I went for a walk on Friday which was two days ago, down the track and along the river to Claythorpe, by the little cottage in the field and onto the road and back to Belleau, a journey of roughly two miles.
Whilst enjoying this evening constitutional I thought to myself what a difference two weeks make. It was only a fortnight or so ago when winter had finally whispered its first quilt of snow, leaving the land freshly laundered, its lumps and bumps softened and smoothed, ready for the child in me to snuggle down into it and mess it up.
Belleau is always beautiful in the snow, but when the blizzards finally blew themselves out and the freeze took hold, throwing glitter over everything, it was breathtaking.
Moles had been taking advantage of the mellow winter up to this point to cover the meadow opposite in what looked like some sort of brown acne. These surprisingly large mounds now looked like sparkling iced buns, the barbwire fences that offend me a little, hung with crystal hair and the trees held delicate blades of snow on every branch.
As beautiful and chilly as the days were, minus 2 and falling, the nights were crisp and frozen, skies so clear and cold even the stars seemed to shiver. A full moon so big and bright it sent frosty blue shadows running for warmth.
This winter weather had surprised me and everything else for that matter, as all the tell tale signs were that Spring was already with us; the daffodils weren't in flower but they were already in formation ready for their seasonal assault, the snowdrops had massed and the Lupins in my garden had sent out a scout party. Birds were everywhere, sheep were in the field and scarves were already optional.
Anyway, after what seemed like a seasonal false start, we were back on track and I'm back to my two mile walk. It was late afternoon/early evening, the time when the animals are usually changing shift, but everything seemed to be taking advantage of the lighter nights and hanging around. Spring was springing and romance seemed to be in the air.
In the space of these two miles I saw two Kestrels sitting side-by-side on a telephone wire staring at the horizon as if waiting to view the sunset, two swans on the river looking like 18th century dancers as they circled each other in the current and two barn owls that floated bashfully close to each other before landing on two fence posts to share furtive glances.
Well here we are two days later and what started as a wet miserable day has now turned into a cold snowy one. So as I watch the flurries of snow whirling about my window, I feel the visit to the garden centre was a bit premature and thoughts of mowing the lawn today more than a little optimistic.
Lets hope this isn't Spring's false start number 2.