On Wednesday 20th March the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Land Lines project called for 150-word entries for their crowd-sourced Spring Nature Diary. Here is mine.
My five-year-old son and I step out into the garden at the close of this first day of spring. ‘What can you hear of spring, my boy?’ ‘I can hear lots of birds.’ He’s not wrong: blackbirds carol in the dusk, a wood pigeon wheezes from a chimney pot, a goldcrest showers the garden with slivers of glass from the white-starred camellia.
‘And what can you see of spring?’ ‘I can see flowers on the daffodils.’ The delicate ‘Jack Snipe’, glowing in the twilight bleeding out of the woods behind, nod their approval of his attention.
‘Does it feel like spring to you?’, I ask him. ‘It feels like spring. There’s a kind of a warm in the air.’ The laughing older children still playing out up the road are clearly revelling in this, but a male tawny owl signals that, regretfully, it’s time for us to go in.