One day last week I thought that there were hints of Spring in the air. Following a stunning sunset the previous night, the heavy frost on the lawn gave way to sparkling dew drops reflecting the bright sunshine. The days are starting to lengthen noticeably and the birds are developing their spring plumage. They stand out like jewels against the backdrop of the tired countryside.
Being so tiny, distant and fast the yellowhammer flock proved to be well beyond my photography abilities and I now have a nice selection of pictures that consist of large expanses of muddy grassland with no sign of yellow jewels. Back at my usual pace, whilst pottering around the garden in the sunshine I spotted a large coppery toad (I think it's a toad - maybe it's a frog?) before it disappeared back into the camouflage of the rusty coloured remnants of last year's iris' and lillies.
Since then we've returned to grey wet weather, dull skies and sleet and a lazy wind.
Ah well. Back to hibernation for a little while then. But it's coming. The jewels in the garden tell us so.