Wintery Walks or Springtime Strolls?

The weather recently has been so strange. Last year, April was beautifully sunny and warm, but this year we’re swinging from balmy spring days in the sunshine to freezing, frosty mornings.

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Last week, I dropped Munchkin off at nursery, dressed in her short, spring-like dungarees, marvelling as she tottered down the path, her bunches bouncing as she went. I felt that spring was really here.

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Yesterday, when I dropped her off, the grass was crunchy underfoot, a crisp white layer over everything. The frost was so thick, it covered everything in the garden, a unexpected white blanket…

And yet, in the gardens there are tulips, primroses and daffodils peeping through the green…

In the woods, the bluebells are amazing to see…

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…but it’s too cold to stand and marvel for long.

We’ve pottered out for sunshiney walks around the village without our coats on – to see the llamas and the chickens, and squinted in the late afternoon sun.

And then on other days, we’ve been stuck inside, as the rain lashes the windows and the log fire crackles in the wood burner.

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We’ve gardened together outside, potting this and digging that. We’ve put blossom in jam jars and put them in our window…

But hours later, the sky has turned as grey as thunder and a brilliant rainbow stretches across the horizon….

It’s hard to know what to make of these changeable days and nights. Perhaps it means the final throws of winter are making themselves known; perhaps it means our summer will be warmer and longer (and not over by mid-May); perhaps it’s another warning that our planet is in crisis; perhaps April used to be like this and we’ve just forgotten. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…

Whatever it is, it’s been an amazing reminder of the power of mother nature in all her awesome force and fury – the thunderous skies, the stinging hail, the brilliant sunshine, the vibrant blue skies, the relentless signs of life, the surprising frost, the green shoots and leaves, the purple-carpeted woods. It’s been like a trip through all the weather England has to offer, in just 72 hours.

A gush of bird-song, a patter of dew,
A cloud, and a rainbow’s warning,
Suddenly sunshine and perfect blue
An April day in the morning.
Harriet Prescott Spofford

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