In a sharp contrast to Dave's recent posts about the effects of nature in the US with the terrible scenes from his part of the world, life couldn't be more contrasting here in the UK.....or at least in my part of the world.
At just about the same time, Dave and Marian were out helping clear the debris and destruction, Jacqui and I went out to one of our local Warwickshire Wildlife Trust reserves a couple of evenings ago.
What a stunning time we had for a remarkable hour as the last of the sun was going down.
The woods were alive with Bluebells (early this year), Wood Anemone, Yellow Archangel, Red Campion and Wild Garlic. The smells and colours were stunning.
The sounds of the birds were wonderful too. Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Robin, Chiff Chaff, Blackbird, Blue Tit and Wren were all letting us know of their presence. In the distance the drumming of Great Spotted Woodpecker and the loud yaffles of Green Woodpecker drew us to get a sighting of a pair of each.
A Roe Deer leapt out of the undergrowth in surprise, probably to all three of us.
Moving out towards the River Avon, a Mallard and her six chicks were scurrying across the flow, while a little further downstream the electric neon blue flash of a Kingfisher drew our eyes and binoculars as it tracked dart like along the river.
What a wonderful experience for an hour after supper.
Now is the time of the year when our countryside is alive, bustling with new life, sounds and smells. Make sure you make the effort to get out there an enjoy - it is worth it.
We took the little Pansonic P & S and binocs only - sometimes it is great to just go light, look and watch and enjoy rather than stressing over that next vital shot.