Saturday, February 09, 2008

The End of Winter

It's a glorious early-Spring sunny day today. There were plenty of Spring flowers coming out in Gledhow Woods, though it looks more like March than February:

I'd expect snowdrops in February, certainly. But that daffodil's really too early. I associate daffodils with Easter and even an early Easter won't be for some weeks yet.

Here's a celandine, one of my favourite early flowers. When I was a child celandines were most definitely March, not February.

There are primulas flowering in people's gardens and other flowers everywhere: these were on a wall:

We are witnessing the end of Winter in Britain. Possibly permanently. Now we seem to go from a long autumn to an early Spring. Not having all that snow and cold is initially quite appealing - - unless you live by a river and your house is flooded every few months.

Global warming is definitely a Bad Thing. But on a day like this, walking in the woods amongst sunshine and birdsong, it's hard to think that.

Here's a poem that I like that's about this time of year. It's by Edward Thomas, and was written about a hundred years ago, in the days when we still had Winter.

But These Things Also

But these things also are Spring's
On banks by the roadside the grass
Long-dead that is greyer now
Than all the Winter it was:

The shell of a little snail bleached
In the grass: chip of flint, and mite
Of chalk: and the small birds' dung
In splashes of purest white:

All the white things a man mistakes
For earliest violets:
Who seeks through Winter's ruins
Something to pay Winter's debts,

While the North blows, and starling flocks
By chattering on and on
Keep their spirits up in the mist
And Spring's here, Winter's not gone.


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