Early Spring Celebration

Two things have occurred over the past 48 hours that tell me more than anything else that Spring is well and truly on its way. On Friday, as I drove home from the bus at the end of the day, I realised that there was still light in the sky. Ever so little, but enough to see in the sunset. That’s the first time since the Dark Ages began that we have had light at both the beginning and the end of the day. Friday morning we drove under bright, end of sunrise skies; Friday evening, in early twilight’s last sunset moments. And this morning, Sunday, I stood in the kitchen absolutely enraptured by a beam of sunlight – the first to enter my kitchen in the morning since the Dark Ages began. It was late morning, but it was there. And it was wonderful.

So here are some photos of today in my village as we were out enjoying the day, the blessed warmth felt from the sun and not from a furnace for the first time since the Dark Ages began.

She is the first to find the courage to show her face this year. The Snowbells have been out for weeks, but the Crocuses have been shyer, more timid.

First Crocus of the year, she joins the first warm sunshine of early Spring.
First Crocus of the year, she joins the first warm sunshine of early Spring.

Heather is one that keeps many of its flowers much of the Winter if its in the right location. She is definitely in the right location – I feel as though she is reaching for the sun, embracing it, inhaling it.

In flower for most of the season, today she glows as she basks in welcome sunny warmth.
In flower for most of the season, today she glows as she basks in welcome sunny warmth.

If it hadn’t been for the car speeding around the curve on our one-vehicle village lane, I wouldn’t have had to step off the asphalt where I did, and I wouldn’t have seen this. Atlantic Ivy –  the berries mature in winter, turning black and glossy as they do. These are still green. Be careful of these, as they are mildly toxic. Not even the birds eat these berries. Still, they’re beautiful.

Hedera Hibernica to those who know these things, I didn't know that any ivy flowered, let alone had berries - don't eat them, by the way.
Hedera Hibernica to those who know these things, I didn’t know that any ivy flowered, let alone had berries – don’t eat them, by the way.

I don’t have much to say about the Birch. They caught me and brought joy to my heart, glowing warmly rather than icily as they have been to this point.

From a mile away, these Birch Twins would stand out, wights in the grey of winter. Today, they radiate the warm sun and live.
From a mile away, these Birch Twins would stand out, wraiths in the grey of winter. Today, they radiate the warm sun and live.

Then, I leaned on my car (because it was warm enough in the sunlight to do so for the first time in ages) focused my camera on the bird feeder and  waited. And waited. And waited some more.

And I was rewarded not once …

Another shy one, I was lucky to get one that sat still for any length of time, as they usually dart in, grab a seed and disappear.
A shy one, I was lucky this Coal Tit sat still for any length of time, as they usually dart in, grab a seed and disappear.

… but twice.

Intrigued, this normally nervous Nuthatch isn't even aware I am there as he tries to suss out the food.
Intrigued, this normally nervous Nuthatch isn’t even aware I am there as he tries to suss out the food.

Two of the more nervous birds sat still just long enough in the warmth of the still high(ish) in the sky, early afternoon, early Spring sunshine. Warmed my heart. Warmed my spirit.

In a few weeks, there will be full daylight at both ends of my day and for the first time since the Dark Ages began, I will see my home in daylight every single day instead of only on weekends. Until then, as long as I have days like this, I will get through just fine.

***

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