It's a wonderful time of year. I love being woken by the dawn chorus and getting up around 7am to greet another lovely day beginning. There are just the walnuts and late apples in the orchard to break bud. The blossom is heavy and the sound of the bees even at that time of the morning is one of life's great treats for me. The trees are well on their well to being fully 'leafed-up' by now and this year it was the oak before the ash (summer's a splash - ash before oak, summer's a soak).
With that in mind, we haven't had any rain since 25 March and yet there's still a goodly amount of dew first thing. The ground however is becoming cracked and dry and watering seedlings is a big job in the evenings.
In the evenings after the watering job, when the air is warm and still, one of my favourite senory delights is to sit and breathe in the heady aroma of my wallflowers. The ones at the front door are a stunning deep red/brown, a variety known as 'Blood Red' but this year they are a bit leggy so I'll sow seed of some more in a couple of months and renew the stock. Nearer to the barn are a mixed bag of happily jostling yellows, oranges and multi-coloureds and they too pack a punch. It's amazing how far the scent can travel. After these will be the lilacs that are just about to break into flower, and then will come the mexican orange blossom (philidelphus) and tht will continue right into June. The philidelphus makes putting the washing on the line a true pleasure, such is the intoxicating perfume!
That's the plants, but then there's the wildlife. The swallows always bring a smile to my face with their swooping and screeching. Last year I saw the first on March 23 but this year was later due to the cold and the first was seen on 10 April. Last year they did not nest here at LPM and that makes me sad as it's said that they return to the place of their birth to nest, meaning that ours didn't survive the long voyage of migration. This year we have had a few swooping about so maybe they are having to prospect for new sites as our neighbour's barn is full. I hope so.
The late evening brings the toads' chorus and it is SO loud, starting off as single bleeps and moving into full zither mode around 10pm. We have lots of toads (and newts) at the mar as they love the wildness of the long grasses surrounding the water. Last night the boys and I went to bed and left the window in the bathroom open so that we could listen to them whilst we fell asleep. B says that it makes him smile because he knows that the toads are happy.