Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Spring song

Don't you just love this time of year? The clocks have gone forward, the evenings are getting lighter, the days are already warmer; the grass is growing; leaves are unfolding out of tiny buds and the birds have started singing.

The latter is one of the most heart-warming signs of spring as far as I'm concerned. I love to hear the dawn chorus; I like the repetitive pattern of the thrush's song and the fluty alto of the blackbird. Let's just hope no-one ever invents a 'Doolittle' machine to provide a simultaneous translation. Because those mellifluous notes aren't as nice as they sound. If you speak blackbird, you're probably hearing something rather threatening, spiced with a liberal amount of the avian equivalent of Anglo-Saxon. Because as far as anyone can tell, bird-song is a cross between an angry 'gerrof my land' farmer and 'you lookin' at my bird?' threatening behaviour. In fact, if they could they'd probably be erecting barbed-wire fences round their territory and putting up stern 'Keep Out' signs.

But they can't. What they can do is sing. Which is a pretty wonderful thing, as well as being my favourite sign of spring.

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