Signs of life

All of a sudden, it seems, instead of bare branches everywhere, there is a haze of green. The earlier trees have been unfurling their leaves for some weeks now, but even the oaks have suddenly started to shed their winter bareness and to glow a bright spring green.

Splashes of fresh acid green now light up the valleys, and the birds have been showing their appreciation by singing louder, earlier and longer. I heard my first cuckoo on 31 March, and he now seems to have brought along a load of his friends!

View of valley

Birds are not the only ones enjoying the warmer weather. I surprised a hare this morning, sitting at the edge of the road, and two deer loped away down a field as I passed. Everywhere you walk you hear sudden rustling sounds as invisible lizards scurry away through the dry leaves. The crickets have moved up a gear from starting to ‘sing’ in the early evenings last week after a warm day, to a gentle chorus that starts as the sun burns off the morning chill. At night, the frogs take over, from the bottom of the valley where they must be enjoying damper conditions.

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