Thus ends ...

They know some things we don't. 'They' being all species of life other than Man. (See - I even capitalised the Man without even thinking about it; we men are arrogant or what?)And what now do they know? It may be sub-zero outside but they know the time of year - and sure as hell they know that Spring is here.

We have just returned from a walk along the shore between a cultivated field and heathery tangle on the one hand and a low spring-tide sea on the other. A buzzard searched the edge of the loch for tid-bits exposed by the receded water as black backed gulls protested loudly at his intrusion into their private hunting grounds. All the way from Africa a first flock of black and white peewits / plovers / lapwings rose jinking from sheep smoothed turf into the air as our presence interrupted their prospecting for nest sites and earthworms. Unidentified ducks or divers disappeared and reappeared after a minute of two underwater. A pair of herons stood statuesque on spindle legs, their feet in the cold cold briny. Waiting ... waiting.

The first butterblob blooms have appeared overnight on the gorse and yesterday in the Bridge Cafe was a small pot of snowdrops. Harbingers indeed.

Thus ends the winter of our discontent?

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