There are some sounds that creep up on me, present for a while without insistence. Cockcrow is one of them. Cocky’s trumpeting is an ambient noise that sidles into consciousness. It puzzles me and annoys me some that I am slow in registering this presence.
Another such is today’s hammering of the yaffle. He was working away, probably at an aspen in the hollow across the hayfield, while I was filling the buckets for the morning feed . I was absorbing the sound without acknowledgment. It came into focus suddenly with the realisation of neglect – that somehow I had failed to recognise and welcome this new addition to the farm concert.
As if I had not saluted the first housemartin home.
There are other precious signs of spring, fragile shows monitored and gathered carefully; out of context with the bare birches and the pale sun.
The flags are pushing green through the surface of the pond, now adopted by a pair of mallard, These are Mr & Mrs Duck who appear (not the same pair, but bred from the same) every year to nest on the small island. They are named for their proprietorial waddle round the yard, like holiday-house owners returned from the city. They feel totally at home, launching off the bag of cattle nuts in the barn when I go to bring in Demi-Og and her boy.
The catkins are hanging from the hazels- I never saw them develop – suddenly they are just there, noticed and welcome. Miniature daffs show in sunny corners, faintest of greening on snowberries. Grouse lift from the heather in pairs, a goosander from the wee loch.
Too early yet, too early – croaks the raven from the crags.
I hear you harsh bird- the grass is still flat but the two bull calves are spinning and dancing in expectation of growth.