It may be bitterly cold on some days at the moment, but that's mainly because of clear skies. The sun is shining and the deep blue of the sky just makes you feel good.
During the past few days I've been receiving email alerts warning of a possible sighting of the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. Because of the clear skies every night, it presented the chance of a cracking display of colour. Despite my patience over several nights, whilst shivering outside in the late hours, I didn't witness any sweeping brush strokes of dancing colours across the night sky.
But out for a wander a couple of days ago, through my local park and along quiet lanes, I did get a treat of vibrant colours. We are, afterall, entering that wonderful stage of new life, when nature throws its pallet of colours across our landscapes.
It is for me, like many people, my favourite time of year, though I do also love the hues of Autumn. But there's something really uplifting as you turn a corner onto a nondescript, busy road, and come across a simple garden hedge, displaying a veritable wall full of colour and beauty.
This rebirth period of the year also inspires me to wander further, in search of what is coming into flower next. Nearby is a large National Trust estate, and last weekend I happened upon glades of newly opened snowdrops.
Just now it's the turn of the crocuses and snowdrops, and they are creating carpets of colour everywhere. Very soon the bluebells will appear, then the daffodils. Already blossom has appeared on some trees, and soon the heady smell of wild garlic will adorn the cycle paths into the city.
In my local park, the first of the photos above, there is one particular tree that I love. It is easily 30ft tall and the same again wide, and for just a brief period it has the most incredible display of pinky purple blossom. The buds are there now, squeezing their way through, but it is yet to bloom. I can't wait. As a tease I came across this tree, with white blossom, in someone's garden at the end of my walk. Isn't nature amazing.