And so it is that April has come and gone. A whole month locked down and house-bound most of the time. But even life behind bars offers visions of the delights of spring.
One thing about this lockdown has been the ability to spend sustained time witnessing the birth of spring. Or not quite birth, but rather, along with the new, a powerful re-emergence – a swelling back into spectacular life of all things, in all of nature’s myriad forms. So many leaf forms, so various the shades of green, from acid bright lights on leaves as delicate as finely woven lace, to fuzzy fleshy dark spears such as the low-growing lungwort, already spent of their spring blossom of pale pink and blue bells. So many bees, some sleek and speedy, others furry, round-bodied and content to linger long and thoroughly amidst the early spring blossoms.
One vision in particular was to me a real surprise and treat – watching the back patch birds visit our little seed feeder. We’ve seen house sparrows and other songbirds arrive to the feeder with their young fledglings, and at one point an adult sparrow was at the feeder with a weak-flying newly-out-of-nester. The little baby bird was hanging onto the wire feeder with all its might and concentration and that’s all it could do. So the parent bird started picking out the tiniest millet seeds and then popping them into a bright yellow hungry open beak. I’d never have thought that you’d see that on a bird feeder, and somehow assumed that once the baby birds were up and flying from the nest that they would be self-sufficient, but it’s not quite so straightforward as all that, apparently.
April has ended with sunshine and showers, speckled with rainbows and brought to a booming close with heavy rain and thunderstorms on 30 April.
Needless to say there’s no need to rush up to the allotment patch to water seedlings – though the plants in the growing shed, being sheltered and warm, do need to be looked in on every day or two.
And in the meantime, it’s all coming along nicely, and the bees are doing their work, shown here pollinating a summer fruiting raspberry.