There'a a lush damp light to the garden. The sun tries to break through, the willow tree is an intense green; it feels almost tropical. After days of promise, the temperature has risen and maybe we’re in for some spring weather at last.
The garden Robins are leading me a merry dance. They built a nest a month ago in the wall of what was once an old stable block. It was never lined and I assumed that the cold conditions held them up. For days now they've been carrying food and I know there's another nest; it's time for our annual game of hide and seek. The odds are stacked heavily against me and I shall probably fail to find it again. I play the same game with Wrens and can usually count on winning, but this year they've decided to play in next door's garden.
There are eggs in the Blue Tit box; Dunnocks and Blackbirds are quietly sitting and I assume that the Woodpigeons have a nest in the high hedge next door. It will be some time before there's any sign of the Goldfinches breeding, but they do so every year. Great Tits and Coal Tits pop into the garden for a sunflower seed now and again and a Great-spotted Woodpecker drops by for a hack at the peanuts each day.
Colour is coming to the garden; Azaleas and Bluebells are at their best, Roses and Buddleia are in bud and for the first time this spring, we can have lunch in the garden and watch House Martins in the sky above. There are Swallows and Swifts there too; they disappear in cold weather and I wonder where they go.
With temperatures near normal, evening cricketers dress in white on the village green and contest the great game in front of no specators. As usual Swallows are part of the game, but don't join in. They're much more beautiful than the often ungainly and overweight participants of the serious encounter played out on the 22 yards of hallowed turf.