Friday, 21 May 2010

A taste of early summer..............

I woke very early this morning to the sound of the dawn chorus just gradually coming to a crescendo.......blackbirds, robins, a thrush, chaffinches, being the predominant singers. I lay in bed and listened, and the memory of last winter disappeared in a mist....

A delicious feeling.
Going outside in the garden last evening the scent of the blossoms hung on the air, apple, and rowan, laburnum and lilac. I really feel like Browning, when he wrote his letter from abroad, which I have included at the end of this piece.
Yesterday, Timelord and I went for a walk.It was a circular route of about 5 miles starting and ending in Alcester. It was a near perfect late spring day.
Part of the walk took in the Heart of England Way.
We set off after, (for me at least!) the obligatory cup of tea in a little café.
Walking over the bridge, I stopped to look at the two rivers which merged under its arches.......and saw the unmistakeable iridescent blue flash of a kingfisher as it flew to one of the banks. The stones on the parapet were warm to the touch!
The walk continued climbing up a hill and passed a folly called Oversley Castle, built in the 19th century. We hardly met a soul, and wandered on along field paths and lanes, edged in tall white cow parsley, and wild buttercups and mayflowers. The sun warm on our faces. Such glorious peace.
The trees all fresh green, and now and again, a splash of yellow in the distance of a field of rape.
England does spring so well, that when we feel that it will never arrive, suddenly we are gifted with all this beauty to drink. A feast to the eyes and senses. A skylark singing, two buzzards suddenly dropping out of the sky to the ground.........a green woodpecker disturbed and calling as he flew over head.....
What a delicious day.
We eventually stopped to have a lemonade in a small village called Wixford, and sat in the pub garden which ran down to a quiet river, by another old bridge. I took off my shoes and socks and liked the feeling of the cool fresh-mown grass underfoot. We ate our sandwiches and fruit and wandered on..........
Arriving back at the bridge where we began, there was a heron standing in the river, fishing. Once he realised I was about to take his photo, he flew off. But it made a perfect end to the afternoon.
Let's enjoy this brief spell of early summer while it lasts...................

"OH, to be in England now that April ’s there
And whoever wakes in England sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough 5
In England—now!
And after April, when May follows
And the white-throat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom’d pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge—
That ’s the wise thrush: he sings each song twice over
Lest you should think he never could re-capture
The first fine careless rapture!
And, though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower,
Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!"