by Alice Coates

As the movements of Spring quickly advance, exciting new pleasures and joys are now to be encountered.
With the glorious Spring season well under way with tree flowers now in full bloom and their delicate, vibrant green leaves opening, the garden has burst into rich, full colours, forms and scents of all kinds. The beautiful, dense candles of the Lilacs tight, waxy buds are opening to reveal its luxurious flowers of sweet, almond scent; The delicate and pretty Apple Blossoms bursting open from their little balls of pink buds give off their light and gentle aroma; While the fresh and floaty clusters of the pale Cherry Blossoms hang their soft little flowers overhead, waiting to scatter their petals like confetti.

The welcome and uplifting sight of Butterflies now rapidly emerging to make the most of the sun and feast on the sweet, rich nectar is a long-awaited joy to behold. Beautiful Orange-Tips sipping from Forget-me-nots and the newly opening Red Campions; Large, dark Peacocks and Red Admirals fluttering energetically from flower to flower; The dazzling, bright yellow Brimstone making it’s fleeting visits to the floral delights; And the delicate Comma flashing its scalloped wings whilst sunbathing on a hot, sunny path. Their beauty and energy all adds to the overwhelming presence of life now in full swing.

An endearing sight of a beautiful and exotic pair of Goldfinches delicately collecting beakfulls of soft, fluffy sheeps fleece to line their carefully woven nests cheers and warms the heart. While a gentle pair of Jackdaws look on as they wait patiently for their turn to collect the light puffs of fluff to complete their nest- building high up in the chimney pots!
Close-by, a tame and friendly female Blackbird swoops down to the daisy-covered grass to gather the plentiful supply of grubs and worms to feed her rapidly growing chicks, all patiently waiting for her in their warm, cosy nest tucked away nearby in a dense Brambly hedge; a well-chosen spot that protects them from the outside world by its safe, thorny cover.

In the clear blue expanse of sky above, a deeply captivating sense of awe is felt as a lone and majestic Raven soars serenely overhead, letting out loud, croaking caws that resound eerily throughout the warm, still and scent-filled air. All at once, another presence is felt, and sound is heard whilst gazing up into the endless blue, when a hazy cloud of hungry Honeybees swarm eagerly around the tree blossoms now dripping in pollen and nectar, gathering an abundant supply of food to take back to their skillfully built nests; while the high-pitched hum of hundreds of tiny wings beating as one join with the overall tune to the songs of Spring and new life.

All these wonders come gently together as a sweet and humble reminder from Nature that some of the richest gifts and experiences come from the simplest of things in life, and all for free! Sometimes all it takes is to be still and silent for a while and wait while the magic unfolds all around. The ultimate gift that keeps on giving!