The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres


Everything these days is over hyped, so it’s not surprising we become so easily jaded and cynical when the newest and latest blah-de-blah is announced. And if anything seemed over hyped to me this past month, it’s been the arrival of Spring.

A few days ago was the first “official” day of Spring, although the way they’ve been pushing its imminent arrival since last October, I was more than sceptical. So the clocks went forward an hour last night; big deal. Oh sure, we’ve had daffodils pretty much since the beginning of the month and the crocuses were out even earlier than usual, but I’m not one to fall for things that easily.

And yet, and yet…

Meg’s had quite a bad bout of tonsillitis recently and today was the first day we felt it would probably be OK for her to leave the house, if she was suitably wrapped up, of course. I’ve felt rather housebound myself for a few days so the 2 of us went for a walk in Laurieston Wood, a few miles from here, to get a breath of fresh air.

It was wonderful.

It was still early enough in the year for the midges to be absent, and late enough in the afternoon for the dog-walkers to have gone home, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. The sun was shining through the trees, the temperature was up into double figures, and the smells; oh the smells. Woody smells of pine trees, damp fallen branches, lichens, moss and undergrowth. And the sounds of the wind in the treetops, the birds singing and the stream running over the rocks.

It tapped into something quite primeval; a part of the soul that responds to the changing seasons; where the caress of the sun on the skin is like the re-acquaintance of an old and missed friend.

I’ve always struggled with winter, with its long dark nights, cold wind and incessant rain. After a few months its easy to forget its possible to have days where you don’t have to stick an extra layer on under the coat before leaving the house or have the heating in the car set as high as the dial will allow.

Today was my first day of Spring, and I nearly wept.


cabronsito said...

Ohh Kim!
I do not remember how many articels I´ve written about what I´m missing. Wheather is an important part of that. And now, reading your lines, I remember a visit to your beautiful country a hundred years ago.
At the end of February. I took that trip without any jacket. Only a couple of sweaters I wore.
I went by bus. The way up to Glasgow was like expected - a lot of snow.
But a few days later I spent an hour or so at the "feet" of Arthurs Seat in Edinburgh. Laying on the dry grass. IN T-SHIRT!!!!
What times!
What memories!!
Thanks for bringing them back to me.

Dr Maroon said...

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.
The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.

Not one of mine, but rather Van Dyke.

No, not Dick, Henry.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Sorry about Meg's tonsilitis, poor wee thing.

My girls are growing potatoes and broccoli. The potatoes have been on the go for a bit but the broccoli has just sprouted and they're all excited about it. It's fun to see the seasons through little eyes.

Carole said...

I usually find at least one word in your posts to look up in the dictionary. Today it was midges.

Spring is winter walking outside the chalk lines.

eva said...

I so know what you mean Kim! I went for a loooong walk too yesterday and I felt like singing! I am going for another one this afternoon :)

But perhaps another reason for my happiness is the fact that I now live in Scotland! I LOVE YOUR COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!! I lived in Edinburgh 10 years ago and after years of moving countries I have now returned and I'm so happy so happy so happy.

Spring on top of that is like winning the lotto.

Mary Witzl said...

I'm glad you got a space between the dogs and midges to enjoy your walk. I love all those rich, woodsy smells too.

Growing up in Southern California, I never really experienced four seasons. We do have seasons in California, but they can only be distinguished by seasoned Californians, if you'll pardon the pun.

Here in Scotland, I welcome spring with a long neck, as they say in Japan. In fact I think I'll go outside right now and start tackling the creeping buttercup and dandelions.

Hope Meg's tonsillitis clears up soon.

eva said..., I mean lottery of course..

(the sun is blinding me)

Julie said...

I've been able to tell it's spring here because it's been raining, and, for the first time in since autumn, it wasn't bone-chilling cold. It's been nice having days in the upper-teens. But yesterday was pure heaven -- sunny and 29 -- and today will be the same.

I'll open up the house and take advantage of it, because tomorrow we go back to our typical rainy days.

michael the tubthumper said...

the first day you can go out in complete confidene in only a t-shirt is a great day

Kim Ayres said...

Cabronsito - T-shirt? Edinburgh? February? I'm tempted to believe your translation programme is faulty :)

Dr Maroon - not country singer & auctioneer, Leory Van Dyke?

Sam - viewing the world through the eyes of potatoes is a new one for me, but just as valid as any other philosophical viewpoint :)

Carole - Spring is winter walking outside the chalk lines - I love that, thank you :)

Eva - welcome to my ramblings, unless you've been here before in which case, welcome back. Have you been back in Scotland long?

Mary - I like the expression of welcoming with a long neck :) And Meg's feeling a lot better today thanks.

