April 25, 2010

This week in wildlife

And suddenly, suddenly, everything is burgeoning. The air is soft and laden with pollen, the trees are bursting into bud, the skies are blue and high and need only the distant arcs and screams of the swifts to tell us the season of warmth and plenty is upon us. Weeds germinate and thrust upward. Birds build; our outside doormat is being picked bare by a robin, and the great tits are working hard at enlarging the hole in the blue tit box. There are butterflies, bees and clouds of gnats about, and the grass grows by the day.

How strange it is that we see high summer as the apex of the year, when by then the birds are silent again, the nests empty, the native flowers spent and the grass dull and tired. This, this is the year's high point, the outburst of life towards which everything else tends.