Monday, 12 May 2008


That is the sound of summer exploding. Or rather, that's the sound that I imagine summer would make this year.

Last year summer was something of a non-event. Wet, wet, wet and cold. Then we had a long, rainy winter followed by a spring that frankly seemed to be struggling. Normally I get excited by every little sign that spring is here - the buds, the flowers, the nest-building, the lambs in the fields. One after another, the little signs follow eachother in an ongoing rush until spring slips easily into summer.

Yet this spring every flower and sign of new growth seemed hard-won. The chilly days and nights held everything back, and I almost felt like it could all be withdrawn, taken away at any time. The signs of spring were there, yet spring seemed so far away, somehow.

And then...

Just about Beltane - the Celtic first day of summer - almost overnight the weather turned warm and sunny. And it continues warm and sunny. There has also been some gentle rain - and a couple of impressive thunderstorms, all of which have kept the earth nice and moist. But for the most part it continues warm and sunny. Very warm, very sunny. Not spring warm and sunny, but summer warm and sunny. So, warm sun + moist earth = Kaboom!!!

The earth has exploded from a standing start straight into summer. Sparsely-sprigged branches suddenly have leaves! Bare earth in the veggie plot is sprouting weeds so fast the growth is almost visible moment to moment. The flowering cherry burst into blossom, which lasted mere days before dropping. The last of the daffodils and primulas which still hung on late into the cool spring are suddenly usurped by bluebells, red campion, Queen Anne's lace, summery aquilegias and foxgloves. They look stunned by the sudden turn around. I know how they feel.

Swallows and martins swoop delightedly around the house. Slowworms like ropes of burnished metal bask in the sun. Bees bumble and butterflys flutter. Cats search for shade. I walk barefoot through the warm, wet grass!

And the last reverberations of the great Kaboom! die away, as spring, caught with her pants down, gives way to summer at full throttle.


MOMKISS2U said...

Such a nice analogy of Spring and Summer!

willow said...

Summer exploding - I like that, a brilliant description.

Pixiedust said...

It's great isn't it. I'm soo enjoying this weather. Love the pics they are beautiful. We had a slow worm in the garden today, I've put a couple of pics of him on my blog.

Hope Springs said...

I love the comment about Spring being caught with her pants down! That had me laughing out loud.

Summer has arrived alright. She snuck up and pounced like a cat. Now she is acting as if she was here all along. I love Summer!

Reya Mellicker said...

Great post! I know exactly what you mean about the explosion of spring. It takes a lot of energy to push all the flower and plants up from below. So glad you're having a lovely season this year. I remember the reports from last year. One of my London blog buddies wrote that the birds were evolving into fish. Kind of explained it all.

Love your new banner! Bare feet snuggling in amongst the daisies. Oh yeah!!

Mike Farley said...

Whoosh! That's the sound my lawn makes as it hammers upwards growing at a speed likely to give it the bends. In the words of the Sainted Andy Partridge of XTC I feel I'm "drowning here in summer's cauldron..." Ah! Time to put "Skylarking" on again....

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Donald Engstrom-Reese said...

After such a cold spring, I am delighted that summer has come on full blast in your part of the world. I still clearly remember the spring snow covering the Epping Forest just before Avalon Spring Witch Camp began. Meanwhile, here in Minnesota, it is still quite cool. It has been 10 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit below normal all week. No sign yet of summer. But, we gardeners are bravely planting, trusting that sweet summer is not far from our hearts and homes.

The Dragon said...

Summer being here is all well and good but could it have waited until we got our scythe! The lawn is not so much lawn as a dandelion and thistle infested meadow *sigh*

Mind you the periwinkle has also gone beserk and the birds love it (there is a nesting couple of "something" in there! I think it may be wrens

Dreaming Stone said...

Isn't it just great, must be summer - I can see at least twelve daisies around your foot.

Cottage Smallholder said...

You are spot on - it does seem like an explosions this year.

Let's hope that we have a long hot summer!