Round about this time of the year I usually do a piece about the change in the weather, the buddings on shrubs, the re-emergence of the goldfish from the depths of the pond and the absence of frogs. So why make an exception this year? Over the past couple of weeks the shift from winter to spring has been pronounced. The air is now warm, everything is growing and of course the clocks have gone forward giving us longer daylight evenings.
It is the same every year, but it still fascinates me that the goldfish, who were barely visible all through the winter and who scorned each attempt to entice them out, are now basking and quick to respond to food scattered on the surface. Is it the light, the increasing length of the day or the warming of the waters that switches them out of their torpor?
I noted in 2008 that sparrows had made a reappearance (after years of decline) and I think we now have a pair nesting in the dense shrubbery that has completely overgrown one of our fences.
Oh, and I found a dead rat on the front lawn yesterday. Presumably killed by a cat and dragged there, having ventured too incautiously to sniff around the dustbins at the back of one of the nearby restaurants. Or a sinister warning from a local crime boss about my encroachments on his territory? I'll put Luigi, "Mad-Dog" O'Reilly and Crusher Wilkins on guard duty just in case.