May 1, 2011

Spring is my favourite season.

Last week I was lucky enough to be allowed to hold a training course for contaminated land officers of Councils in the Kingdom of Fife and travelling North it was possible to experience the retardation of Spring according to latitude. Whereas the daffodils are all but gone in Surrey they were in bloom in Staffordshire and Cumbria and the cherry blossoms on the trees of the south are but a memory yet in Freuchie, opposite our hotel, a cherry tree was in its full glory of colour.

Not even the most ardent British Nationalist will defend the weather of this country but it is a fact that the combination of lengthening days, warmer weather interspersed with rain showers gives nature a spurt of growth which creates an exquisite contrast of colours.

The best part for me is the dawn chorus. It starts just before daybreak. Sunrise is currently at 5:30 and at about 4:45 the early birds start chirping and it climbs to a crescendo at sunrise. It then decreases to a quieter symphony which, in the south of England at least, is maintained till dusk.

Tulips and daffodils and other planted species are of course wonderful but it’s the wild flowers which capture the imagination and eye: the wild primroses, bluebells, violets, forget-me-nots, wild orchids and even the dandelions and buttercups are beautiful.

I’ve made a promise to myself that before I die, I shall travel the world for a whole year experiencing only Spring. I don’t know whether this is even possible but it will certainly be fun trying.

Vincent van Walt

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