Outside

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The greatest show

Once you start opening your eyes and training them to see, you will notice all sorts of wonderful things. Whether it is the flower that grows in a crack in the pavement, the buzzard circling overhead, the damselfly zipping through the air. You may even start to appreciate that just like humans, wildlife have their preferred spots to hang out, it may be the same branch, the same telegraph pole, the same field. I used to notice all these things as a child on the way to school; there was a favoured spot of an owl and I would look for him (or her) most …

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In Outside

In the June light

The bliss of June has already arrived. We have passed from spring to young summer and the delights the new season brings could not be surpassed by John Clare’s poem;

‘Now summer is in flower and natures hum Is never silent round her sultry bloom Insects as small as dust are never done Wi’ glittering dance and reeling in the sun And green wood fly and blossom haunting bee Are never weary of their melody…’

We have been away for four days and there has been a heady mix of rain and heat and now the garden seems full of green, and colour everywhere. I …

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In Outside

Spring Snapshot

Finally. It’s here; the lime chlorophyll of new leaves clashing against the periwinkle blue sky, so bright and vibrant it almost hurts the eyes; but I can’t look away because I can’t get enough of it. There is fullness where once there were naked skeletons. As the saying goes, no winter lasts forever and no spring skips its turn. The soil is warming, there is green abundance along the roadsides, purple mosaics of bluebells, dazzling yellow dandelions.  I’m a pretty careful observer of nature in the garden, but one blink and everything has grown again, or blossomed or bloomed.

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In Outside

Sowing the seeds

Babbitty Bumble literally buzzed right past my nose, a black and yellow ball of fuzz, too busy to stop for me. A fat tubby thing with stubby wings, humming as he went. He is the first bee I have spotted this year on a day of sunshine, when it was still cold enough for coats and hats but lovely enough to open the windows of the house and let in some fresh air, to push out the stale musty air of winter. I stopped for a little while to listen to a blue tit, a welcome change from the harsh croaks and caws of all …

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In Outside

Snow post

Of course, there has to be a word or two about the snow and the ‘Beast from the East’ – a name I hate because it is so negative. It is no Beast. It is just another type of weather. As John Ruskin wrote, ‘Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.’

But I am aware that I have been lucky enough that I haven’t needed to travel, I’ve had the heating on and a fridge full of food. I ventured out at around 8pm …

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