Along the edge of the water this morning, patches of naturalized forsythia brought bright sunshine to the undergrowth and salmon berry flowers, deep pink with yellow centres waved from twig ends dancing as a breath of wind passed by. A family of tiny brown rabbits breakfasted on new green grass, shooting back into the shrubbery at the first sign of movement. Wary creatures: they know that eagles are circling above, looking for food for their own offspring.
In a farm orchard along the road, a fawn - spotted and still wobbly-legged - stood by its mother in the dappled shade. So well was it camouflaged that I didn't see it at all until I was right beside it. In the field opposite, several black lambs chased each other in the morning sunshine, calmly watched over from a distance by their breakfasting mothers and by one enormously pregnant goat, so round that I was amazed her legs could support her weight.
What a precious time of year this is! So much life poised on the threshold; a tangible, constantly changing reminder of renewal.