I had my dogs in my office, noses nudging elbows which meant walkies. So off I went.
Day by day things are happening. Blossom is starting to push the buds to swelling point. There are cowslips and primroses beginning to flower. A few hyacinths are opening, the mass of blackthorn will soon burst into white flowers, there are a few daffodils, tulips are pushing up and all round there is a scented freshness in the air. It was a good moment to walk. The rain had stopped for a while, still grey and foreboding but not at all cold. I still cannot manage two dogs on footpath walks, so round the field and throwing sticks for now.
I am quite sure many of you do the same. So what is so exciting about this. Well... For the last few weeks there have been cranes and other migratory birds arriving. Starlings filled a tree directly in line of one of our windows at the weekend. Today topped it all.
At first I heard a vague sound that I thought was chickens across the valley brawling. No, the wrong sound. Then I recognised the sound of geese. A few flocks have gone over recently. Then it came into view. This was the most enormous V formation and moving incredibly fast. Crows settled in trees and went silent, so too did the magpies on the ground. Even the buzzards stopped circling.
It got louder and louder until my dogs both froze and looked up too. It was almost deafening. It passed by from first sight to gone in a little over a minute. Then nature resumed.
This is my favourite time of year. I love springtime. The squirrels will reappear, the deer graze in our field with their young, walkers will stop for a chat. It is the time when there always seems to be hope in the world. The geese just topped the cake today, thank you nature.