It is mild today, but the forecast is for cold weather towards the end of the week. For now however, a finger of sunshine just creeps into the back garden beyond my window, bathing the back fence and the patch in the border where the pulmonaria (or Lungwort) grows, its early spring buds ready to burst in time for the emergence of the earliest bumblebees.
Primroses have been flowering for weeks and I spotted my first celandine flowers on the first day of February, not in my garden but on a sunny bank just along the road where I always see the first ones of the year, little golden stars peeking from between the green heart-shaped leaves, just behind your feet at the bus-stop.
The sunshine is picking out each and every twig of the large oak tree that looms as a constant, comforting presence from behind the roof of the garage, beyond the end of the garden. There are always plump, pink-breasted wood pigeons perched amongst its branches, digesting crops full of stolen maize silage from the farm across the fields. A flock of jackdaws passes noisily overhead, calling to each other and wheeling in the blue sky, full of the joys of spring.
If the weather forecasters are right, the winter will return for another blast of cold winds and sleety rain and ice before the end of the week. But for now I will enjoy this rare treat of an early spring day of sunshine and celandines, content in the knowledge that even if the winter weather does return, it will pass, the days will warm and spring will be triumphant in the end.