I love how nature goes stark staring bonkers right around this time of year. To be fair, I’d go bonkers too at the first sign of spring if I’d spent the winter shivering in the garden, surviving on a dwindling supply of berries, bugs, and birdseed. But right now, you can’t move for nature frisking, flirting, squabbling, and, ahem, doing what comes naturally.
I’ll save the best for last.
If you think the trade in homes for people is brutal, then you should see the avian property market. A respectable-looking pair of house sparrows has been showing interest in the nest box just outside our sitting room.
Daddy house sparrow had to physically fight off a great tit before he could view his potential new pad, and then it took him a sustained period of cheeping to persuade the mummy sparrow to come take a look. She did, reluctantly, and then spent ages and ages peering into the box whilst her spouse sat on a branch below and preened himself.
I hope they stay.
Even the moss is pretty in the sunshine.
And we’re getting a bloom or two:-
There are lambs, ambling and gambolling along with their mothers:-
And the landscape is starting to look a little less barren:-
But the best, the very best, is my favourite creature of all, doing its special spring thing.
I love hares. I’ve loved them particularly since our house-before-last, on the edge of the rolling Cotswolds, where we stood in the kitchen and watched hares in the field behind our little garden. I love their proud, aloof, sleek, dignity. Except in March, when they lose all that and go completely potty. Have you ever seen mad March hares boxing? I’ve only seen it once, and I’ll never forget it. Disclaimer: this will be the only time I describe physical violence as funny. But honestly, you should have seen them. The female hare was minding her own business, hangin’ with her mates. And there was this one male hare – and I’m sorry, but you could see that he was a little sleazy – who kept trying it on. It went like this: he’d sidle up to her, she’d punch him squarely on the nose, he’d retreat. And then he’d try again. And AGAIN. He. Did. Not. Learn. It was magical, and hilarious, and bonkers, all at once. And I felt like the luckiest person in the world to be able to witness it.
Anyway, when I was out on my run the other day, I saw something move in the field to my right. So I stopped. (ANY excuse to stop, quite frankly.) And it was three hares zig-zagging across the field, completely off their heads with March-time craziness. They didn’t box, well not that I saw, but it was fairly obvious that they’d abandoned their sanity. HUGE respect to people who have captured brilliant photos of March hares, because with the little point-and-shoot that I take when I’m running, it was all I could do to keep up with them at all.
You see? Not much of a photo. But to be honest, I was mostly just mesmerized by the sight of them.
As I said. Bonkers.
Enjoy the last hour or so of March, people.