Through the window, dawn smudged pastel colours across the horizon. Mist rose over fields frosted white as I watched the red blur of a fox race back to its den.
I thought back to a few days before when my son had me check his garden for intruders. He had been woken by a series of almighty screams in the night that sounded as if someone… or something… was in the room with him. I smiled to myself at the memory. He had never heard a vixen’s mating scream before, but it was easily identified thanks to Youtube.
“It is too early for mating, surely?” he had asked.
“Not really. Any cubs conceived now would not be born until the onset of spring.”
I was watching the magpies drive off the crows from ‘their’ tree as I spoke. The magpies are already rebuilding their nest. Red kites are tumbling through the skies in what looks like a mating flight and hares are dancing in the fields.
Daffodils are growing… some already have buds. Crocuses are coming up, drifts of snowdrops fill the churchyards and village greens. There are catkins on the trees and even the roses, that have barely finished flowering, are unfurling new leaves.
In spite of the bitter cold, anyone would think it was spring.
We have not yet had a winter… not that I’m complaining… and we are told the worst is still to come. Yet there are flying insects and clouds of midges. The seasons seem all out of kilter, but no doubt Mother Nature knows what she is doing, even while we scrabble around making predictions and getting them wrong.
While the dog yearns for snow, I would be quite happy to give winter a miss this year. Even so, I like the unpredictability of Nature. The earth moves, grows and flowers at its own pace and there is not a great deal we can do to change that.
Every day, as I watch the sun rise, I feel myself part of the vastness of creation… small, insignificant, but a part of the whole. Nature will do as she chooses and, although we speak of her weather as we might a wayward child, she has all the wisdom of a venerable grandmother. I like the daily reminder that some things are still bigger than us, no matter how advanced we think we are.