There was a cold mist rising along the valley this morning, but it's been such a mild Winter so far, that the shrubbery along the lanes is still green, the banks covered in stitchwort leaves, celandine already, vetch and campion still flowering and the first snowdrops are flowering amongst the leaf litter on the woodland floor. This morning too, three skylarks were up in the sky singing on Red Hill-their Summer nesting grounds, can't remember have ever seeing them there so early in the year before, although it's lovely to hear skylarks any time of year. In contrast, the redwings and fieldfares seem to have disappeared at the moment, it's probably too warm for them so perhaps they've gone further north and will return if things turn colder. Still lots of flood water lying in the meadows and these are full of seagulls, and a large flock of lapwings too have flown in for a visit.
The Wild Rose and the Snowdrop-George Meredith ( lines from.)
The Snowdrop is the prophet of the flowers;
It lives and dies upon its bed of snows;
And like a thought of spring it comes and goes,
The sun’s betrothing kiss it never knows,
Nor all the glowing joy of golden showers;
But ever in a placid, pure repose,
More like a spirit with its look serene,
Droops its pale cheek veined thro’ with infant green.
Queen of her sisters is the sweet Wild Rose,
Sprung from the earnest sun and ripe young June;
The year’s own darling and the Summer’s Queen!
Lustrous as the new-throned crescent moon.
Much of that early prophet look she shows,
Mixed with her fair espoused blush which glows,
As if the ethereal fairy blood were seen;
Like a soft evening over sunset snows,
Half twilight violet shade, half crimson sheen.
In all that glads the eye and charms the air;
In all that wakes emotions in the mind
And sows sweet sympathies for human kind.
Twin-born, albeit their seasons are apart,
They bloom together in the thoughtful heart;
Fair symbols of the marvels of our state,
Mute speakers of the oracles of fate!