Where are the songs of Spring?
Ay, where are they? Keats' Ode to Autumn came into my head today as I looked across at this lowering sky from the slopes of Glen Kin, even though in fact the songs of spring were everywhere - various small birds giving it laldy among the trees, and more than one woodpecker - or one very active one - battering out a seven-beat drumroll on the tall pines. We even - joy - heard our first cuckoo of the year, distantly but unmistakably, as we headed back down the hill.
But it was a chilly day, and though these dark clouds actually dissipated and were replaced by fleeting blue, it didn't feel like Spring at all.
Or, recalling this time last year, it just felt like a Scottish spring. Bet Keat's autumn was a much mellower affair.