signs of spring

For some weeks now, I’ve had my suspicions that spring was around the corner. It all started when I visited the Botanic Garden in Cambridge and came across a whole large shrub (forgive my ignorance of exactly what sort it was) in blossom, and not only that, but with a heavenly scent of summer and sunshine and flowers! It was the first time I’d smelt such a smell in months and months, and the first time I’d not had to rely on orange blossom perfume to make up for it, and it was all the more welcome for that. I stood with my nose pressed to the branches for longer than was probably dignified.

On that same trip, I noticed a funny little cupboard set into the wall of the greenhouses, marked ‘REFERENCE BOOKS’ and ‘Not to be taken to other parts of the building’. Clearly, though, it was empty, with not a reference book in sight. It strikes me as quite reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, as only there would you have such a clearly labelled and yet entirely unconvincing cupboard. I don’t know why I’d never noticed it before.
But going back to spring, it was while I was out walking the dog on Port Meadow yesterday that I discovered the surest sign of spring yet: a rabbit race-track. You know it’s spring when the bunnies start making race courses. I had ventured off the path to investigate some particularly lovely looking daffodils (a dangerous move, I know – it was surely the downfall of Little Red, and highly inadvisable seeing as just half an hour earlier I had encountered a man who reminded me most of Wyndham Earle, the most wily, evil, cunning character from Twin Peaks, who has a habit of poisoning people in woods) and in amongst the trees I found a well-worn track, with series of carefully smoothed humps and angled bends, just big enough to race rabbits on.
Of course, all the rabbits must have left their game as soon as they saw me coming (I did see several hopping away as I headed towards the trees, not that the dog noticed anything). But I feel lucky, nonetheless, to have found such a rare thing as a rabbit race course, and I’m pleased to know that those bunnies spend their time so productively when we’re not looking.