With thee the swallow dares to come
And primes his sutty wings
And urged to seek their yearly home
Thy suns the Martin brings
And lovley month be leisure mine
Thy yearly mate to be
Tho may day scenes may brighter shine
Their birth belongs to thee
So much has happened since I left the Chesapeake region 3 weeks ago. The Tree Swallows, Forster’s Terns, Chipping Sparrows, and Osprey have returned and the Canada Geese have left. I still heard one White-throated Sparrow in the underbrush, but he was nearly drowned out by the cacophony of other morning calls. The symphony includes the continuous trill of the sparrow, the endless repertoire of the mimics, and the territorial postings of the blackbirds and Osprey along the creek.
The early morning walk was just perfect. The new leaves have their varied hues of light green, the air is still cool, the slanting light just right for photography, and the smell of wet dirt and fresh blossoms makes me agree with Clare’s “sweet april”. Most of these photos were taken on that late April walk.
Thou lovley april fare thee well
Thou early child of spring
Tho born where storms too often dwell
Thy parents news to bring
Yet what thy parting youth supplys
No other months excell
Thou first for flowers and sunny skyes
Sweet april fare thee well
The two verses by John Clare are from The Shepherd’s Calendar chapter entitled “April”, first published in 1827. The work was compiled and edited by Eric Robinson and Geoffrey Summerfield, and republished by Oxford Press in 1964.