Spring has asserted herself.
Mrs Turnstone had convinced herself that all the frogs in this postcode area had died of some dread disease; today it was clear that they had not. There had been an occasional croak from the garden pond, true, but this singer was regarded by her rather like Crusoe, all alone in the world.
This afternoon, after dragging me around the ponds on Abbott’s Hill, looking for spawn but altogether fruitlessly, she sat down to lunch in the garden, and planned the filling in of the pond as no frogs would ever use it again.
After lunch she changed into gardening gear, began cleaning weeds from the path, then noticed a mass of jelly under the logs on the far side, and counted six frogs ranged around the edge of the pool. Her private sun came out.
Mine? A brimstone butterfly flew past us in the woods on Abbot’s Hill. (They are green underfoot as the bluebells push through from below.) I’ve enjoyed this insect since the day when, as a schoolboy twenty feet up a beech tree, the leaf next to my finger took wing.
There was also a small tortoiseshell in the garden at home, its flickering shadow giving it away at midday, not twilight. And two hoverflies seeking nectar on the viburnum.
Here is a picture of a leaf-like brimstone.
What’s brightening up your life?