Albion, Life

Something in the air…

sky woodpecker 001

The sky looked promising this morning and for once we actually have sunshine that looks set to be with us all day too! Granted, the chill has deepened and the morning was frozen, but it seems a good compromise after weeks of rain.

Yesterday’s dawn was red, beautiful in the sky, but turning the flooded fields into pools of blood. Appropriate really, as the fields in question have always been a flood plain…and are now filled with newly built houses whose occupants must be watching the waters creep ever closer and wondering about a future when the streams and little river have not been newly dredged. It astonishes me why some of these sites are chosen for building…

Sitting in the traffic that is another creation of poor planning, I watched a hare gambolling in the fields. It is a long time till spring, but the brightness has put a feel of it in the air today. A delicate pink rose has unfurled rain spattered petals in my hedge. Celandines are peering through the sodden grass, raising golden chalices to collect the sun. In the my son’s garden, shy primroses are starting to unfold and the daffodils have raised their spears to the sky, challenging the clouds.


It is not a big garden, but sits in a space where many gardens meet. Trees surround it and the sky is wide for an urban horizon. Many birds nest there and come to the feeders, and bathing in the stream that runs from the pond, the water and adding its sparkle and its song to the landscape.

I looked up at the trees on the edge of the garden. Sure enough, the tight buds are green and poised, ready for a little warmth. Bluetits, sparrows and the resident robins flit everywhere and at first I thought the flash of red belonged to one of them, but the size and movement was wrong as it flitted round the back of the trunk. Even so, I saw enough to know that the black, white and red belonged to a great spotted woodpecker.

Edging across the garden to get a little closer to the car, I grabbed the camera from the front seat, trying in vain to get a clear shot of the woodpecker through the branches, while it, in turn, spent its time tantalisingly darting behind them. I only managed a couple of distant shots, but even so, it was a rare treat to see one so close.

It is supposed to freeze overnight and more rain is forecast. But today, that doesn’t seem to matter… today you can see the first stirrings of spring.


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