Thursday, 27 February 2020


It's started again.  Despite storms Ciara and Dennis.

In the first week of the month I walked upstream from Lloyd George's grave along the banks of the Afon Dwyfor to see the snowdrops under the trees.  On the same day I saw celandines flowering along the roadside in Criccieth when I stopped to go to the post office.  There were a few daffodils in flower outside a house at Boduan as I drove home.  A few days later  I noticed hazel catkins in a sheltered place on the way to Pwllheli. 

In the garden the hellebores have been putting on a brave face despite the weather.  Green leaf buds are showing on the hydrangeas. A cheerful candy-pink patch of 'Pig Squeak' is breaking out its irrepressible flowers.  In this last couple of weeks daffodils have been opening at a rapid rate - they're lining the roads in every village round here.  There are primroses flowering in places that just looked boringly green before.  This morning, as I walked to the shop for milk, I noticed two pairs of sparrows flitting in and out of a large privet hedge.   The moles at least think it is spring - they've been very active and I've collected some useful potting soil.  Amazing that they can move so much soil with their tiny paws.

I think of William Carlos Willaims' poem 'Spring and All', a favourite of mine.  I like the way he sets the scene - 'By the road to the contagion hospital', a reminder of the poet's occupation as a doctor.  I recognise that 'surge of blue/mottled clouds' driven by the cold wind and the sight of 'muddy fields', 'patches of standing water' and the fact that everything seems brown and dead.  But this is only appearance: 'Sluggish / dazed spring is approaching.'  New leaves are beginning to grow:

   '.... the profound change
    has come upon them: rooted, they
    grip down and begin to awaken'.

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