Snowdrops are considered one of the first tangible signs of spring, bringing hope and new growth. Yet, poking through frosted ground when the nights are still long, they are more like a public service announcement reminding us that spring will come than a celebration of its arrival.

The true herald of spring comes later, and shouts it out from on high with unbelievable energy and verve. Take a grey February or March day, the kind of day when you think, “A walk would do me good but I can’t really be bothered,” and you drag yourself on a quick tramp along the footpath across the fields. Out ...


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