December’s snow and ice have given way to rain and mud here in the Forest of Dean and, while I’ll be more than happy to dig out the toboggans again if the weather turns Arctic once more, for the meantime I’ve been seduced into thinking that maybe spring is just around the corner.
A prowl around the garden and – yes, the first white bulbs are appearing amongst the green shoots along the hedgerow. The snowdrops – harbingers of spring – are well on their way.
From late January, gardens all around the country start welcoming visitors keen to take advantage of that brief time of year when the ground is carpeted with a blanket of snowdrops.
It was a glorious autumn morning, the sun streaming low across the harvested field, the dog charging off to chase crows and investigate rabbit smells.
The dog is Marnie, our inquisitive, excitable, two year old Golden Retriever. One of the great advantages of working from home is being able to stride across the fields with her, before starting on the day’s work.
We clambered over a stile and into the next field. More accurately, I clambered over the stile. Marnie doesn’t do stiles. She adopts her bewildered “But you surely can’t expect me to jump over that?” expression, then goes off to scout out an alternative route.
The heavy rain of the previous night and the recently ploughed field were...