It was March 1913 when writer and poet Edward Thomas set off from his home in Clapham to walk westwards to Somerset in pursuit of spring. The book that describes his journey and his gradual finding of the early signs of spring became a classic of English literature, and although that work will not be to everyone’s taste, I found it to be an excellent, refreshing and relaxing read. I was reminded of Edward Thomas and his pursuit yesterday, as we slowly wandered in relaxed mood around part of the patch. Spring has of course yet to arrive, but it was one of those mild bright days that suggest winter will not be with us forever. I must confess that even as someone who enjoys the crisp clear days of winter, I don’t ever remember looking forward to the coming of spring with quite so much intensity, nor feeling the depressive effect of bitter and dismal dreary winter days so acutely. Edward Thomas found that these teasing mild days are often followed by wintry spells and I’m sure we have some of those still to come, but best to enjoy the good days while they are here.
The crocus and snowdrops were attracting insects and a notable sighting was what I believe was a Honeybee visiting the crocuses. There was a scent of spring in the air, stemming from the earth and plant life beginning to show. The dormant Orange Ladybirds that we had found recently on the gravestone had disappeared, but Sam had been given information on more to be found on another gravestone and these were quickly detected, all fifteen of them. The Orange Ladybird is expanding in number now that it has adapted to Ash and Sycamore trees of which there are plenty in this area. I have noted that this species of Ladybird thrives on white powdery mildew that forms on leaves and may feed on small aphids. It did go through my mind that if I were to focus attention on a small area of our patch, the church grounds and the immediate area that adjoins it would be a good spot to choose. I intend to keep watch here throughout the seasons, more so than usual.
We looked at many other species of tree before setting off towards the lake.
We had walked for three hours without covering much of a distance, so won’t be out doing Edward Thomas, but nevertheless we had seen much of interest on what was a wonderful quality day.