I suppose that there are signs of spring which are particularly resonant for each of us; the last few days have brought a flurry of my own personal favourites.
Leaving work today I heard a familiar bird song - it took a split second to register that it was the first time this year that I had heard a chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita
); and as far as I'm concerned that brief snatch of song means that spring is now undeniably, and irrevocably here.
Yesterday I saw my first butterflies this year. From a particularly good patch of shrubs close to where I work arose a spiralling trio of butterflies - at least one of them, I could see, was a small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae
). A second glance at the shrubs revealed a comma (Polygonia c-album
) sunning itself. Both these species hibernate over the winter. They will give rise to generations which, most likely, will breed and die this year - their 'grandchildren' will hibernate and survive to 2005.
In the garden, there is mounting evidence of spring. The lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria
) that I planted last year have just started to flower. And it looks as though the marsh marigold (Caltha palustris
) in the pond will do so very soon. It's curious how many of the early flowers are yellow. What with these two, the daffodils (Narcissss
) and the forsythia, the garden is quite a blaze of yellow.