Spring diary

The Arts and Humanities Research Council and the LandLines research team, supported by the National Trust, Natural England and the Field Studies Council, invited nature lovers to create a crowd-sourced spring nature diary. Each entry could be no more than 150 words; here’s a copy of mine…

It’s not to daylight that I look for signs of spring, but beneath pearled moonlight: enveloped by the sweet scent of a warm evening, I search the sky and spot my first bat of the season – always memorable and a cause for celebration. Twisting and turning in the glow of a street lamp, it grants a brief aerial display before melting into the shadows.

Along the lane, toads are on the march. Single-minded and purposeful, they answer an ancient call to action. After giving these gentle hitchhikers a lift to safety, I peer into the pond on my way back to the cottage – its waters appear otherworldly in the dark. Scanning my eyes across its surface, I look for movement amongst the swaying fronds; then I spot them: newts! Above me, a tawny owl observes from the bud-strewn branches of an old hawthorn – silhouetted against the gossamer sky.

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