Spring. A time of new life, a hopeful season after the short days of Winter. A time slow stirring at first- and then a furious bustle in the trees and hedges, new lambs in the fields and the first shoots of Spring flowers.
Just as each season is part of a cycle, so each season has its own cycle. Beneath stark and empty trees, wild garlic and bluebell compete and make use of damp soil and sunlight. Then come the leaves: first the beech and birch, brilliant green against the blue, followed by sycamore, oak and ash. Then, on the forest floor, the light is too little for the wild garlic and bluebells, and inevitably, their spring is short.
But what a time it was! Carpets of blue or white, dappled by the first tree's leaves and the scattered light of the young sun. A stream runs between brilliant tufts of grass, where dippers skim the water and, on good days, kingfishers pass in a flash of blue. Where blackbirds sing, their mellow fluting a perfect accompaniment to the stream's musical babbling.
Above all, for me, this is a time when the ordinary shines with its own light. Bluebells, blackbirds, the darting flight of the swallow, the air thick and the hedges laden with May Blossom, the beautiful but ordinary hawthorn. Spring has a light touch, where hope dances like mayflies over the slow waters of the river. And who, who had known only winter, like the lambs, could ever foresee this? Born in cold winds, close to their mothers, icy rain gives way to a startling green, and a sun that brings warmth and fresh grass, a thousand new sights and scents. Completely unexpected.
I made a trip to Middleton Woods, near Ilkley, which is in West Yorkshire, but is only 8 miles or so from where I live. The photos below were taken there, using my usual 400mm lens.
You can see the photos HERE