Saturday, 23 April 2011

Swapping Sindy for Spring

This year I am experiencing my first spring. There have been other springs in my life, obviously. I am knocking 40 afterall. The operative word is “experiencing”. As a child I was too busy planning Sindy’s weekly wedding to Action Man to notice the passing seasons. As a teenager my attention was diverted by the contents of “Smash Hits” and “Just Seventeen” magazines and the big questions in life, such as is Boy George really a boy or is he in fact a girl. In the student years spring was all about study and beer, beer and study, and too much time spent in a below ground radio station. There then followed a seamless transition to London, long hours, office walls and a computer screen, when spring was little more than a tree in a pavement surrounded by dog s**t passed en route to a tube or train station. Even the move out of London to a house with a garden didn’t bring spring any closer to me – it just meant more to do in the garden and less time to do it in – spring was a restorative glass (bottle?!) of wine in front of the TV and the occasional glimpse of Bill Oddie on a sofa with Kate Humble rambling on about birds and badgers. Last year, my first spring here in West Wales, wasn’t really any different as my world consisted solely of paint, polyfilla and soft furnishings. This year, however, everything is different. This year I have time. More of it and moving through it at a slower pace. This year I have the inclination. Perhaps it comes with the onset of middle age and watching too many episodes of River Cottage or perhaps it was always there, hidden away, biding its time until all those other distractions fell away. And this year I have the location. Slowly but surely our little patch of West Wales is emerging from building work and neglect and taking on a life of its own.

Did we always have so many dog violets and primroses in the hedgerows along our lane? Was there always garlic mustard growing just about everywhere? Have gorse flowers always smelled of Hawaiian Tropic sun cream? And who knew that blackthorn has flowers before leaves but hawthorn has leaves before flowers? It’s a tricksy thing is nature.

Spring highlight so far is the blue tit nesting in nest cam box.


Spring lowlight so far is nest cam breaking down just as nest building gets interesting.

There were tears and tantrums but to no avail. Our resident blue tit had done her best to take out the camera by pecking at the cables in the box, risking mild electrocution in the process, but she needn’t have bothered as the simple fact is that the camera’s a dud. Return to sender! Just for once I thought I’d be watching my own footage instead of nest watching vicariously through Packham, Humble & Co. Damn and blast those pesky foreign made imports.

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