Changing Seasons – April

Month FOUR of my photographer’s nature journal.

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!
~ Robert Browning

I awoke one recent morning to a sky full of bruised black and blue thumbprints and a coral pink smudge on the horizon where the sun was beginning to rise. It was one of those mornings that make you glad to be alive. Later in the day I took my camera for a walk around the lanes to see what surprises nature had in store for me. It wasn’t a particularly warm day, the mini heatwave experienced by the rest of the UK didn’t really happen down here. It rarely does. Too close to two coasts. Instead we were blessed with several days of sea fog, or as I call it a sea fret, but the sun was shining even though the wind was cool. In coconut scented lanes, sheltered by the high hedgerows, it was pleasantly warm. I walked with the sound of birdsong accompanying me until I reached the place where the tall Norfolk pines grow and where the birdsong was momentarily replaced by the wind blowing in the tree canopy sounding like waves crashing to the shore.

I was pleased to find masses of unscented wild dog-violets (Viola riviniana)  in the hedgerows and in the walls, the tiny bright blue-violet faces lighting up in amongst the greenery of nettles, cow parsley and wild carrot leaves, dock and foxgloves. Bright yellow patches of dandelions and lesser celandines and newly opening gorse glowed amongst the greenery. The blackthorn was finally flowering, the tiny star-like white flowers shimmering in the sunlight; here and there  white Greater or Lesser Stitchworts,  bright rose-red flowers of the Red Campion (Silene dioica) and the violet-blue native bluebells brightened up the roadside.

“And glowing in all colours, the live grass, Rose-campion, bluebell, kingcup, poppy, glanced…”

~ Lord Alfred Tennyson, “The Last Tournament”

Fresh buds and leaves were opening on the sycamores and rhododendrons. Cascading flowers hung like dangling ear-rings. Elsewhere pale yellow native primroses (Primula vulgaris) mingled with pale pink cultivars and escapees from gardens. I came across (Lamium galeobdolon ‘Variegatum’ ) golden dead nettles, their silvery veined-leaves looking quite exotic and then a meadow strewn with common daisies and buttercups.

Cutting across the bottom of Trencrom hill to complete my circular walk I found tiny wood anemones hiding in the grass, more dog-violets and plenty of new shoots on the buddleia and honeysuckle shrubs.

It appears that spring has come at last.

The Changing Seasons | April


  1. restlessjo says:

    Very poetic, Jude. 🙂 🙂 I’m surprised how swiftly it’s happening this year. Like somebody blew the starting whistle and it’s a sprint to the end.

    1. Heyjude says:

      And already it is May – the fifth month of the year. How fast it all goes during the long light days. If only November. December and January went as quickly!

  2. mickscogs says:

    Very Spring. Our Octobers are often very wet. We do not get this flourish until November. A real green theme this month Jude.

  3. Su Leslie says:

    This is so lovely Jude; it was like walking with you. Your images are gorgeous.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It was one of those ‘perfect light’ days when everything is so clear, after three days of the coastal fog!

  4. Another monthly post to love. You excel yourself with description this time, beginning with the sky you awoke to. Photos are wonderful too – all that green. Here spring has really arrived since I did – or is it summer? We expect 30° tomorrow.

    1. Heyjude says:

      No, still spring – late spring. Possibly my favourite month 🙂 No signs of those sorts of temperatures here. We’ll be lucky to reach 18 degrees! But I am looking forward to some garden visits 🙂

      1. I’m looking forward to your garden visits too. You do them so well.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Already managed three, all revisits, but at a different time of year. Just need to get the posts written now!

        2. And that is NOT the easy part!

  5. Anabel Marsh says:

    I do like that cow looking out at us quizzically – though safely behind a fence.

    1. Heyjude says:

      A very young one, but I am surprised they don’t escape as the wall next to the gate is very low!

      1. Anabel Marsh says:

        Young – and docile then.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Probably, not sure about Mama and Papa behind him 😉

  6. Oh how lovely. 🙂 It will be summer before you know it!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’d rather spring hang around for longer. I love spring and then summer is often a disappointment.

      1. That’s very true, now I think about it. I always used to say that summer was my favourite season (probably because of the long school holidays!) but now I think it might be spring. 🙂

  7. Joanne Sisco says:

    Looking at your photos and all the lovely colour, I realize we are about a month behind you. We are just starting to experience this and it is truly glorious 🌷🌻

    1. Heyjude says:

      Ah, but you have it all to come whereas we are speeding through the spring delights at a rate of knots.

      1. Joanne Sisco says:

        Jude, it has been nothing short of miraculous how quickly we shifted from the dead brown landscape to full-blown greenery. After the frigidly cold April, nature has been in a hurry to catch up. Those of us with seasonal allergies are dying from the high pollen counts.
        …. but extremely beautiful!! What a shame this stage is so very short.

        1. Heyjude says:

          I always think it is unfair that the lighter months seem to whip by whereas the dark dull days of winter last forever. A month from now and we will be at the longest day!!!

        2. Joanne Sisco says:

          I’m trying to savour each and every minute I’m outside without a jacket on!!

  8. You may or may not be surprised to learn that the world’s largest collection of Browning material resides in Texas; it’s at Baylor University, about 100 miles north of Austin:

    1. Heyjude says:

      That is a surprise. I shall be over for a read.

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