If the weather stays fine tomorrow, I’m taking my lunch down by the river. Only 10 yards from Widdybank Farm, it’s a hop and a jump to the gurgling waters of the river Tees. I was fortunate last week to see a black grouse… no, two black grouse! I also saw my first curlew, several snipe and skylarks. Our own garden is also a hive of activity. Since our hens arrived (two), blossom has decorated the cherry tree and the feeders are buzzing with finch. The great tit is also a common visitor; I could watch them all day (but that wouldn’t get any work done). Meanwhile, the collared doves made their flimsy nest in our conifers. We watched their courtship for days, and I was slightly devastated to find remains of one underneath our apple tree – nothing but feet and feathers. The survivor of the sparrow hawk encounter now sits alone on the garden fence, no doubt waiting for its mate. Yesterday we noticed a juvenile barely able to fly following its parent around the garden. Hope, joy, wonder, grace, tranquility and others. In spring I’m deepened by my encounters with life.