Our wood has been busy this Easter. Peta broke up from school a week earlier than our other children – she went back today – and the other three are still off, so we’ve had an extended holiday period. We spent most of our days round the woods; it’s the time of year when things get exciting. This is the time we start to cook meals on the open fire again, when it’s warm enough to sit about and watch nature. Bluebells peep out, ramsons pop up everywhere and on each twig, spring loaded leaves explode in ultra slow-mo. Furtive birds explore nest boxes, badger setts are tantalising mounds of freshly heaped soil, flowers and blossoms are all to come and the energy of new life blows through the camp.
This time of year is great. We prefer being outside in almost any weather, but being outside in double-figured degrees C is just gentler, less draining, more comfortable. Things begin to happen; the energy comes back. This Easter we removed trees growing through, and closing over, a favourite, open-grown yew. We sat about in hammocks, carried on with the walling, cooked in a covid-safe manner for two (socially distanced) friends. We’ve even uncovered an ancient septic tank with soak away and accompanying concrete platform in the hope of finding a water pipe (no luck yet). Peta, Melody and Amos must have bounced to Land’s End and back on the trampoline which has been Hogwart’s, Japan, something to do with dragons and a detective agency, while Joe has thrown himself into log production and fencing. The geese, buzzards, curlew and ravens have all been calling above the wood. We have a mistle thrush already on her nest, and the little birds – tits and nuthatches, robins and wrens – are busy, darting about, loud one minute, secretive the next. The bleats of the lamb’s drift in from the fields and the sight of the wobbly, long legged creatures as we arrive and leave always makes me smile. I like this feeling at the start of spring; I’d like to hold it here for a few weeks, enjoying the anticipation in the knowledge everything is ready for the season’s rollercoaster ride. But nothing will hold back the spring, so we must just grab a seat and make sure we enjoy every second we can.