Posted by: Ross Gardner | March 22, 2021

Spring, simply

The Comma (Polygonia c-album)

My first butterfly of the spring this year was a comma. In some years it might be a brimstone, occasionally a peacock or red admiral, but often it seems to be a comma. It was sunning itself along a woodland ride, absorbing the late afternoon warmth of one of those dreamily mild early spring days.

It made me stop to look more closely at my surroundings, to listen more intently to the sounds that threaded the still bare, but bud-swelling branches. I saw a bee-fly nosing about the brown leaves piled at the base of a tree and heard the hungry pecking – so very much quiter than the drumming I’d heard earlier – of a great spotted woodpecker endeavouring to get at whatever lurked within a split in the bark of a nearby silver birch. I looked back up the path along which I had just walked to see it scattered with the winged motes of tiny insects glancing the sunshine.

I haven’t posted on this blog for a few weeks and wondered what I might write when I came back to it, wanting on this occasion, perhaps, to give a more original take on the welcome unfolding of spring. The things is, days like today just cannot be ignored and the substance of them not requiring of any supposedly artistic contrivances in recounting them.

It was a snatched half hour on the way home from work, in a fine old wood on a splendid spring day. Simple as that.

The aptly named, bumblebee mimicking Bee-fly (Bombylius major)

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