Today I was keeping a lookout for the early daffodils and primroses that I have been enjoying over the past few weeks along my usual "Wednesday Route". However, a slight change to my usual schedule means that I now drive through the ancient Andreaswald or Andreadswald, which used to be the centre of the English iron industry in the sixteenth century. I have to take my turn as the road becomes single track when crossing the damns of the old hammerponds, which used to drive the water mills centuries ago. It is quite difficult to image what the district looked like then; now it is heavily wooded, with large secluded houses set back among the trees. The dragon was mercifully elsewhere (as were cyclists, tractors, horse riders and dog-walkers with dogs on those wretched elastic extending leads - all things which complicate my life on the road).
And then I saw it; the first flowering blackthorn of the year! Drifts of white flowers on the bare branches, shining faintly in the weak sunshine! I had to pinch the photo (from wikipedia). I never have time to stop and take a photograph of the things I see; drifts of snowdrops flowing down the banks, carpets of crocus in the churchyard, a glimpse of a tree with startlingly bright tan-coloured bare branches glowing in the afternoon sun.
A promise of what's to come.
Memo to self: get hold of some twigs with catkins, and pussy willow, and sticky buds, and take them to my mother some time to have in a vase among all the daffodils and other flowers she has by her work table.