Posted by: Ross Gardner | April 20, 2012

After Rain

Nearly three weeks since my last blog! – shame on me!

I make a return to the keyboard amidst a time good old-fashioned April showers having arrived in not quite so sunny Essex, after what has so far been an absurdly dry spring.   Of course, it would take months of this to do anything like address the water shortgage affecting what would appear to be most of the southern half of England, but it is enough trigger that heave of life triggered by the slaking rain.  The effect may be subtle.  The early swell of ground-covering plants in the garden that bit more fullsome; the woodland green somewhat more deep seated; the waking grassland sward more rejuvenated and like its old self.

Fresh Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) leaves. Ross Gardner 2012

The countryside after rain is when the spring’s air of optimism is imparted most strongly.  During the weeks since I last blogged I have welcomed the return of twittering Swallows to the skies and Speckled Wood butterflies to the woodlands, along with various other sights and sound.  However,  it is with the Marsh Marigold in my garden pond and the Hornbeam in the woods hereabouts that I have most clearly observed this aspect of the season.  How is it, that regardless of a gloomy sky and drizzle-filled air the Marigold flowers still seem to glow, quite unperturbed by the conditions around them?  So too the hornbeam, whose new leaves seem to maintain that phosphorence that fills the woods with green light when the sun does shine through them.

And by the time the Marigold lose their blooms and the Hornbeam leaves their youthful sheen, a host others will have emerged in their place.

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustre). Ross Gardner 2005

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