Monday 27 May 2013

At Last

There's one good thing to be said for a cold wet late spring: when the weather does finally relent, the air warms, the sun comes out and we can emerge from shelter to see what's going on, what greets us is quite dazzlingly, stupefyingly wonderful. On Friday night, I staggered home in wind, rain and bone-chilling cold - but the next day came sunshine and a new world.  When everything has been held back this long, it all happens at once in a great burgeoning outburst of blossom and flower, leaf and scent - and I can't recall quite such a spectacular simultaneous display as we're getting this year. Hawthorn, horse chestnut, lilac and Queen Anne's Lace are all in flower together - just as in Larkin's Cut Grass - along with ox-eye daisies, rowan and whitebeam, wisteria and countless orchard trees and garden shrubs. And the fragrance... at times it's just the pleasurable side of overpowering. And the greenery, after all that rain, is so green... Amid all this abundance, the paucity of butterflies is saddening, though there are plenty of Orange Tips out and about to lift the spirits - and this morning, as I stepped out into the garden before setting off for NigeCorp HQ, a butterfly flew down from the kitchen roof and away into the next garden. I'm pretty sure it was my first Red Admiral of the year. At last!

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