Grouse drummed in sunny clearings, and a pair of red-tailed hawks hunted the clear blue bowl of sky over the Two Hundred Acre Wood - now and then they conversed as they soared in widening circles over our heads. We saw our first bluebird of the year this week, the first oriole, the first buttery male goldfinch. The first garter snake of the season slithered languidly across the toe of my hiking boot as I walked along the trail to the beaver pond to look at the first lily pads of the season. On the way back, a lady woodcock launched herself from the grass in my path like a small, feathered rocket.
And then there are the whites.... The snow dunes of winter are grand in their way, but in all their breadth and vastness, they simply can't compare to the budding whites of springtime. On every ramble, I come home with memory cards of captures and love every single image - can't make up my mind what to toss and what to keep so I land up keeping it all.
Close to home, irises and tulips in every color of the rainbow sway to and fro in the wind, and crabapple trees are covered in fragrant pink and white flowers. In late morning, the wind dies down for a few minutes, and every crabapple specimen in the village is tenanted by clouds of bumbles, wasps and hoverfilies.
In their wooded nooks and garden alcoves, springtime floral offerings glow like candles, and how tenderly they are enfolded by guardian leaves as they open slowly and offer their hearts to the world. Really, does life get any better than this?