It seemed that we had not seen the sun , or a patch of blue sky, for all the dreary days of the week just gone. Last night it rained again and it is raining now, but for a few short hours there was respite and time to work outside and to walk. Out in the rain soaked garden, mild air has brought small, early flowers into bloom. Primroses shine out from the bank of a flooded pond.
Yellow stars of winter jasmine dot straight and leafless stalks beneath a window.
First daffodils spear through a bed of fallen leaves.
Clusters of young celandine leaves ........
.....and a first, pink pulmonaria blooms.......
........while snowdrop buds show a faint, pointed white among their fine, green shoots.
The field at the bottom of the slope has flooded once again.
Bare lime tree branches flicker their reflection in the pond........
....and the hole in the cherry tree, where the hornet wasps` nest has all but gone, seems deeper. The wood is wetter and more rotten than before.
Pale pinkish-purple flowers on a dead nettle in the cherry leaves.......
....and thick stems of angelica are bursting into leaf.
Out in the lane, small torrents speed heathland water downwards, running over ditch banks and washing the flinted gravel clean.
Bright yellow-orange fungus, wet like melting jelly, grows on dead branches of gorse.
A strange, contorted birch stem seems to cast a sad and upturned eye towards the clouds.
Up in the gorse thickets, first flowers cheer the dull , spiky greens with a flash of gold.
There is a country tale that gorse is never without a flower, but that is not true of the gorse on Forest heathlands. Through the deep winter, the flowers do not show. To see the beginnings of gorse bloom on a January day is enough to lift the gloomiest of moods.
Down beside a stream, is a moss encircled rabbit hole in the bank, just higher than the water ever flows.