigolds are now in full bloom and banks of celandine swoop down to the water's edge. Where the beck goes through our little wood, bluebells are just beginning to come into bloom. Tess and I stand looking along the beck from a vantage point behind a holly bush. Coming towards us, chatting aimiably (as befits a newly married couple) as they paddle along, are Mr and Mrs Duck. He is a smart mallard drake in full regalia, she a pure white. I don't know whether they spot us or not. If they do they take no notice of us. He leads her out of the water and they start their walk up the meadow. Have they got a nest in the hedgebottom somewhere?

Curlew are beginning to pair up and visit the fields where in a week or two, when the grass is a bit longer, they will laytheir eggs. And every year we have a pair of noisy oyster catchers; they too are whizzing round and round as we walk - they can't even fly without making their noise.

As we come back along the side of the hedgerow a blackbird pops out every few yards and flies off. This is a favourite hedge for blackie nests and they are obviously hard at it building an impregnable fortress, safe (they hope) from stoats, weasels and magpies.

As we come out into the back garden the farmer is busy raking up the winter twigs, prior to mowing the orchard grass. On one tree - the cherry - the blossom is almost out. When it is in full bloom I shall photograph it so that I can quote that wonderful poem from Housman's Shropshire Lad - "Loveliest of trees, the cherry now..." Further along the garden the rhubarb is beginning to sprout - as I approach it the farmer tells me it will soon be crumble time!

Tess stays in the garden with the farmer, and with the black cat who has joined us. I come in to put this on my blog before the lovely images have faded from my mind. If there is only one day of perfection this Spring, then this is it. Have a good weekend.

19 comments:

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

Glorious day isn't it? Yesterday afternoon and again this morning, where we live, we saw a swallow! Seems very early.

Talking of rhubarb, you might like this poem, written yesterday by one of my RWP friends. She, really is a poet.
http://theresebroderick.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/9-natl-poetry-writing-month/

Thanks for commenting on my poems. I'm doing a challenge to post one a day during April - quite daunting!

Pondside said...

You're right - a spring walk is special - about anticipation and a little bit about satisfaction in having come through another winter. It's completely different from a fall walk.

Tramp said...

So much to see, so much to experience, sometimes I have a feeling of being overwhelmed.

jinksy said...

Mmmm....celandines like sunshine personified - I love 'em!

maggi said...

Thank you for those beautiful images Pat, they took me right back to my childhood.

willow said...

A cathedral or a meadow? I might just pick the meadow. Hope you're enjoying your spring weekend, Weaver!

Reader Wil said...

Hi Weaver! I walked with you in very wonderful surroundings and felt the spring everywhere. Thank you for being my guide! You are a good writer!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Oh, how the world changes within a few days. Spring brings such joy from the long winter's cold and white.

Funny how I read of the silence in your piece. I can hear a lawn mower off in the distance from where I sit in my bedroom. A long remember sound of summer for me. Most welcome after the long winter.

Jenn Jilks said...

We're a bit chilly today, but happy to read that yours is there!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Lovely day, lovely walk.Nature on a stick!I want it to be 'Crumble Day'!
I've never smelled the grass grow, but I can hear it!

elizabethm said...

It is very good to catch up with you again. I love the silence of your meadow.

ewix said...

Perfect essay for a perfect day!
Rather different from round here. So glad the Farmer is happily raking --so his knee must be functioning well --thank heavens.
Loved the descriptions of the duck family and the blackbirds.
Yes, Houseman is quite the poet for a spring day.

Kayla coo said...

I imagine I'm in your beautiful meadow.
What a difference the sunshine makes to our day but I suppose thats why they are so special in our climate.
M x

Elisabeth said...

It feels like yesterday to me when you first introduced the arrival of winter here in your blog, Weaver and now you describe such glorious weather. Oh such joy: the passage of the seasons.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Sigh.
So beautiful.

Sarah said...

Hi,
This is so beautiful, I almost feel as if I was there with you! I am visiting on the recommendation of Elizabeth and I am so glad I did.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely to have you all accompany me on my walk today - thanks for coming. I am truly enbious of Derrick's swallow - none here yet - I will report the first arrival.
I will also report my first rhubarb crumble - might even take a photograph specially for TFE.

BT said...

What a gorgeous post. Spring is an amazing time. Each day a new development - I just love it. I can smell that meadow from here.

Golden West said...

This is so well written, Weaver, it flows like a poem. I could smell the grass growing half way 'round the world, thanks to your evocative words. This is one of my favorite of your posts, ever.