A chill wind sweeps across the hilly South Devon landscape (where I live), causing me to shiver and shudder on my early morning dog walk with my two cocker spaniels. As we head down the winding road towards the sea, my eyes weep at the mercy of the coldest winds hitting me in the face. My dogs’ ears look ready to take off as they flap about. Lucy and Rosie stay warm and cosy inside their thermal winter dog coats. Yes, well, I’m wrapped up for winter even though it is supposed to be spring. I can feel my colourful bobble atop my woolly hat bobbing this way and then that. My pink giraffe scarf wrapped several times round my neck is also keeping half my face warm. If one has asthma, as I do, we’re often told to keep a scarf over our mouth to keep cold air out and warm air in; hence, stopping (hopefully) an asthma attack.
We arrive at the Battery Gardens overlooking the sea. Lucy and Rosie enjoy a run-about off their leads beneath the canopy of the tall tress, while I enjoy time off from the cold winds and take in the ambience of gardens natural beauty. A quick look out to sea, and not a ship in sight. Too rough even for the bravest sailors. Not long, and we’re heading home; this time the howling cold winds are blowing behind us and giving us a push upwards and along the pathway.
In the garden, the flowerbeds are looking sorry for themselves. My eyes scan the full bird feeders hanging on my gold coloured tall lamp-post in the corner. I’ve always fed the wildlife.
By now I would have expected to see all four types of early spring butterfly; the small tortoiseshell, peacock, comma and brimstone. So far, I haven’t spotted any at all.
Spring 2018 has thus far been a desolate one, and today those fluttering beauties will all be hunkered down, wishing they had never come out from their winter hide-holes.
Overall, it feels more like February than Eastertime. My winter clothes won’t be put away just yet.
On a lighter note, it’s lovely to have longer hours of daylight. March is one of my favourite times of year, even if it still feels like winter outside.
The Met Office uses March 1 as the official start of spring. Astronomers choose the spring equinox on March 21. Meanwhile, for most ordinary folk, the clocks going forward – as they did last weekend – is the most reliable indicator that winter is on its way out. Yet, despite all those milestones having passed, Mother Nature still doesn’t seem to have got the message.
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