A snowy spring
Can you feel the change coming? The change in the season, that is. The first scent of it here came in the last few days of February. It was freezing cold then, with a round red moon rising over the frosty fields at night. Yet through the cold you could smell brown earth, and just sense somehow that the sap is rising and that everywhere, underfoot and in the trees, there is the beginning of growth.
And then it snowed again.
We are in our fourth month of snowfalls now, a good bright cold winter. There has been a pattern of a couple of weeks of snow, followed by a couple of thaw, on repeat since the beginning of December. The ice on the lochan thaws, then freezes, thaws, then freezes. A little patch of water is kept clear by the pair of swans, swimming in circles and carefully breaking the edges of the ice with their large black feet. Wild ducks gather there gratefully. A smart black and white tufted duck turns up amongst the mallards from time to time, and a couple of mornings ago a solitary barnacle goose appeared on the ice, looking uncertainly across the circle of water towards the much larger swans on the other side. When I looked again, he had lost his nerve and vanished.
More snow is forecast for tomorrow. There’s no doubt about it, however. The smell of the earth; the visiting birds on the lochan; the cry of lapwings and oyster catchers in their flight over the fields, and the first little crocuses and daffodils budding in the snow: spring is coming. Quite a contrast to last year’s balmy temperatures and early green, but the season is changing at last.
You might enjoy Snowstorms and a study in scarlet.