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I’d recced the amble in advance so knew that we should be seeing a lot of spring flowers – a bank of primroses, purple and white violets, celandines, dandelions and daisies, self-heal and forget-me-nots, fumitory, and white comfrey to name a few. When the restrictions were introduced, I decided to do this walk every morning after breakfast as my daily exercise. It takes me about 25 minutes at a reasonably fast pace.
Week 1 saw the flowers I’d seen on my recce in all their spring glory, the blackthorn coming into flower, the first hawthorn leaves appearing, the ‘sticky buds’ on the horse chestnuts swelling, and the lambs and their mothers put out into the field. Even if my nose hadn’t told me, the volume and variety of birdsong told me if it was cold or sunny, windy or calm. Whatever the weather, the crows were busily and noisily building their nests. A week of joy for those who were able to look and listen.
As week 2 progressed, the purple violets disappeared but the first wild cherry-blossom and wild arum / lords-and-ladies / cuckoo-pint (call them what you like) began to appear. The ‘sticky buds’ became leaves, and then, slowly but surely, the ‘candles’ began to appear. I watched the lambs become more independent and start frolicking in groups. As for the birds, the robins and blackbirds serenaded me whatever the weather, and the crows started sitting on their nests – but the highlights were watching and listening to a flock of blackcaps amongst the blackthorn blossom and seeing and hearing an ever increasing sized flock of goldfinches in a tree by the church.