I had a bonfire today - and it was good. This might have been because it was my very own bonfire. (I've noticed that fires tend to be a man thing - started with a generous dash of petrol and cries of 'Stand Well Back' as the whole thing goes up with a dramatic woosh and clouds of choking acrid smoke blanket the area.) I took two matches and a girly pile of dry twigs and we were away. The addition of a bit of dried grass and then some prunings, then a few twigs and logs that were lying untidily around formed the basis of a good blaze. Pretty soon all the garden rubbish that won't compost had gone up in smoke. Job done. Quite satisfying too. And mine, all mine.
It was a fine morning to be in the garden. Beyond me, over Badnage Wood, a pair of buzzards mewed as they rode the thermals above the little valley. Swooping, sweeping and soaring. Every so often they were joined by ravens which flew from the conifers, their cry a bark-like 'gronk-gronk'. (This is guaranteed to tantalise Chester - who must think they are flying dogs and pursues them on the ground with a throaty bark of his own.)
The dingle was loud with birdsong and from the pond a couple of frogs croaked a duet - perhaps there'll be spawn before long. It was a reminder that the world's waking up and that spring is around the corner - although without doubt we've a way to go yet.