So I went for a walk yesterday morning, and saw:
- a peacock butterfly
- half a dozen furry bumble-bees busily buzzing about their business
- a golden-collared grass snake gliding through the leaf litter
- skylarks pouring out their song over newly-sown fields
- black*-headed gulls in their smart summer plumage, with deep brown hoods as though they had dipped their heads in dark chocolate (for readers of Watership Down, Kehaar was a black-headed gull)
- a pair of very handsome great creasted grebes performing their mating dance
None of these would come close enough or stay still long enough to be photographed, but the pussy willows are out:
.... and the celandines. I have no idea whether Tolkien was thinking of celandines when he invented elanor, the 'sun-star', but was there ever a flower that suited the name better?
And, sheltered under a gnarled old tree, this solitary primrose, newly come to full and pristine blossom. Prima rosa, 'first rose', herald of spring and summer to come.
*despite the name, they are dark brown rather than black. I suppose 'dark-brown-headed gull' was too much of a mouthful. I shan't speculate about 'chocolate-headed gull'.