Julie - welcome to my ramblings and thankyou for taking the time to comment. Where is "here" exactly, and is that 29C or 29F as our American cousins still like to measure temperatures?

Michael - there's usually a week or 2 in late June when that's possible...

eva said...

I've been here before Kim, I originally found you through FMC's site but I've been quiet for a few months.. I also chat with your friend El-Branden from time to time. I lived in Dublin until mid-January, so only a couple of months in Edinburgh. But it kinda feels like coming home because I lived here briefly in 97-98 and I've been coming back regularly to see my friends since that. I've been living a kind of a nomadic life for the past ten years... I hope to end that now :)

Kim Ayres said...

I thought you seemed familiar. Have you got a blog of your own?

savannah said...

stunning....i'm looking out the window at green leave...i don't recall them being there yesterday...sometimes spring just happens...a delicious suprise even here! (23C/74F)

Julie said...


"Here" is Chicago. However, I did convert the temperatures to Celsius as I thought it would be more appropriate. (I have a friend in Edinburgh and he teases me when I don't make the conversion.)

I'm enjoying the spring breeze and sunshine and looking forward to some thunderstorms tomorrow.

PI said...

I'm with your there. My spirits plummet in the winter and soar in the Spring. I wander round the garden and say hi to all the little wild flowers that appear un nurtured and unbidden.
For a moment there I thought Sam's little girls were growing broccoli on their tonsils. A Granny hug for Meg.

Stinkypaw said...

There's nothing like a good spring cleaning, figuratively and litterally speaking - Spring does the boby/soul good!

We're not quite there yet, but soon... I can feel it!

quinn said...

Today was finally our first real "feels like spring" kinda day...the sun shining the birds singing, kids riding bikes etc...was pretty awesome..came home from work opened up all the windows!!!! sweeeeeeeeeet

Eryl Shields said...

Yesterday was definitely my first day of spring: I spent the whole day in the garden basking. Actually, for Scotland, it was more like summer.

The problem with U.K. weather though is that winter can suddenly attack no matter what the month. I have a damson tree in my garden and have only got fruit from it once in the last ten years: every year a late frost kills its babies. Still, it saves me from having to make jam.

Fat Lazy Guy said...

That sounds really nice. I prefer winter, myself. Summer is too hot for me. I've always felt the cold less than others, and that's before I had my extra layer(s) of protection ;) And plus I love the sound and feel of rain. Takes me back to childhood memories.

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

The clocks have just sprung forward, and I did notice (not for the first time), a general improvement in the demeanour of the staff here at the Institute. This may have been confounded by the modest pay-rise I allowed everyone, but I think not, considering it was below inflation for the 3rd year running.

Kim Ayres said...

Savannah - The Northern Hemisphere is reawakening...

Julie - thank you for being so considerate. Wow 29C! We rarely get that even in the height of summer

Pat - thanks for the hug for Meg. I am such a warm-climate man at heart. I have great sympathy for Dr Maroon's latest post

Stinkypaw - the sap is rising...

Quinn - open windows? Ah, well, we're not quite at that satge yet.

Eryl - It's true, yesterday afternoon was more like summer. I got over confident this morning when I went out to meet a friend and didn't wear my fleece under my coat and promptly froze.

FLG - Ah, it takes all sorts. I'm definitely a summer man.

Dr McCrumble - or maybe they just know something you don't...

Anonymous said...

I don't know what a midge is and in my parts winter is full of artic chills and frosty snow drifts, but I sure know what you are talkin' bout. The first few days of Spring affect me deep within my psyche and I always feel a bit reborn. There is definitely a reason that spring has always been welcomed with such gusto and celebration...since before there were time keepers even.

Spring...spring could never be over-hyped because it is sort of a primordial awakening that the warmth of the sun and the fresh breeze find in even the crankiest of people.

Your post was lovely, simply lovely. Written with the breath of spring and the touch of tenderness...

Pretty sensitive...first springtime poetry then sensitive ponytail man! LOL!

Seriously, loved the post. You would probably wear a sensitive ponytail well anyway. :)

Kim Ayres said...

Emily Elizabeth - see here for midges

I used to have a ponytail- stretched almost all the way down to my arse, but in the end it just became too much hassle looking after the thing and I got my wife to take the clippers to it. For several days my head kept lolling forwards because I didn't have the counterweight on the back :)

Anonymous said...


My husband used to have a sensitive ponytail too - right down to his butt. I think he sat on it too much and off it went :) 'bout some pictures then?

Kim Ayres said...

I posted a set of pics last month on the entry Week 104, although admittedly none of them feature my old ponytail. Anything pre-digital camera (about 2 years ago) requires digging about in boxes, scanning, formatting and uploading, so is less likely to be forthcoming

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