The Week of the Butterflies in the Territory of Rain
This was a bad week for somewhere called the territory of rain. There hasn’t been any for days, and in fact the sun has shone solidly. To be short, the spring has been wonderful! There are celandines
We are having the first rhubarb in a crumble for dinner tonight, and there is blossom on the gooseberry bush.
The pear and plum blossom in the orchard is much more spectacular, but as it isn’t my orchard, and in fact there are two other gardens between my desk and the view, so there won’t be any pictures. It’s what the more pretentious gardening books call borrowed landscape, but it is the only remaining remnant of the orchards for which our Abbey was famous, so I treasure it – and write about it rather a lot.
There are bees everywhere so the harvest should be wonderful, and the tadoles in the pond are hatching. I’m learning to identify individual bird songs in the racket in the garden – so far I can do blackbird, starling, thrush, robin, chaffinch, dunnock, wren, sparrow, blue tit and great tit – plus the obvious divas like oyster-catcher, curlew and skylark. And now I’ve listed them, I’m kind of impressed – it looks like a lot more than I thought!
But this week belongs to the butterflies. On Monday there was a peacock battering against my window, then two more feeding on the dandelions, and cabbage whites on the alkanet, and a tortoiseshell sunning itself on a neighbour’s roof. This seems awfully early in the year. There’s a ghost of a poem in the back of my pay saying “We’ll pay for it, we’ll pay for it, we’ll pay for it!”.