Such a beautiful sunny warm day. Went through the woods, along the river and up along the Usk valley.The woods are now thickly carpeted in Ramsons, filling the air with their green garlic smell. The very understated Lady's Smock or Milk Maids, as I call them are out in bloom, such a pretty delicate flower. The river was quiet, thought I might see the goosanders and ducks but perhaps they have taken to the undergrowth in the banks, and trees to start nesting. The hedges are now starting at last to turn green, but Spring is very late this year it seems.
Went down to the Gwent levels in the morning and on to the reed beds on the wetlands. Quite an overcast and cold day. April is very unpredictable! The reeds were full of the non-stop singing and vocal acrobatics of reed warblers with the occasional loud outburst from cettis warblers, but they were very difficult to spot. Quite a few pairs of nesting swans and canada geese. Spring however I know has truly sprung as I heard the Cuckoo for the first time and saw it sitting in the branch of a tree, calling in it's lovely mellow (but repetitive) voice for about five minutes. Haven't heard any in the Usk valley yet.
To The Cuckoo- William Wordsworth.
O BLITHE New-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice.
O Cuckoo! Shall I call thee Bird,
Or but a wandering Voice?
While I am lying on the grass
Thy twofold shout I hear,
From hill to hill it seems to pass,
At once far off, and near.
Though babbling only to the Vale,
Of Sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.
Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery;
The same whom in my school-boy days
I listened to; that Cry
Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush, and tree, and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green;
And thou wert still a hope, a love;
Still longed for, never seen.
And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.
O blessed Bird! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, faery place;
That is fit home for Thee!