Just watching

“I’ll do the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch while I draw outside for the blog”, I thought. “I’ll listen out for the birds, then I can glance up”. But with a human outside faffing around with art materials and a line full of washing flapping about, sensibly, they stuck largely to neighbouring gardens. Still, one goldfinch, one great tit and a crow – better than last year’s big fat zero.

Watching for signs of Spring, though, has become a daily treat.

Glanced at, the hydrangeas look a little sorry for themselves, all dry flowers and dropped leaves. But as I get my eye in, below each of last year’s flowers are pairs of buds. Promising the pink of this season’s flowers, some are starting to unfurl into leaf.

The first daisies are out, snuggling into the low wall. They’re scruffy but welcome, the odd nibbled petal and leaf suggesting that they’re early forage.

And criss-crossed by runners, snowdrops and crocuses are pushing up through last season’s alpine strawberry leaves.

Welcome one and all – plants, and the birds that dropped by as soon as human and washing had gone back in.

Ballpen, watercolour, fineliner on waste paper.

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