Monday, 2 January 2012
The First Sign.
'Yes - I know Winter has only just begun - officially on December 21st - and there has just been a snowstorm here although the sun in shining again now, but stepping outside this morning I saw the first snowdrop. I just had to take a photograph of it - and it is a poor little thing. I was going to say 'a feeble little thing' but then I thought of these hardy little harbingers of the New Year and the way they push their spikes up through the hard, frosty ground to give us such joy and I hadn't the heart to call it feeble.
In the hedges around our fields the wild honeysuckle has begun to come into bud and the catkins on the alder trees are showing red. One week of relatively warm weather and the hazel catkins will be bursting forth. And all this at 700feet above sea level. And, of course, all kinds of growing is going on just below the surface of the ground.
I have to cling on to that through the weeks ahead to the end of February when the weather can throw anything at us. I also remind myself that on January 28th 1992 the weather was so warm that I wrote in my diary - 'sat in my shirt-sleeves on a tree stump in the field and did the Times crossword and ate an apple.'
The farmer has just brought down the box for the last of the decorations, so yippee - in five minutes time it will be goodbye tree for another year.