The heralding of spring, some feel, is brought by snowdrops. Highland Stoneware has put them on a mug. No matter how pretty and hopeful they are undoubtedly are, however, snowdrops mean snow and, to my mind at least, ‘spring’ and ‘snow’ do not equate. With the exception, of course, of the yearly ‘lambing snows’, which invariably occur just when you think you are out of the woods, weather-wise. Short-lived but bitter and thoroughly unpleasant, I’ve known them in June, although April is more common and they are forecast, in fact, for next week.
Appearing with the first gentle warmth as we approach the equinox, their sunny faces brightening the greyest of days are the true indicators we are through the winter: Swathes of white, cream, yellow and orange wherever you look, the daffs have always been a favourite of mine.
This year I confess they took me by surprise, perhaps because they marked the approaching anniversary of lockdown and it’s a little difficult to imagine I’m sitting right here in exactly the same position as I was a whole year ago, physically, mentally and emotionally.
No forward movement has been possible.
Last week we had some beautiful days and I managed a stint in the garden, general tidying after some wild weather, a little early weeding and some moss-scraping. Unused to a whole day in a clumsy yoga pose I was feeling slightly broken the following day (and had acquired the first tick of the year) but it was wonderful to feel some sunlight on my face and reacquaint with the blackbirds. And we have daffodils, and for these beauties I am always grateful.
I’ve been faithfully keeping up with my Nature Journal and, after scrabbling around a bit for inspiring objects during the deep winter months, I couldn’t wait to pick a bunch of sunshine and test out my new Transparent Yellow watercolour.
The primroses will be next (one or two have already been sighted in the birch woods) and I am feeling the need to paint them in situ this year. Once the lambing snows have passed, that is.