In the front walled garden the first snowdrops are flowering. Just a small clump facing the sun, but it does the heart good to see them.
There are other signs of Spring there but you have to look for them. Deep in the heart of the clumps of Lenten roses there are fatbuds forming, and in the tubs and pots the spikes of tete a tete daffodils are well up, as are the crocus.
In the fields at first glance it is all wintry. The fields are green and empty and the hedges have recently been cut so they are mostly brown apart from lengths of holly hedge here and there. The trees are leafless - but wait - here's a hazel covered in catkins, already beginning to show their yellow pollen. As they pollinate by the wind blown method they don't have to wait to show their sexy side to passing bees. And a look under the hedges on the sheltered side shows the first nettles pushing through.
The beck is full of water. Although we have not had much rain here on the farm, there has been much more further up the Dale and on the Moor and this water is draining down through the beck. It must be full of tiny fish - mainly bullheads - because our two resident grey herons and our resident kingfishers are already working the length thoroughly.
The only animals around are the four horses in a neighbouring field and they are only too happy to come to the fence to have their noses stroked if you venture anywhere near.
Yesterday some heifers who are still out over winter managed to get out of their field about two miles away and wandered up the lane until they were stopped and put into a field by our farmer neighbour, while he searched by phone for the owner. Now safely back home, and the gate strengthened, that is another bit of excitement over.
Gales are forecast for the next few days, so there will be more branches down to be sawn up for the wood burner. Nature is often very kind to us in keeping us warm over the coldest days.