Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Signs of Life


Are there any out there? Spring is slow on the uptake.

18 Trees-2

The light is right for spring, but the landscape is still trapped in a freeze dry pallor. For the last 10 days or so, we’ve been sat under a band of high pressure and whilst the days been bright they’ve not been warm and the nights have been subzero, with the local reservoir icing over each night.

The birds seem keen to crack on with spring, this crow was strutting his stuff and I’ve sighted the first of the lapwings. But is there enough food to be raising chicks yet?


In the UK it has been the coldest winter for 31 years and you can tell, looking around, our world doesn’t normally look like this in March.

Track 1-2

I can’t help but wonder if spring, with a nudge in the ribs from a warm day or two, is going to explode upon us. I do hope so*.


Spud has taken leave of his blog duties, as I write he is leaping around in his favourite bush, chasing a plastic bottle that he’s ‘liberated’ from the recycling bin.

* It rained today, it seems ages since we had rain, its been snow or nothing for weeks, if not months.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

11 thoughts on “Signs of Life

  1. Poor lambs, you have our complete sympathy. That is pretty much exactly how our part of the world does look in March–except that we generally have a bit more snow, and there’s usually quite a lot of mud . . . so we know what it’s like to want spring and get . . . Mud Season! The Dreadful Dismals!

    Still, these are lovely photos. There’s something tender about the cold, dry landscapes of early spring.

  2. Freeze dried, maybe, but still beautiful

  3. I got unbearably excited when I noticed the crocuses had come out in my garden. Yesterday, the sun finally felt it had a sliver (just a sliver) of warmth in it. It’s been a very long, cold winter, right enough.

  4. We’ve had the same weather, it’s beginning to freak me out! I think things are stirring, but under that thatch of dead grass, so we won’t see it for a while. And the trees are beginning to take on a haze of colour, not leaves yet, but definitely buds.

  5. it is freezing cold here too – the wind chill makes it feel siberian. bonzo’s field is on a very exposed windy hill and i have windburn on my face the whole time. brrr!

  6. I just loved the photos, but was disappointed to see the snow still in the dyke.

    Old saying, whilst in dykes and ditches the last throw is not over.

    Hope it is wrong this time. As at long last my tiny little irises have made it into bloom.

  7. There are lots of signs here so I guess that it won’t be long for you as well!
    I was watching the female blackbird gathering nest material this morning. xx

  8. Your hills are still beautiful. My crocuses and tulips are up, the snow has melted and there is hope of spring somewhere.

  9. You’re right about the rain. I moved half a dozen shrubs/fruit bushes two weeks ago, thinking spring was on its way. And it hasn’t rained since. I’ve been out watering, in March. A bit weird, I think. I’m unusually on top of my garden this year. So all I have to do is sit back and wait for things to start happening. I’m getting a bit impatient now though. But the suspense makes it more exciting too. This plant, did it survive the winter or not? I think there are going to be several casualties.

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