As we approach our first summer at the ‘glorified shed’, I’m aware of how much the rural landscape has changed over recent weeks.
My immediate view of the river, that runs just metres from my window, has been somewhat obscured by the leafy growth of bushes and trees along the edge, which now allow only for mere glimpses of swans, herons and egrets that frequent the water and opposite bank. In turn, the birdlife has changed, with only the seldom appearance of the once numerous cormorants and not the slightest glimpse of a lapwing or redshank in weeks!
The garden area, which burst into life with its spectacular blossoms in the midst of spring, has now become awash with green, interspersed with brightly coloured roses and the golden offerings of the laburnum tree.
And of course the surrounding fields have changed too, many have been filled with the vibrant yellow of oilseed rape (although now being replaced with swathes of green), with its pungent aroma and tendency to trigger my hay fever. Indeed, we’ve all noticed an increase in sniffles since moving to our rural home, a slight downside of country living, but one far outweighed by the benefits of the new lifestyle.
The country lanes have become harder to negotiate, with hedgerows and trees encroaching more on the roads, causing motorists to exercise more caution – and that’s not a bad thing at all!
Once we’ve experienced our first summer here, we'll have had a taste of all the seasons in our rural retreat, each of them bringing a different aspect to the landscape which I’ve loved. The ever-changing wildlife, diversity of colour and altering moods of the river all keep me interested in our rural surroundings.