Thursday 24 February 2011: New growth...
My hope for blue skies was realised today - it was the most beautiful early spring day with a maximum temperature of 14C and a warm south-westerly breeze.
We took the dogs up to Southey Wood, which was filled with birdsong. One part of the walk runs close to an arable field,and for the first time this year I heard the soaring song of the skylark. By the end of our walk I was actually too hot - unbelievable after the really chilly weather a few days ago!
The green spears of bluebell leaves were pushing through the leaf litter, the spurge laurel was in full flower and everywhere there were the lush leaves of the cuckoo pint, which are shown in my photograph today. I liked the way that the veins are picked out by the backlighting.
It wasn't until I'd taken the photograph that I realised I'd also captured an insect too, a tiny parasitic wasp (view large!) Other insects seen today included lots of seven-spot ladybirds, the first queen red-tailed bumble bee of the year, honey bees, a solitary bee and a peacock butterfly!
I spent the afternoon gardening. It was one of those special days to take the time to just stand and stare and count your blessings. I spent a peaceful five minutes by our pear tree, with the chickens pecking gently at my feet, watching all the birds coming to the feeders - and I didn't take a single photograph!
A beautiful day was completed by a brief but stunning sunset, and the first bat of the year flying round in the dusk.