On the Cusp of Spring


Through the open gate and into the garden.

If there’s one thing that makes it evident there’s a seasonal transition going on, it’s got to be the recent mud. A couple wet days and the heavy soil makes for clumpy boots, sticky shovels, soupy paths and a pigsty chicken run. It definitely reminds me of the spring thaw back in Maine.

Hearing one’s wellies squish squash while walking, brings awareness to the quiet cusp of winter-spring. No whirring lawn trimmers and zooming tour buses polluting the air with their constant background noise.

Quiet, but not silence for the birdsong in the background is pleasant and welcome and so uplifting that I felt a literal spring in my step, quite the opposite from that of having the bottom of my feet suctioned into the earthy mud.

Isn’t the power in a change of perspective just marvellous? So too will I embrace the next, and every, noisy tourist season here on the island, but for now mud season it is. Quiet time.

We’ve been keeping the chickens and ducks in their run because of the bird flu virus. Yesterday we decided to let them out of their muddy coop for a while. Rather than just have their normal free range area to roam, we opened the gate separating them from the gardens and allowed them in. I’m pretty sure they too felt a bit of spring in their step!

This is my ‘gate’ photo for this week’s One a Week Photo Challenge. I took so many photos of gates- there are hundreds on the island of all varieties. I surprised myself by using this picture because the gate wasn’t what I had intended to capture at all. It’s the most personal one of the lot and, in the end, also had the best story to tell.

p.s. Johnny says the willow planter reminds him of a giant birds nest and seeing it here, I agree.


  1. Brenda says:

    I would not say we are on the cusp of spring yet. But the days are getting longer and trees are budding up, so we are getting close. The willow planter looks just like a bird’s nest. I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Deirdre says:

    I absolutely LOVE the willow planter! It struck me instantly. SO charming. I am immediately trying to figure out how to make one in MY garden. Spring arrives for you this week – and my dad and I have our annual discussion about the arrival of spring. Despite the cold, he insists that Spring will arrive on Wed – old habits die hard. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Irene. We have them penned again because of more infections in Ireland but they did enjoy some time out. Their run is large enough for the number of chickens and ducks we have but they are used to roaming everywhere. Soon I hope.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I seriously think they would if they were allowed in regularly. We have one magician chicken who gets into the garden, goes to our middle field and lays eggs in a corner. We don’t even try to stop her because her cleverness can’t go unrewarded. It is a mystery how and why though…


  3. aj vosse says:

    Spring is in the air! I see the tinge of green on soon to be budding trees! I noticed a daffodil this afternoon that looks like it’s going to open it’s yellow face very soon! Spring is in the air! πŸ˜‰ But first we’ll have to endure this week’s promised storms! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: ‘One-A-Week’ Photo Challenge Round-Up | Wild Daffodil

  5. That sounds interesting though I can’t quite picture what you mean… would love to see pics if you get creative with it! Also, I forgot to mention that I put chicken wire around the inner circumference of the willow ring, fyi.


  6. Hello Melissa! What a beautiful and picturesque image. It’s very creative to use willow branches to protect the plants. It’s lovely. You’re so kind and thoughtful, even when it comes to the chickens. I love it! ❀ xx


  7. Horsina Oakleaf says:

    Isn’t that just the loveliest picture! We haven’t replaced our chickens since the last fox ‘incident’. But my youngest son really misses them. He stands in the garden looking longingly at the coop… I think he needs some more. Plus I miss the fresh eggs…

    Liked by 1 person


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