It was a bright bright morning, and although the morning was getting on a bit thanks to the clocks goings forward, I decided to get a really solid run in.
So with "Just a Minute" on Radio 4 giving me something to mentally stimulate me as I ran out on the long boring run out of town towards Hawton and the countryside I haven't seen in a while due to the weather. I was hoping to see an early swallow or martin in the fields around Hawton, but the solitary citrus flash of a yellowhammer as I turned onto the Farndon Road.
Irritated by a runner behind me I did a couple of sneaky, childish sprints as I disappeared round corners and eventually got a hundred yards on him.
And then, as I entered Farndon and ran down towards the Boathouse - I figured Willow Holt would still be too soggy - a shadow flitted across my head, and looking sharply to the right I saw a very tatty looking butterfly being tossed around on the cold wind. It was dark underneath but I only got a fleeting glimpse - probably a peacock, perhaps a tortoiseshell.
The one tangible animate sign of spring I've seen!
A bit further round, on the river just before the power station reach, I noticed a small dark bird, that dived and never re-appeared despite me hanging around for a couple of minutes. Either it had Scuba gear, or my tired eyes were rubbish. I think it was a little grebe, which would be a very unusual sight for this section of river.
All in all, it was a really enjoyable long run, the sun almost felt warm. But everytime the wind blew, you felt the Siberian Jaws (a phrase miscoined by my Russian colleague when he read an earlier entry!) close their icy teeth on Spring again.