Around us is the sound of many waters - trickling down drains, squelching underfoot, dripping from eaves. A thaw is underway, and suddenly it appears that spring is, too. The rooks are flying back and forth with an air of purpose, no longer searching out food in unlikely places, but making determined forays into the ash branches at the top of the garden, and then struggling out laden with ungainly twigs. The ivy is full of rustlings and twitterings as birds and other small creatures seek out possible homes and the hens are preening and stalking round their run looking plump and self-important. I hope that all this confidence isn't misplaced - the late afternoon sky is full of geese, and seven whooper swans have just flown over, a sign that for some it is still winter.
Today's view of the Cheviot shows just how much it has thawed in the last twenty-four hours, and I have only now got round to downloading these pictures taken on Thursday by my younger son. The first two tell the sad story of a fox and a pigeon (and show why our chickens live in a run):
And here the girls seem to have found someone's hiding place. Senior Dog is supervising, as befits her age.
But, as usual, she takes over. It needs an experienced nose, you know.
So The Bolter may as well enjoy the snow. This second fall was lovely and soft to run in.
A deer in the next field:
And a winter sunset.